The Pope, the Donald, and the Wall
“The rhetoric from Trump’s team is misinformation.”
Photos via (cc) Flickr users Michael Vador and Hello World Media
“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” —Anne Lamott
According to CBS News, at a news conference yesterday, Pope Francis was asked whether American Catholics should vote for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The pope responded by rebuking the Donald’s campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. “A person who only thinks about building walls,” Pope Francis said, “wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
In predictable Trump fashion, the candidate struck back, saying, “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS … the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened.” He then made a wild, unfounded accusation that the pope was a tool of the Mexican government. “They are using the pope as a pawn, and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.”
Later, a Trump senior adviser accused the pope of being hypocritical because Vatican City is surrounded by walls. This point was picked up by news outlets including Fox News and TMZ.
Today, The New York Times pointed out that Trump’s Vatican City map points to places where walls do not exist. “The rhetoric from Trump’s team is misinformation, and it is not true,” Gerard Mannion, a professor of Catholic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington told the Times. “It isn’t all surrounded by walls, and it’s not like you need a separate visa or a passport to enter,” he said. “Anybody can walk into St. Peter’s Square—that’s the whole point of it,” Mannion added. “It was designed to be welcoming and to draw people in like two open arms, to draw them into the heart of the church.”