Pope Francis, who is in the middle of a six-day tour of Mexico, suggested on Thursday morning that GOP front-runner Donald Trump is not a Christian because of the billionaire’s hardline pledge to build a wall at the Mexico-US border. The remarks were first reported by the Associated Press, from aboard the papal plane.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” he replied when asked about Trump by a reporter.
The AP reported that while Francis said he had not read Trump’s specific plans, he added, “This man is not Christian if he said it this way.”
Trump quickly hit back at Francis during his own press conference, in which he called the pope’s remarks “disgraceful.”
Trump on Pope’s remarks: “If it’s good, I like the Pope, if it’s bad, I don’t like the Pope” https://t.co/Okm5PaOStx https://t.co/KX9z0MVCp2
— ABC News (@ABC) February 18, 2016
Trump: “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS… I promise you the pope would have wished and prayed Donald Trump was president.”
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) February 18, 2016
Earlier this week, Francis condemned the United States’ current immigration policy as a “human tragedy.” Read Trump’s full statement responding to the pope’s remarks below:
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.
The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story – he didn’t see the crime, the drug trafficking and the negative economic impact the current policies have on the United States. He doesn’t see how Mexican leadership is outsmarting President Obama and our leadership in every aspect of negotiation.
For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. 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. 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.