Head Of Right-Wing Catholic Group Tries To Defend Both Pope And Trump

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February 18, 2016 4:28 p.m.

The head of a right-wing Catholic group tried to defend both Pope Francis and Donald Trump on Thursday, casting blame for the tiff on the media’s reporting of the incident.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said the Pope was “set up” when he was asked about Trump’s immigration policy, which focuses on building a wall at the U.S. border with Mexico.

“Quite frankly, the Pope was set up by the reporter,” Donohue said in an interview on MSNBC. “What the Pope said is this, he said, ‘if and only if somebody is in favor of just borders.’ If you take a look at Trump’s positions, he’s not just about borders. He talks about other kinds of principles such as serving your own citizens and the like which is not reported.”

Donohue contended the Bishop of Rome was “very conditional in his response,” and said “most of the media have been unfair to what the Pope said and therefore unfair even to Trump.”

In video of Francis’ response, translated by the Los Angeles Times, he begins with a direct reference to Trump calling him “political” and “a pawn” for visiting the border during his visit to Mexico.

“Well, thank God he said I am a political man because at the end of the day a human being is a political animal, at least I am a human being. And that I am a pawn? Well, maybe, I will leave that up to your judgment,” Francis told reporters on the palpal airplane.

The Pope continued: “a person who only thinks about making walls again and again and not making bridges, is not a Christian.”

Donohue also took issue with the reporter’s follow up question about whether Catholics should elect such a candidate.

“Now some in the media want the Pope to tell us like to line up single file and who to vote for. The bias is on Left against trump and the bias is on the Right against those people,” Donohue said.

Francis said he didn’t want to get “mixed up” in advising Catholics how to vote, but said, “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”

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