Social media platforms are still abuzz with reactions to Pope Francis’ recent comments on Donald Trump’s immigration reform policies. Users of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have had a field day discussing the appropriateness of both the Pope’s comments and Trump’s reactions.
The Pope just wrapped up a six-day visit in Mexico during which he visited the boarder city of Ciudad Juárez. Francis held mass in the city in front of a large crowd and also paid his respects at the Rio Grande, a gesture of remembrance to those who lost their lives attempting to enter the United States.
When asked about Trump during a news conference on the flight back to Rome, Pope Francis questioned the morality of Trump’s immigration plans.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the pope said. “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”
Trump was quick to respond to the pope’s comments while on the recruiting trail in South Carolina, which will hold its primary elections on Saturday.
“It’s unbelievable and really not a nice thing to say,” Trump said. “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”
“If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows it ISIS’ ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president,” he continued.
The war of words between Pope Francis and Trump has been taken up by others online.
The Pope just said Donald Trump "is not Christian" over his Mexico wall plans. Prepare yourselves for social media armageddon.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 18, 2016
Trump’s Director of Social Media and Senior Adviser Dan Scavino was one of the first to respond via social media.
Amazing comments from the Pope- considering Vatican City is 100% surrounded by massive walls. pic.twitter.com/g3iVLDVGe5
— Dan Scavino??? (@DanScavino) February 18, 2016
Others quickly expressed their own opinions.
if trump is building a wall i want to be on the other side of it #hola
— niver⛔️ (@tniver) February 10, 2016
Has anybody considered building a wall around Trump?
— Pascal BeltrandelRio (@beltrandelrio) February 19, 2016
Trump’s immigration reform plan calls for Mexico to help pay for a portion of the proposed wall’s construction, or pay for it entirely.
“In short, the Mexican government has taken the United States to the cleaners,” reads the immigration platform on Trump’s campaign website. “They are responsible for this problem, and they must help pay to clean it up.”
Some have commented that the Pope’s statement on Trump’s plan to build a wall is hypocritical. Vatican City has some of the most strict citizenship requirements and immigration policies of any nation.
A 2012 study by the Library of Congress says the Vatican has a population of around 800 people, with only 450 of those residents having actual citizenship. Cardinals, diplomats, residents by reason of office or service and those with special papal authorization are the only people eligible for citizenship.
Vatican City allows virtually no immigration. The Pope is an imbecile. pic.twitter.com/XzwJute7dU
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) February 18, 2016
The Pope’s comments not only have implications for Trump, but also for other candidates who support a similar immigration curtail. Though the Pope wishes to stay away from current politics, his words have certainly left a lasting impact.