On his trip to Mexico in February 2016, Pope Francis said, “A person who thinks only about building walls … and not building bridges, is not Christian.” Donald Trump said the pope was disgraceful for questioning his faith. He also said the pope would be sorry for not supporting him if Francis were to get attacked by ISIS. Trump insisted he would be the one to prevent such an attack if he were president
The much awaited meeting between Pope Francis and Donald Trump has now taken place. They have now met face to face.
Some may have wondered why Pope Francis would even agree to meet with the president. For Trump of course, there was the photo op of a warm embrace with an important religious figure, which did, in fact, happen. For Francis, it is in his nature and position to grant an audience to anyone like the president who requests it. For Francis, Trump is a person worthy of dignity and respect, someone who is valued as a child of God, as are all of us.
We of course know how far apart these two individuals are on so many issues. At the top of Francis’ priority list is caring for the poor. Also, Francis is concerned about how we treat strangers in our midst. Fairness and compassion need to be extended to immigrants looking for a better life for their families. The need for health care for all people and for protecting the environment are also high on the pope’s agenda. [More]