Pope on Trump: A Person Who Builds Only Walls 'Is Not Christian'
The Donald
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2016 12:07 PM CST
In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 Pope Francis meets journalists aboard the plane during the flight from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to Rome, Italy.   (Alessandro Di Meo/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – The latest to tussle with Donald Trump: Pope Francis. When asked Thursday about the presidential contender while returning from a six-day visit to Mexico, he responded, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," reports the New York Times. That appears to refer to Trump's promise to build a border wall between Mexico and the US (and make Mexico pay for it). The pope wouldn't weigh in on whether Americans should vote for Trump, though: "I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that [about the wall]. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt." Trump responded quickly, notes Politico: "For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as president I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened."

Trump also noted that "If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’ ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all-talk, no-action politicians." He said Mexico must have been talking disparagingly about him and using the pope as a "pawn" because "they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them." He also responded at a South Carolina rally, and made sure to note that "I like the pope." In other news, during his news conference on the papal jet, Pope Francis also appeared to suggest Catholic women could use contraception if there is a concern of contracting the Zika virus, CNN reports. But abortion is still totally off the table in such a case, he said.
 

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