Pope Francis has said that anyone who wants to build a wall along the US-Mexican border is not Christian, when questioned about US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s views on immigration.
Mr Trump has promised to build a wall from Texas to California and expel 11m people who are in the US illegally if elected president.
He claimed a religious leader questioning a person’s faith is “disgraceful” and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church “only heard one side of the story”.
The Pope’s comments on his way home from Mexico came hours after he prayed at the border for people who died trying to reach the US.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said. “This is not in the Gospel.”
Not having heard Mr Trump’s border plans independently, Francis said he would “give him the benefit of the doubt”, but added: “I’d just say that this man is not Christian if he said it this way.”
Mr Trump responded: “If and when the Vatican is attacked by Isis, which as everyone knows is Isis’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president.
“No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith.”
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