QUOTE TO NOTE: Pope Francis, Donald Trump, and Morality

Donald Trump and Pope Francis

In response to this past week’s “debate” between Pope Francis and Donald Trump on immigration, theologian Massimo Faggioli, a veteran Vatican-watcher, posted the following observation on his Facebook page  (February 18, 3:42 p.m.):

“For ‪#‎Francis‬ there is a moral difference between being gay (“Who am I to judge?”) and being xenophobic (“this is not Christian). Surprised?”

I would add to this sentiment that though I was happy to hear Pope Francis speak so forcefully about immigration on his apostolic journey to Mexico, his comment also highlighted the fact that he didn’t breathe a word about anti-LGBT laws on his apostolic journey to three African nations in November 2015.  Why would he feel morally empowered to wade into U.S. national politics but not do the same in Africa?  Why say that opposition to immigration is not Christian, but not say a word against laws which criminalize people because of sexual orientation or gender identity?

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


17 thoughts on “QUOTE TO NOTE: Pope Francis, Donald Trump, and Morality

  1. Susanne Cassidy February 20, 2016 / 7:52 am

    Amen to that! Many times silence speaks louder than words.

  2. paulaczech@comcast.net February 20, 2016 / 9:10 am

    Good question – I had not thought of that. I’ve got to pray over that…………… Paula

  3. Brian Kneeland February 20, 2016 / 9:43 am

    The comment “who am I to judge?” was about a gay priest – not any of the rest of us!

  4. spikecrain February 20, 2016 / 10:53 am

    To speak against Criminalization is not to speak for the LGBTQ Lifestyle. So I am both confused and disappointed that the Holy Father missed this opportunity, at least, to teach Tolerance – usually a Focal Point of his Message. I hope he will consider the import of his Silence, and speak out next time.

  5. Larry February 20, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    And looking back a bit to the Pope’s US trip, I see the dust up about Kim Davis in a new light in the context of Francis’ wading into US politics. Did the crafty Jesuit know exactly who she was and laud her knowing it would support the anti-marriage crowd and then he could have his office put out a later statement that it was all a mistake? The Pope is clearly against gay marriage as shown in other countries where he has lobbed a bomb at the appropriate time to weaken its support. It is too bad he does not see the dichotomy between a CIVIL right and a religious sacrament. Also he seems to be blind to the fact that his words or lack of them as in Africa translate into real damage including injury and death to gay people.

  6. 158may February 20, 2016 / 12:17 pm

    I think you are missing a “not” before “do” in the third line after the Faggioli quote .

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  7. Friends February 20, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    Frank, in your comment, I believe you meant to write, “…but NOT do the same in Africa?” The suggested corrected version literally describes Pope Francis’ refusal to critique the vicious legal oppression and repression of our GLBT people in many (if not most) African countries. To his credit, Francis recently affirmed the official Catholic doctrine of “the lesser of competing harms” — by allowing the use of non-abortive contraception in horrible social circumstances, where unprotected heterosexual intercourse would clearly result in the greater harm. But he seems completely oblivious to comparably contentious (and often life-threatening) situations which affect GLBT Catholics, especially in Africa and parts of Asia, where someone can be (informally) killed or (formally) sentenced to a long prison term, simply for having a lovingly-bonded same-sex partner. Strategic diplomacy is one thing — but conspicuously ignoring the outright atrocity of direct government oppression of our people is really something else again. We know that a Pope is not “Infallible” unless he’s speaking “Ex Cathedra” — which happens very rarely. But, with all due respect, Pope Francis owes faithful GLBT Catholics far more robust understanding and support than this.

  8. Edward Poliandro February 20, 2016 / 3:11 pm

    Excellent! Thank you, Frank.

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Vern Smith February 20, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    I would add to your on-point question, Frank, that the news media bears some responsibility too. With the immigration dust-up, the Pope was responding to a direct question from the media about the views of candidates. I am curious. Was he ever questioned so directly in relation to his Africa trip on the issue of gay criminalization? I am not sure and do not remember. But maybe if he was questioned more directly and bluntly on camera live by the media about lgbt issues, he would be “on the spot” and need to provide some sort of answer. As we have learned, some of his more impactful statements have occurred when he speaks off the cuff, unrehearsed, as a real human being. Media questioning and coverage plays a big role here . . . And more persistent and direct lgbt probes might get him to say something about issues we care about.

  10. ray February 21, 2016 / 9:22 pm

    I think the answer to your last question comes from the pope himself…..There are million causes in the world, this is not the only cause. He has spoken for people not to judge against gays and that is a huge movement forward….if you want daily comments from him that is not going to happen….He is going to adress the issues that apply to broader issues….migrants (mexico is just one amonng many countries with this issue) mercy, global warming, etc

    • Larry February 21, 2016 / 11:57 pm

      No we don’t want daily comments on the full inclusion of gay people but the Pope’s complete failure to address his own Church’s hateful and violence-provoking comments within his own ranks especially on his trip to Africa indicates he draws the line on his broader issue of mercy when it comes to gay people. Since the Roman Church and especially the last two Pope’s actively endorse attempts to demean (“intrinsically disordered”) and to marginalize the LGBT community both religiously and civilly then it would be nice if Francis clearly and unequivocally spoke against that and disciplined the clergy who support such actions before he moves on to the other 999,999 issues.

      • ray February 24, 2016 / 12:45 am

        We could fill a book with all the human ills he has not addressed . Your tone about the pope is equally demeaning , if we have any hope to move forward it will be by love….and if you haven’t noticed, he is trying pretty hard to love a hate filled and divided world. peace out

      • Larry February 24, 2016 / 6:09 pm

        Perhaps my tone was dictated by your seeming suggestion that the LGBT community should be happy with “Who am I to judge?” and that be the end of it since this is only one issue in a million that the Pope should deal with. This smacks of the usual idea that gay folks should just sit in the back of the church and be quiet with any crumbs the hierarchy throws at them. But when we wait, the church never seems to get around to full inclusion.

        Has the RC Church called you or your children “inherently disordered” just for being as God made them? If not, then you do not know the true pain that the church can inflict. Where is the Pope’s mercy here?

        I am very grateful for the change in tone that Pope Francis has inaugurated and especially hopeful for the world when I see him dealing forcefully with the large issues of income inequality, the environment and immigration but I do not give him a pass on LGBT rights for these efforts. What I am looking for is positive action on this issue and the Pope seems to be going in the opposite direction with his silence on the violence in Africa (which puts his imprimatur on anti-gay violence in other places) and his timed statements meant to adversely influence civil gay marriage rights in some countries. So is it true mercy only for some?

      • Brian Kneeland February 25, 2016 / 6:27 am

        Who am I to judge was about a gay priest – it was not about the LGBT lay persons! he needs to take a stand against abuses throughout the world! Instead he allows injustice to continue!

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