The Republican presidential campaign became a lot more interesting yesterday after Pope Francis weighed in about Donald Trump’s controversial immigration stance which caused some sparks to fly in the latest twist of an American presidential campaign that has proven to be more unpredictable than ever with the presence of billionaire and former reality star Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
While flying home to the Vatican with a group of journalists following a visit to Mexico, Pope Francis was questioned on Thursday about some earlier accusations Trump had made about him in which he said the Roman Catholic leader of over 2 billion Catholics was a “political man” and maybe a “pawn of the Mexican government” as far as immigration policy is concerned.
Pope Francis was asked if an American Catholic can vote for someone like Trump.
The reporter reminded Pope Francis that Trump wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, thus separating families, and build a 2,500-kilometer-long wall along the border.
Here is Pope Francis’ reply:
Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as “animal politicus.” So at least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, 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. 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. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.
Speaking to CNN host Anderson Cooper during a Republican Townhall meeting on Thursday in South Carolina, Trump was asked to reply about Pope Francis’ comments.
Trump said “it was not a good thing for him to say” and explained that “we don’t have a border now.”
Trump pointed out that he’s tough on border security and recited his familiar pledge about building a wall and “making Mexico pay for it.”
Trump’s Strange Conspiracy Theory: Pope As Pawn Of Mexican Government?
Trump was asked if government of Mexico somehow got the Pope to make a statement about the border.
Trump responded in the affirmative.
“Absolutely. Well, I don’t think they said that way. But I think they probably talked about isn’t it terrible that Mr. Trump wants to have border security, et cetera, et cetera” Trump admitted.
“But somehow, the government of Mexico spoke with the Pope – I mean, they spent a lot of time with the Pope – and by the time he left, he made a statement – I don’t know” Trump said.
Trump admitted that he “doesn’t like fighting with the Pope” and “doesn’t think this is a fight.”
But he maintained that Pope Francis heard one side of the story, which is “probably by the Mexican government.”
Trump claimed that Pope Francis doesn’t see the tremendous strain that the border’s causes with respect to illegal immigration and drugs pouring across the border.