Pope Francis questions Trump’s Christian faith

Pastor Joshua Nink, right, prays for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as wife, Melania, left, watches after a Sunday service at First Christian Church. (File photo: AP)

Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump cannot claim to be a Christian, Pope Francis said Thursday, after the billionaire vowed to build a border wall to keep out immigrants.

“Anyone, whoever he is, who only wants to build walls and not bridges is not a Christian,” the pontiff told journalists during his return journey from a trip to Mexico in response to a question about Trump’s anti-immigrant stance.

“Vote, don’t vote, I won’t meddle. But I simply say, if he says these things, this man is not a Christian,” he said.

His remarks drew swift condemnation from the outspoken Republican presidential candidate, who described them as “disgraceful.”

Responding to Pope Francis’ comment Trump said on the pope would have wished he was president if ISIS attacked Vatican.

“If and when the Vatican is attacked by the 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,” Trump said in a speech in South Carolina, using an acronym for the militant group.

Trump has gained in popularity by claiming Mexico is sending criminals and rapists over to the United States, and last week he accused the pope of visiting the border between the two countries at the bidding of the Mexican government.

“Am I an instrument of the Mexican government? I leave that to your judgement, to the people to judge,” Francis said.

Trump, the brash real estate tycoon from New York, has promised to end illegal immigration by building a wall along the Mexican border.

His first TV ad, which was unveiled on Monday, uses footage that shows migrants fleeing Morocco to the tiny Spanish enclave of Melilla in 2014.

The Mexican-U.S. border stretches more than 3,100 kilometers (1,950 miles), but only around a third is marked by high-security fencing.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best... They’re sending people that have lots of problems... Theyre bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people," he said in June.
 

(With AFP and Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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