Pope Francis recently ended a tour of Mexico at El Paso, Texas, where he offered blessings before boarding the papal plane back to Rome. During the return flight, the pontiff was asked about Donald Trump’s idea of building a wall to keep out immigrants.
Pope Francis retorted sharply that if Trump was constructing walls where he should be placing bridges, he was not a true Christian. While Trump quickly responded by saying it was not the pope’s job to decide who is Christian or not, the retort quickly made waves across social media with many siding with Pope Francis.
The pontiff’s pointed remark was a defense against Trump’s accusations that he was becoming too political. The pope laughed this off, and said it was up to the people to decide whether or not he is a political pawn.
Trump’s statement to the pope is especially abrasive in light of his negative campaign message regarding the blocking of immigration from Latin America and Syria. Trump said the drug wars south of the border are the fault of the United States, and the resulting exodus of people from Mexico and Central America is the root of the country’s problems. Despite his uncharitable approach to campaigning, Trump has remained popular with religious conservatives.