PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Bill Donohue, the President of the Catholic League, attempted to downplay the dispute between presidential candidate Donald Trump and Pope Francis over whether Trump’s insistence on building a wall across the Mexican border would disqualify him from being a Christian and insisted the controversy was sparked by a biased question posed by a journalist.
Donahue, during an interview with Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, blamed a reporter from Reuters for intentionally creating the confusion that led to this dispute.
“I think the real guilty party here is neither the Pope nor Trump, it is Phil Pullella, who set up the Pope dishonestly. Let me be explicit, I’m not even sure the Pope ever even heard of Donald Trump quite frankly. So, what he says is there’s this guy, Donald Trump, who wants to take 11 million people and put them out and wants to build walls, he wants to separate families etc. Now once you phrase it that way, it is not a shock to think that the Pope would say if someone is only, and I stress the word only, if someone is only interested in building walls, then that person would not be Christian.”
He stated the neither the Pope nor the Church is wading into the political issue over illegal immigration into the United States.
“The Catholic Church has always said, including Francis, every nation has a right to maintain its own borders. No one has ever said anything different. The only controversial thing that this Pope has been saying is that, which is pretty much standard Catholic doctrine, if someone comes into another country, even illegally, we’re not saying you can’t deport them, but you must tend to that person’s needs. You can’t act like as if this is not a human being here. If that person was in need of medicinal care or something of that nature, you have a moral obligation to provide it.”