Pope Francis weighs in on the U.S. immigration debate.
Thrusting himself into the combative 2016 presidential campaign, Pope Francis said Thursday that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump “is not Christian” if he calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants and pledges to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. The Pope, who was traveling back to Rome from Mexico, where he urged the United States to address the “humanitarian crisis” on its southern border, declined to say whether American Catholics should vote for Trump. But Francis left little doubt where he stood on the polarizing issue of immigration reform.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel,” the Pope told journalists who asked his opinion on Trump’s proposals to halt illegal immigration.
. . . Asked if American Catholics should vote for Trump, Francis 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 has said things like that.”
I hold no brief for Donald Trump, but these remarks by the pope say much more about Francis than about Trump, little or none of it good. It’s no secret by now that Pope Francis absorbed a great deal from the Peronist Argentina of his youth, including both a weakness for the demagogic and a profound economic illiteracy. It’s helpful to be reminded that an inability to deal civilly with opposing views (admittedly something of a Trump characteristic too) comes in that same package.
And do Mr. Trump’s views on immigration policy mean that he is “not Christian”? Well, who am I to judge? I don’t have a god in this fight — but I’m sure readers here will have their own views.
Meanwhile, this article from Breitbart from a few months back comes with a handy picture of a section of the Vatican City wall.
For some reason something Ronald Reagan once said is coming to mind . . .