Pope Francis was asked about Donald Trump, and the famously compassionate religious leader could only barely hold back his disgust.
Currently, Francis is finishing up an historic visit to Mexico. Needless to say, the issue of Donald Trump inevitably came up. When a reporter asked the pope to weigh in on Trump’s potential candidacy, he unloaded on the Republican front-runner.
“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 said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”
Consider the benefit of the doubt put to rest. Trump has spent the last seven months campaigning heavily on the idea that he can block both Hispanics and Muslims from ever coming to the United States. His policies, such that they are, have been organized around attacking minority groups and advocating for the return of torture. At his essence, Trump’s campaign is the exact opposite of Pope Francis’ message of tolerance and compassion.
Trump holds the distinction of having both pissed off the pope and also the entire country of Mexico. He infamously criticized the Catholic leader by dismissing him as just “a politician.” Francis didn’t seem to mind, and in fact turned the tables on the attempted dig.
“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.”
Trump is also deeply unpopular in Mexico following his repeated attacks against the Mexican people. He kicked off his presidential campaign by claiming the Mexican government was sending rapists across the border to sell drugs and attack American women. He’s never walked back those ideas. He also claimed he would build a massive concrete wall across the entire southern border – at a cost estimated to be in the billions – and get Mexico to pay for it.
The pope’s criticisms of Trump come at a time when the candidate is desperately trying to prove that he is a very good Christian – with humiliating results. Trump, who once told shock jock Howard Stern that having unprotected sex with as many women as he had was his personal “Vietnam,” hasn’t fooled very many people with this false change of heart.
It takes a whole lot to get the pope to spend time taking you down a peg. Trump, for all of his hate speech and vile ideas, falls into that rare category of absolutely deserving it.