Pope Francis, in widely reported remarks delivered just three days before America heads to the polls to pick the next president, seemed to take a potshot at Donald Trump – without using names – with a sharp rebuke to those who would support candidates and policies that called for walls, not bridges.
He said, from America Magazine:
“‘Because fear, as well as being a good deal for the merchants of arms and death, weakens and destabilizes us, destroys our psychological and spiritual defenses, numbs us to the suffering of others,’ he said. ‘In the end, it makes us cruel.’”
He didn’t use names, but the content of his speech played up themes that have played on the American political scene for weeks now, as Hillary Clinton and Trump duke it out for the high White House office.
And the pope’s views seemed to fall on the side of pro-Clinton policies.
Again, from America Magazine:
“For example, the pope reiterated his plea for nations to respond more generously to the global refugee crisis, which he blamed on ‘an unjust socio-economic system and wars.’
“He pointed specifically to the hundreds of thousands of people who have died in the Mediterranean Sea seeking entry into Europe in recent years and, he said, ‘no one should be forced to flee their homeland.’ …
“On the issue of migration more generally, Francis devoted several minutes of the speech to condemning ‘physical and social walls’ that ‘close in some and exclude others.’”
Not only as Trump spoken numerous times of the need to build walls on America’s southern borders, while Clinton has embraced the idea of more refugees, more illegals and fewer border controls – a dead giveaway about which candidate the pope denounces. But the remarks strike at what some perceive as the hypocrisy of the Vatican on immigration.
The walls surrounding Vatican City, where the pope himself lives, are among some of the most impenetrable in the world.
The walls surrounding Vatican City are among some of the world’s most impenetrable.
Not convince the pope was entering the political realm and talking about Trump versus Clinton? Others aren’t so timid to draw the conclusion.
As GQ reported in this headline: “Even the Pope is Coming at Donald Trump Now.”
And the magazine went on:
“The Twitter timeline of Pope Francis is exactly what you would expect: a delightful medley of prayers, blessings, and occasional charming pop culture references. This weekend, though, His Holiness showed that he has mastered the art of the subtweet, too. Although he did not name Donald Trump in a prepared address the Pope delivered on Saturday, he did offer a stern warning to a particular type of person who might consider seeking elected office:
“‘Anyone who is too attached to material things or the mirror, who likes money, lush banquets, sumptuous mansions, refined suits, luxury cars, I would advise you to look at what is happening in your heart and pray for God to release you from those bonds.’
“The only thing missing from this riff is Pope Francis staring directly into the camera and saying something like ‘Also, I mean this big league.’ In the same speech, he called for countries to show more compassion for refugees fleeing Syria and elsewhere, a subject on which Catholic officials have previously stood up to, among others, Trump’s vice presidential candidate. And just for good measure, Pope Francis sharply criticized would-be leaders who want to construct ‘physical and social walls’—hey, does that ring any bells?—that ‘close in some and exclude others.’ I understand that the Pope is a staid, reserved religious leader who is nearly 80 years old, but still, it’s fun to imagine him bellowing this mic drop-worthy line in Christian Bale’s Batman voice: ‘Brothers and sisters, all walls fall. All of them. Do not be fooled.’
“Normally, I would eagerly await the inevitable unhinged tweetstorm of a response, but Donald Trump’s handlers have succeeded in wresting control of the world’s most famous extremely rude Twitter account for the election’s final days, so it looks like Trump takes the L on this one. I have a feeling that it’s the first of several to come this week.”