Bridges or Walls


“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said when a reporter asked him about Mr. Trump on the papal airliner as he returned to Rome after his six-day visit to Mexico.”
The preceding quote was copied from an article from the New York Times. (Is it appropriate to refer to Pope Francis without his title, or is that meant to belittle his status? I don’t know.) I am not Catholic. I am not a Pope Francis apologist. I DO appreciate very many things about Pope Francis. My opinion is that Pope Francis speaks from a mindset of Jesus and in the vein of the New Testament frame of the recorded sayings of Jesus.
Jesus often responded in parable form when He was asked a question intended to lead into controversy. Pope Francis – as quoted – did not say “Mr. Donald Trump is not Christian”. He is quoted as speaking a New Testament inspired ( at least to me) teaching that Christians should seek to build bridges to our brothers and sisters instead of walls.
I had a two-hour drive this morning and listened to NPR and BBC radio. BOTH had commentators opining that Pope Francis should not have inserted himself into American Politics. Did Pope Francis step over the line? Did he , instead, speak as a Christian leader espousing Christian principles? When did it become a sin to insert Christian morality and ethics into the public arena? Should we not take our most basic Christian ethics and teachings into account when forming our beliefs and political preferences? I AM NOT referring to opinions based on conservative or liberal interpretations of the bible. I AM referring to basic Christian principles based on the New Testament direct quotes from the mouth of Jesus.
Public Media and Mr Trump immediately jumped on this as a direct attack. Isn’t that what people do when confronted with general statements that they take personally? Isn’t this what I DO when confronted with a difficult truth that forces me to confront my own statements with the reality of Jesus?
I do not have all of the facts. I do not claim to know the exact context of Pope Francis statements. I do see the Pope as a leader of Christian – True Christian – values, as seen through the lens of Catholicism, Franciscan teaching, and a deep spirituality. When did that become antithesis to American Politics?