Just to be clear, here's the full transcript of what Pope Francis was asked about Donald Trump's wall and how the pope responded. So much of the reporting has narrowly portrayed the full story.
Q: Good evening, Your Holiness. Today you spoke eloquently about the problems of migrants. On the other side of the frontier there's a very tough electoral campaign going on. One of the Republican candidates for the White House, Donald Trump, in a recent interview, said you are a
"political man" and that maybe you are a pawn of the Mexican government as far as immigration policy is concerned. He has said that if elected, he would build a 2,500-kilometer-long wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, thus separating families, etc. I would like to ask you, first off, what do you think of these accusations against you, and if an American Catholic can vote for someone like this.
A: 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. 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 has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.
There are a lot of "ifs" in there. Doesn't seem as clear-cut as it did at first? Think Pope Francis was speaking metaphorically? Think Trump had only heard part of the quote when he launched his vitriolic response?
Pat Hickey, in his blog, "...With Both Hands," has some wry and intelligent observations about this grapple.
Donald Trump tones down his criticism of the pope and blames the scuffle on the media.
Read why Americans need to learn about the nation's most ignored war.
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