The pope's strong dismissal of Trump was in response to measures Trump has proposed on the campaign trail, including building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S.
Trump on Pope's remarks: "I'm a very good Christian...he's questioning my faith and I was very surprised to see it." https://t.co/Nr74xS7NTg— ABC News (@ABC) February 18, 2016
When asked by a reporter, "Can a good Catholic vote for this man?" Francis responded by saying, "Thank God he said I was a politician, because Aristotle defined the human person as 'animal politicus.' So at least I am a human person. 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."
He continued: "And then, 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. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt."
The pope made these remarks before he concluded his visit to Mexico, which included a public Mass at the U.S.-Mexico border. Tens of thousands of people from both countries gathered for Mass.
Even before the pope's comments were released today, Trump had already taken issue with the pope's trip to Mexico, arguing that the pontiff was playing politics.
In an interview with Fox Business, Trump called Pope Francis "a very political person."
"I don't think he understands the danger of the open border we have with Mexico," Trump said.
During his candidacy announcement, Trump said Mexican immigrants are "bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
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