The latest target of angry comments from Donald Trump appears to have caught even veteran Trump watchers by surprise. The GOP front-runner lashed out at Pope Francis after the pontiff suggested that Trump is “not a Christian.”
The U.K. publication The Guardian reports that Trump called the pope “disgraceful” in a quick rebuke to the pope’s comments. CNN reports that Pope Francis got the conversation started today when he challenged Trump’s Christianity due to the candidate’s focus on deportation of undocumented immigrants and on building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
CNN quotes the pope saying: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.” He was responding to journalists who sought his opinion on Trump’s immigration proposals.
Trump quickly answered the pope’s comments, saying during a campaign rally today in South Carolina: “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”
He added: “No leader, especially a religious leader, has the right to question another man’s religion or faith.” He also accused the Mexican government of using the pope as a pawn, according to The Guardian.
The report adds: “In a press release timed to coincide with his rally, Trump suggested that the leader of the Catholic Church would regret not supporting his candidacy.”
The Guardian quotes the Trump release saying: “If and when the Vatican is attacked by Isis, which as everyone knows is Isis’s ultimate trophy, the pope can have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened.”