GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump pounced on Pope Francis’ remark that Trump’s plan, if he becomes president, to build a wall along the U.S.–Mexican border is “not Christian.”
While speaking with supporters in Kiawah Island on Thursday, Trump said the Pope received bad information from Mexican government officials during the recent papal visit to the country.
In a conversation on his flight home from a visit to Mexico, Francis told reporters: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” However, the Pope emphasized he was relying on reporter’s accounts of Trump’s words and added. “We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”
Trump was not happy the pope had weighed in, however.
“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I’m proud to be a Christian. And as President I will not allow Christianity to be constantly attacked and weakened. Unlike what is happening now with our current president,” Trump said.
“The pope is being told that Donald Trump is not a nice person. Okay. Donald Trump is a very nice person and I am a very nice person. And I am a very good Christian,” he added.
South Carolina has a small, but growing, Catholic population — including many of Hispanic descent—comprising about nine percent of the state’s Christians.