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Pope’s comment on Trump not a personal attack, says Vatican

world Updated: Feb 19, 2016 21:54 IST
Pope Francis

Pope Francis assailed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's views on Us immigration as "not Christian" on Thursday.(Reuters Photo)

Pope Francis’s suggestion that Donald Trump was “not Christian” because of his views on immigration was not a personal attack on the US Republican presidential candidate, Vatican spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi said on Friday.

Lombardi told Vatican Radio the Pope’s comments, made to reporters during a flight back from Mexico in response to a specific question on Trump, were simply an affirmation of his long-standing belief that migrants should be helped rather than blocked behind walls.

“In no way was this a personal attack, nor an indication of how to vote,” Lombardi said.

Trump, the longtime Republican party front-runner in opinion polls, dismissed the Pope as “disgraceful” for questioning his faith. He said that if elected president in November, he would build a wall along the US-Mexican border to keep out immigrants who enter illegally.

Lombardi said the Pope believed people “should build bridges, not walls”.

He added: “This is his general view, which is very consistent with courageously following the indications of the gospel on offering welcome and solidarity.”