You may have missed this. I did until a friend sent me a link to it a couple of days ago. Earlier this year, Pope Francis leveled criticism at Donald Trump over his proposal to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. The pontiff even went so far as to suggest that Trump, because of his desire to secure the border, couldn’t possibly be a Christian.
The bishop of Rome set off the tiff aboard the papal plane as he was flying home from Mexico, the country whose government Trump has made a scapegoat for all that ails the United States. And as Pope Francis found himself answering questions from reporters about Trump, he did not mince words.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis told reporters in response to a specific question about the presidential candidate, according to Reuters’ account. “This is not in the gospel.”
Asked by a reporter whether an American Catholic could vote for him, the pope demurred.
“As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he says things like that,” he said, before referring to Trump directly: “We must see if he said things in that way, and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”
The above comes from an article that appeared on Politico back in February. The pope, of course, is well aware of the wall which Israel has built, but apparently he has nothing to say about that.
Francis is not exactly a man of courage. Bashing Donald Trump is totally risk-free. Criticizing Israel, even its apartheid wall, which has been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, runs considerably greater hazards, and I guess the pope just isn’t up for it.
In responding to the comments, Trump called the Pope’s questioning of his faith “disgraceful.” In a way it’s hard to disagree.
“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful,” he asserted. “I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President.”
He also said “they”–without specifying who he was referring to–are using the pope as a “pawn,” and suggested that Francis might have a change of heart were the Vatican ever to be attacked by ISIS.
If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians…
No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.
Who does Trump mean by “they”? I guess you’ll have to ask him that question. All I can really say is this: that while Trump has his faults certainly, it is pretty clear that the neocons, who are just itching to get a war started with Russia, would have far greater influence in a Clinton presidency than under a Trump administration. Maybe that should be of greater concern to us at this point than Trump’s demeanor toward women.