Pope Francis attempted to enlighten Donald Trump after the latter openly questioned the Pontiff’s intentions and ridiculed his trip to Mexico. A Vatican spokesperson urged Trump and other presidential candidates to have “open hearts” about the currently raging immigration crisis.
Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, admonished GOP leading candidate Donald Trump about his thoughts whether or not Francis should be visiting Mexico. He dubbed Trump’s open condemnation of the Pope’s Mexico visit as “very strange,” and advised Trump could do well with a generous dose of “global perspective.” He further clarified that Pope Francis’ visit to the Central American country wasn’t politically motivated, and stressed that the Pontiff always talks about the migration problems around the world.
— Houston News (@abc13houston) February 13, 2016
Speaking to reporters in Mexico, where the pope celebrated mass on the U.S. border, Father Lombardi rejected Trump’s claims that the Pontiff was being “very political” by raising the issue about immigration while visiting the region.
“The Pope always talks about migration problems all around the world, of the duties we have to solve these problems in a humane manner, of hosting those who come from other countries in search of a life of dignity and peace.”
Reminding the assembled audience that Pope Francis has never shied away from talking about any immigration crisis, including the one that Europe is so acutely facing right now, Father Lombardi continued.
“Pope Francis has spoken frequently about migration in Europe. This is something that Trump would know if he came to Europe.”
It was quite apparent that Father Lombardi had directly rebuked Donald Trump on his words about Pope Francis and his trip to Mexico, reported Catholic Culture. The pope ended his six-day visit to Mexico with a mass that was attended by a huge crowd at Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. He even visited the local prison and a college, spreading his message of love, peace, and harmony.
However, Trump had launched his trademark verbal assault on the pope a few days prior, as well as during the Pontiff’s visit to Mexico. He expressed concern that the pope did not understand the danger America is facing with the open border with Mexico, reported the Guardian. Trump has been very vocal about his desire to seal the borders America shares with Mexico and, in his own words, “make Mexico pay for it.” Seldom has Trump chose not to rake up the issue of illegal immigration during his numerous public appearances, claiming it was he who has ensured the debate take center stage during the ongoing presidential race.
— Mary Murray (@MaryMurrayNBC) February 13, 2016
Calling the pope a “very political person,” Trump even suggested that the Mexican government was using pope Francis to further their political agenda and ensure the borders remained porous.
“I think Mexico got him to do it, because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they’re making a fortune and we’re losing.”
Immigration has always been a subject close to the pope’s heart. He has routinely insisted that the countries, to which the fleeing immigrants have turned to, should be more welcoming instead of sealing their borders. Those fleeing poverty, hunger, oppression, and persecution shouldn’t be turned away, he advised. The pope expressed his sorrow at the “globalization of indifference” toward refugees, reported Fox News.
— Pope Francis Quotes (@pope_francis_rc) February 18, 2016
Pope managed to stir a lot of debate when he urged the Congress not to be “fearful of foreigners” and reminded them that many are “descended from immigrants.” His message came right at the time when America was increasingly clamping down on families and unaccompanied minors trying to sneak through its borders.
Pope Francis chose to go to Mexico at the time when the campaign for immigration reforms appears to have lost all steam, and Republican candidates like Donald Trump vying to become the next president attempting to seal American borders, reported the New York Times.
[Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images]