Pushing Mexico to Pay for Border Wall Is ‘Not Christian’, Says Pope

Pope Francis looks on during a general audience at the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican on February 8, 2017
Vatican City

Once again, Pope Francis appears to be criticizing President Donald Trump and his plans to build a wall on the country’s southern border. While not naming Trump directly, the pontiff called for building bridges and not walls, adding that it was not Christian to ask someone else to pay for it.

The statements b Pope Francis were made during his weekly general audience where he called for Christians to build bridges instead of raising walls and to overcome evil with good, The Guardian reported.

“A Christian can never say: ‘I’ll make you pay for that.’ Never! That is not a Christian gesture. An offense is overcome with forgiveness, by living in peace with everyone,” the Pope said.

While Trump is not directly named in the statements, the comments can be seen as hinting at the famed construction of the border wall with Mexico and the ongoing fight about Mexico paying for it.

As Breitbart Texas reported, since taking office, Trump has been dealing with diplomatic tensions from his Mexican counterpart over the wall, trade, and the out of control cartel violence. President Enrique Peña Nieto had initially cancelled a trip to the White House after Trump doubled down on his statements that Mexico would be paying for the wall. Since then, the two presidents have agreed to work together and not publicly discuss who would be footing the bill. Most recently, top Mexican cabinet officials met with the heads of the Departments of State and Homeland Security to continue to bilateral talks, Breitbart Texas reported.

In February 2016, various news outlets reported that Pope Francis had stated that Trump was not a Christian over his desire to build a border wall. At the time, Trump denounced the statements and their apparent effort to influence the election. According to the Daily Mail, the Pope’s spokesman then walked back the statements, claiming that it was not a personal attack but the Pope was simply referring to his beliefs about helping immigrants and building bridges instead of walls. At the time, the Pope’s spokesman said that the pontiff had spoken only based on what he had been told about Trump.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.