It all started when Pope Francis waded into American politics saying that Donald Trump “is not Christian” because of the harshness of his campaign promises to deport more immigrants and force Mexico to pay for a wall along the border.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said when a reporter asked him about Mr. Trump on the papal airliner as he returned to Rome after his six-day visit to Mexico.
Trust Donald Trump to respond immediately. While at a campaign rally in Kiawah Island, S.C. he said: “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”
“No leader, especially a religious leader, has the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” he told a packed room at a golf course resort. Trump then accused the Mexican government of “using the pope as a pawn”.
“They should be ashamed of themselves, especially when so many lives are involved and illegal immigration is rampant and bad for the United States.”
In a press release timed to coincide with his rally, Trump suggested that the leader of the Catholic church would regret not supporting his candidacy.“If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy,” Trump said, “the pope can have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened.
Mr. Trump is a Presbyterian and has been trying to make inroads among evangelical voters as he seeks to win the coming set of Southern primaries.
Asked about the comments, Francis laughed. “Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politicus,’ ” he said.
“So at least I am a human person,” the pope said. “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.”