By Jonathan Walsh
By Jonathan Walsh
Rabat – In a press conference on Wednesday, Pope Francis suggested American businessman and politician Donald Trump “is not Christian” due to his statements about building a wall across the US border with Mexico and deporting undocumented immigrants.
The comments were made during a press conference held on the Pope’s plane as he flew back to the Vatican after a trip to Mexico. The pope did not hold back when asked his opinion on the Republican Presidential front-runner.
“A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel,” he said.
Policies put forward by Trump include banning non-US Muslims from traveling to the country, requiring Mexico to pay for the construction of a wall across the US-Mexico border and deporting up to 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Although Trump has been widely criticized for his proposed policies and offensive statements, this is the first time that a major religious leader has directly questioned his faith.
Despite his comments, the Pope did not specifically state that American Catholics should not vote for Trump but only that the candidate “is not Christian if he says this. We have to see if he said these things. And … I give the benefit of the doubt.”
Trump immediately hit back via a press release on his website, in which he criticized the papal visit to Mexico and warned the Pope to be careful what he asks for.
“If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS…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.”
Continuing, he described the Pope’s questioning of his faith as “disgraceful” and stated that he is “proud to be a Christian.”
“No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” he stated.