The Pontiff said he will form no opinion until he sees the policies America’s new president has formed.
When asked about his opinion about America’s new president, Donald Trump, Pope Francis said he would rather not form an opinion yet. Saying he has no right to judge anyone, the Pontiff said Trump should be given a chance and that opinion should be formed based on how he performs as president.
The Pope, however, is wary of Trump’s views. In the past, he had condemned Trump for his plans of building a wall across the US-Mexican border to stop Mexicans from entering the U.S. Pope Francis said a person who focuses only on building walls rather than bringing people together cannot be a Christian. In response, Trump called the Pope a pawn of the Mexican government and said it was very unbecoming of a religious leader to question the faith of a believer.
As per custom, the Pope sent Trump a personal message congratulating him upon his taking of the presidential office. The letter urged him to work for the poor and downcast during his tenure.
In an interview, Pope Francis spoke of his fears about the possibility of a nuclear war breaking out. He pointed out at the rise of populist movement in Europe, saying it was what had caused the two world wars. He took the example of how Germany put all their faith in one man, who eventually led the country to its destruction. The Pontiff warned that the problem of pinning all hope and faith on one single person is they can give the people a false self of identity, which would eventually lead to their own destruction. The Pope also expressed his concern about the emerging populist feelings in European countries such as Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
The Pope believes such populist movements are based on targeting peoples’ fears. He was possibly was trying to draw parallels to the entire Trump campaign, which portrayed the white American Christian as being a victim in America, which invariably led to him gaining popularity among white Christians, despite the many scandals which emerged against him.
— Kelly Getche (@kellyz713) January 24, 2017
In his letter to Trump, the Pope expressed his hopes that he would be guided by the “rich spiritual and ethical” values that shaped America and America’s commitment to the promotion of “human dignity and freedom” all over the world.