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Pope To Trump: No Christian Would Demand Payment For A Border Wall

Pope Francis doubled down Wednesday on his prior criticism of President Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the southern U.S. border and “make Mexico pay for it.”

“In the social and civil context as well, I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges; to not respond to evil with evil; to defeat evil with good, the offense with forgiveness,” the pontiff told the crowd. “A Christian would never say ‘you will pay for that.’ Never. That is not a Christian gesture; an offense you overcome with forgiveness, to live in peace with everyone.”

The Associated Press reported that Francis addressed the controversial issue during his speech at the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, a nun who had escaped slavery in Sudan in the 1800s. The occasion also served as the pope’s Wednesday catechism.

Without mentioning Trump’s name, the pope closed his remarks by pointing out that Catholics consider Wednesday a time to think about children who are sold into slavery. Trump’s immigration policy also was appropriate to Bakhita’s feast day because Sudan was one of the seven predominantly Muslim countries the president targeted with his executive action temporarily banning immigration. The day following the Jan. 27 order, a federal judge issued a stay to temporarily block its enforcement. A U.S. Appeals Court is to rule on the matter, which could go to the Supreme Court.

The pope’s speech was not the only occasion when he has invoked the “bridge-not-walls” argument, according to the AP. The message has been a key part of his efforts to persuade countries to accept refugees and other immigrants. Francis visited the United States’ border with Mexico during the 2016 presidential race, in which Trump made the wall a major campaign promise. When a reporter asked the pope about the candidate’s proposal, he said it was “not Christian.”

On Wednesday, Francis also asked Catholics to pray for Muslims in Myanmar (formerly Burma). The AP reported that the country’s Buddhist majority oppresses the Islamic minority. “These are good people, peaceful people,” the pope said. “They’re not Christians, but they’re good; our brothers and sisters. And they have been suffering for years. They’ve been tortured and killed, simply because they are continuing their traditions, their Muslim faith. Let us pray for them.”

Source: RawStory
Photo: YouTube

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