HAS A CATHOLIC POPE EVER tried a direct, confrontational role in a U.S. presidential election?
Certainly American Catholic priests have tried to influence elections - just as have American Protestant and Jewish religious leaders, but the Pope of Rome? I don't think Pope John Paul VI either endorsed JFK nor denigrated his opponents.
But the popular pope, Pope Francis, said candidate Donald Trump is "not a Christian" for Trump's position on building a wall between Mexico and the U.S.
Photo from the New York Times web site. Click on image to enlarge
IF BEING A "CHRISTIAN" is the criteria to be president of the U.S. there have been several presidents - most notably Thom. Jefferson - who were not suitable for the office. Democrat Bernie Sanders, an admitted Socialist, certainly is not qualified; candidate Sanders is Jewish, albeit apparently non-observant and not publicizing the fact.
Certainly being a "Christian" - at least as defined by Pope Francis - should not be an endorsement; consider the "Christian" presidents who have failed this country and the "Christian" candidates who have violated federal laws with impunity.
If the Mexicans who illegally cross the border to find employment had decent wages in Mexico, they would stay in Mexico with their families. Why come to a country where the language is strange and many people consider you "beneath" them. A country that is more non-Catholic than the Catholic religion most Mexicans claim.
Rather than have the U.S. spend millions to build a wall to keep out both poor Mexicans looking for better paying work AND Mexican drug and gun runners, let the pope free up some of the Vatican gold - much of it stolen, including Mexican gold - to fund profit-making enterprises in Mexico (and elsewhere in Latin America).
The pope also could stop encouraging Catholics to have children they cannot support, or, alternatively, the Church could finance families with many children, not just in Mexico but throughout the world.
THAT would be the "Christian" thing to do.
So maybe Pope Francis is not behaving as a "Christian" should behave. Certainly sitting on Rome's money bags while people risk their lives to enter a county illegally to avoid abject poverty is not what Jesus allegedly preached.
Christianity is NOT synonymous with being an American. No religion, no matter the demographics, is synonymous with being an American.
Pope Francis is well advised to carefully consider is remarks; as the old saw goes: "Engage brain before putting mouth into motion."
Finally, Pope Francis should have been informed that the wall is NOT candidate Trump's idea, that a large portion of the (largely ineffectual) fence already was in place long before Trump announced his candidacy, and that the current alternative to a wall often is death at the hands of Mexican smugglers paid exorbitant fees to move the poor across the border.
According to the United States Border Patrol, 1,954 people died crossing the U.S–Mexico border between the years 1998-2004. In the fiscal year ending September 29, 2004, 460 migrants died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2005, more than 500 died across the entire U.S.-Mexico border. The number of yearly border crossing deaths has doubled since 1995. In 2009, 417 deaths were reported across the border. Yet the statistics cited by scholars and the media are only the number of known deaths and do not include those who have never been found, underestimating the actual number of migrants that have died attempting unauthorized border crossings.
Additional Pope vs. Trump sources
Additional migrant death sources