"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.
Trump immediately fired back on Thursday, calling Francis` comments `disgraceful.`"
I have written dozens of articles praising Pope Francis for his humility, compassion and wisdom, and I`ve penned dozens of essays condemning Donald Trump for his ego, racism and tomfoolery, but today I feel compelled to defend Trump from the pope`s disgraceful comments.
The pontiff is being disingenuous, he claims that he`s not advising American Catholics how to vote, but by interjecting himself in the American political process by questioning Trump`s Christianity he`s influencing the American Catholic electorate.
Only the Almighty knows the heart of a person, and only He knows the legitimacy of anyone`s profession of faith. When a politician makes a big deal of his faith, then he can hardly complain if his critics condemn his actions or statements as "unchristian" or "hypocritical." But Trump doesn`t wear his religion on his sleeve, and nobody be it a pundit, a fellow politician or even the pope should question his faith.
Why is the pope singling out Trump for his supposedly unchristian stand on immigration, what about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders pro-choice and pro some sex marriage stand? In Catholic theology aren`t abortion and homosexuality the greatest sins in the world?
Politics is the playground of scoundrels, and by interfering in the American presidential election the pope is only managing to besmirch himself and to embolden Trump`s supporters. I live in the South, and believe me that evangelicals don`t give a flying fig about the pope`s views on any subject.
The fact that the pope picked a fight with Trump will have a negligible effect in the South, and only a modest effect in the more Catholic northeastern states.
The pope`s comments would carry more weight if the Vatican wasn`t completely encircled by a wall, with all due respect Pope Francis should stay the hell out of American politics.