Sometimes You Just Have To

Sometimes You Just Have To February 18, 2016

Pope Francis got a lot of attention in the press for uttering the controversial line about homosexuality, “who I am to judge?”

But even the merciful Bishop of Rome during the Year of Mercy has to register his disapproval of Donald Trump (than bandwagon sure is filling up). Rod Dreher linked to the story:

Inserting himself into the Republican presidential race, Pope Francis on Wednesday suggested that Donald J. 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. . . .

Asked whether he would try to influence Catholics in how they vote in the presidential election, Francis said he “was not going to get involved in that” but then repeated his criticism of Mr. Trump, with a caveat.

“I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that,” Francis said. “We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”

Was such a judgment harsh? Apparently so since the writers for Crux (of the Boston Globe) failed to include Pope Francis’ comments in their stories. In one story the criticism of Trump came from a Vatican official:

A Vatican spokesman took on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump Tuesday night, calling Trump’s criticism of Pope Francis over his pro-immigrant stance “very strange” and suggesting Trump could use a dose of global perspective.

Speaking during the pontiff’s Feb. 12-17 trip to Mexico, and just before the pope was scheduled to say Mass at the US/Mexico border, the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters the pope’s concern for the human dignity of migrants and refugees is universal.

“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,” Lombardi said.

In another, veteran Vatican reporter, John Allen, also overlooked Pope Francis’ words:

At the same time, Trump, a Presbyterian, found himself in an indirect spat with the Vatican over Pope Francis’ stop on Wednesday at the US/Mexico border, where, standing just yards away in Mexico, the pontiff blessed a group of several hundred people, including undocumented immigrants, on the US side.

In the run-up to that event, Trump suggested that Francis wasn’t well informed about the problems illegal immigration poses for the United States, and that he was being exploited by Mexico to serve its own agenda.

Looks like the reporters for Crux, who work for the paper that broke the priest sex abuse scandal, are trying to be less judgmental of the pope than Francis was of Trump.

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