January 27 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

4-CNS-TRUMP-INTERFAITH

Pope will ‘wait and see’ before judging Trump

By Amanda Connelly

POPE Francis congratulated the new President of the United States, Donald Trump, as he assumed office on January 20, but also issued a warning against the rise of populism.

As President Trump was sworn in, the Pope spoke to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, and made comments in regard to today’s political climate.

When asked about the new president in the interview, he replied that he planned to ‘wait and see.’

“I don’t like to get ahead of myself nor judge people prematurely,” the Pope said.

“We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion. But being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite unwise.

“It would be like prophets predicting calamities or windfalls that will not be either.

“We will see. We will see what he does and will judge. Always on the specific. Christianity either is specific or it is not Christianity.”

The Pope did, however, congratulate President Trump in a letter addressed to the Vatican, offering his ‘cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.’

His letter also stated his wish that Trump keep in mind the world’s most vulnerable people, as well as America’s history and values.

“At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding far-sighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide,” he said.

Mr Trump’s controversial comments during his campaign caused uproar when he stated he planned to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the United States, plans that Pope Francis appeared to question at the time by saying someone who builds walls instead of bridges is ‘not Christian.’

The Pope returned to the idea of shutting others out, criticising leaders who defend countries and national identity with walls and barbed wire when asked about xenophobia and hatred of foreigners seen as a result of immigration crises.

He said in times of crisis, many people thought: “Let’s look for a saviour who gives us back our identity.”

Nations had a right and duty to control their borders, especially under the threat of terrorism, but ‘no country has the right to deprive its citizens of the possibility of talking with their neighbours.’

 

—This story ran in full in the January 27 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

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