Pope Francis criticized President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, calling the border separations “immoral” and “contrary to our Catholic values,” according to a Wednesday Reuters report.
“It’s not easy, but populism is not the solution,” he said of immigration. He added that he sided with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about Trump’s policy, a leading body of church leaders which sent out a missive condemning the zero-tolerance practice for putting battered women at risk and rending families asunder.
Pope Francis had the same message for Trumpian sentiment washing over Europe and ushering in an era of nationalism and isolationism. He told Reuters that populists were “creating psychosis” on the topic of immigration and that much of Europe is in “a great demographic winter” desperately in need of more immigrants. Without them, the continent “will become empty,” he added.
“I believe that you cannot reject people who arrive,” he told Reuters. “Some governments are working on it, and people have to be settled in the best possible way, but creating psychosis is not the cure. Populism does not resolve things. What resolves things is acceptance, study, prudence.”
Pope Francis took issue with other Trump administration moves as well. He told Reuters that he was saddened by Trump’s move to restrict Americans’ access to Cuba, saying that former President Barack Obama’s opening of the island “was a good step forward.” He also said that Trump’s pulling out of the Paris Agreement caused him “a bit of pain” because “the future of humanity is at stake.”