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What the Pope said about Donald Trump...in Italian



During his flight from Mexico to Italy, Pope Francis was asked by a reporter about Donald Trump and his repeated call to build a wall dividing the United States and Mexico. What’s been reported is that the Pope suggests Trump is not a Christian. What was said may have been lost in translation. “Anyone anywhere who wants to build walls isn’t Christian.” That’s Father Robert Sirico, President of Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. I asked him about the Republican presidential candidate saying its “disgraceful” for the Pope to question a person’s faith. “He doesn’t say isn’t a Christian. What he’s saying is this isn’t a general Christian impulse to push people away. General Christian impulse is to build bridges. That’s what he says in the give and take.” Father Sirico has read the Pope’s comments in Italian. “And the Italian comes across much softer then the way it comes across both in the translation, but most especially in the way the news reports recounted it, and then the way Trump played it. We have to keep in mind that the Vatican now has said the Pope was not referring to a specific individual, not making any judgment of a person’s salvation so that’s the truth of the matter.” Father Sirico adds Pope Francis speaks from the cuff and sometimes he doesn’t communicate precisely what he wants to say. “You have what seems to be an unprecedented incident of a Pope entering into a local political battle, local from the universal perspective, and I don’t think that’s at all what he wanted to do. And I should also say that at the end of the Pope’s remarks on the plane which were not reported in English is he said, ‘I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.’” In the Italian translation Father Sirico explains it comes across less political than it does in the English translation and interpretation. Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.