WASHINGTON (AP) — Asked about Donald Trump’s views on immigration, Pope Francis says anyone who wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border isn’t Christian.
Trump has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border from Texas to California and expel 11 million people who are in the country illegally if elected president. The Pope’s comments en route home from Mexico came hours after he prayed at the Mexico-U.S. border for migrants who died trying to reach the United States.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said. “This is not in the Gospel.”
Not having heard Trump’s border plans independently, Francis said he’d “give him the benefit of the doubt.” But he added:
“I’d just say that this man is not Christian if he said it this way,” Francis said.
Trump replied to the Pope during a campaign stop in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. He says, “If and when the Vatican is attacked by 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 went on to say, “for religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”
“No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” Trump says.