Readers are angry — many of them — about the most recent comments from Pope Francis.
The pontiff said recently that “building walls means condemning yourself to death” — he appeared to direct those comments at President Donald Trump.
Everyday readers who are patriotic and who support a strong country with strong borders are pushing back hard on that.
“Isn’t there a wall around the Vatican? Well, yes, there is!” wrote one person online about the pope.
“Mr. Pope, tear down that wall!” wrote another.
“If he actually said this, he needs to keep his socialist opinions to himself. Has he forgotten who he is?” wrote still another.
Yet another person wrote this: “I am a Catholic and I — 100 percent — do not agree with the pope. I understand about helping your neighbors, but I think the church uses the illegal [immigrants] to gain numbers in the church.”
This person went on to say, “Just as the Democrats don’t care about the illegals — they only want the numbers and votes. [They] offer them free stuff and [then they] have them.”
He or she also added, “The legal taxpayers pay for all these people … The Catholic church loses the youth in mid-high school, and they will not return (if they ever do) until they either want to get married or start having a family. So the Catholic Church relies on the illegals to increase the numbers in their church.”
Wrote another individual, “I have zero respect for this liberal person who should not weigh in on things that are none of his business!”
And another person wrote, “I really loved his humility when he began his papacy, but now with his naive and sometimes hypocritical statements, [Francis] has lost my admiration.”
“He is not on the right track,” another person commented. “[He’s] all surrounded and safe in the Vatican. Needs to think twice. Safety first for all America and the free world.”
“The pope should keep his nose out of politics,” said another commenter.
“I am a Christian and was elated when he became pope … now I am heartbroken,” said one other person.
The “pope pushback” continues at this moment.
To recap the story that set off many readers: Pope Francis, in early September, discussed political and religious issues with a group of Jesuits from Mozambique, Portugal, and Zimbabwe, as LifeZette, The Political Insider and other outlets recounted.
“The conversation occurred on September 5, but a transcript of the discussion was released” only recently, as Townhall.com pointed out.
“During the talk, Pope Francis warned of xenophobia and populism.”
“Xenophobia and aporophobia today are part of a populist mentality that leaves no sovereignty to the people. Xenophobia destroys the unity of a people, even that of the people of God,” the pope said, according to reports.
“And the people are all of us: those who were born in the same country, no matter whether they have their roots in another place or are of different ethnic groups.”
“Today we are tempted by a form of sterilized sociology, where you consider a country as if it were an operating theater, where everything is sterilized: my race, my family, my culture … as if there were the fear of dirtying it, staining it, infecting it,” he continued.
How does the pope explain the walls that surround the Vatican? Maybe he should tear down those walls.
“There are those who want to stop this very important process of mingling cultures, which gives life to people,” the faith leader went on.
“Mixing makes you grow. It gives you new life. It develops racial mixing, change and gives originality … The mixing of identities is what we have experienced, for example, in Latin America. There we have everything: Spanish and Indian, the missionary and the conqueror, the Spanish lineage, people’s mixed heritage.”
“Building walls means condemning yourself to death. We can’t live asphyxiated by a culture as clean and pure as an operating theater, aseptic and not microbial.”
“Xenophobia destroys the unity of a people, even that of the people of God,” he also said.
See this tweet — and share your thoughts on all of this.
After Mass on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis dedicated a dramatic statue in St. Peter's Square, by the Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz, well known for his "Homeless Jesus" sculpture. #WDMR2019https://t.co/7CHYcxn22A
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) September 29, 2019