General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Regarding Pope Francis' recent visit to Mexico and the resulting flaps regarding Catholic contraception and Donald Trump, can you cite exact quotes of the questions the Pope was asked as well as the answers he gave?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) February 18th, 2016

Does ‘avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil,’ translate into a reversal of the long standing ban on contraceptives by the Catholic Church?

‘I’d just say that this man is not Christian if he said it in this way,’ Francis told reporters in a mid-flight press conference after a trip to Mexico. was the response, but what was the question, exactly?
“This man” “if he said it this way” is hardly a scathing rebuke of Donald Trump.
(Typically, Trump immediately attacked the Pope, but that’s a hairpiece of a different color.)

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21 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

This is the closest I could get for you regarding Trump. See this article.

I googled in Spanish, and so I would guess this is actually the direct quote:

Una persona que sólo piensa en la construcción de muros, dondequiera que se encuentren, y no en la construcción de puentes, no es cristiano”, dijo Francisco. “Eso no está en el Evangelio”.

That would be better translated as: a person who only thinks about putting up walls and not constructing bridges is not a Christian. That is not evangelism.

The Pope also continued to say that Trump should be given the benefit of the doubt as you see in the English article I linked, so this to me means The Pope hasn’t been following American politics closely, especially not American, in English, broadcasting.

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ibstubro's avatar

Thanks! @JLeslie
That’s exactly what I was looking for. Knowing Breitbart is a questionable source, here are quotes in the Pope’s words only:

”“And what you asked about whether I would advise you to vote for him or not, that’s none of my business,” Francis said. “I would only say: if he said these things, this man is no Christian. But we’d have to see whether he said these things. And in this matter, I would give him the benefit of the doubt.””
”“a person who only thinks of building walls, wherever he is, and not about building bridges, is no Christian. This is not in the gospel.””

So the Pope was not actually talking about Trump, but responding to a reporter’s question on the plane.

I’m not a social conservative, I’m not a Christian, and if I was a Christian I would believe Donald Trump to possibly be the devil incarnate, but it sickens me the way the news media creates news and then feeds upon itself.
A reporter baits a public figure, takes the response out of context, and then the rest of the media has a field day reporting on the story, not the facts.

On top of that, you have to almost do a screenshot of any “news” source you cite from the internet, because the articles are changed often and at-will with no notification or documentation that I can find.

JLeslie's avatar

Always keep that in mind, pretty much everything you read that is this Pope’s words in English is translated. I’m not talking about this one topic, I mean in general. So, you are relying on an hopefully an honest translation with context. Even when The Pope says something in English, his English is limited and so specific meaning can be lost. In this case it looks like reporters were simply doing their usual cutting out one phrase and not giving the entire thought or context. Doing that seems unChristian to me. Who’s the devil then?

ibstubro's avatar

Yes, I keep in mind that everything the Pope says has to be translated, @JLeslie, and, honestly, I think the people distorting the Pope’s message for political fodder were taking full advantage of that. I checked probably a dozen sources and no one had the question the Pope responded to when he talked about building walls.

And the hell of it?
The whole thing probably worked. Trump, the stupid schmuck, didn’t care what the facts were…he immediately attacked the Pope.
So the media single-handedly created the whole shitstorm and there’s no backing it up. If anyone in the mainstream media takes the time and effort to fact-check as you and I did, it’ll be too late. Trump has made the non-story the lead.

The whole process disgusts me.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry for all my typos/mistakes in that last answer. I had cut and pasted some of the sentences moving them around in the paragraph, and should have edited afterwards.

The process is disgusting. You are smart to wonder what the original question was and the whole context of the conversation. Trumps people should have crucified (pun intended) the reports, translation, and partial context.

This Pope is very committed and outspoken about uniting people. He will not let fear stop him from being with the people. He talks a lot about God wanting us to help each other, and he is extremely inclusive. All religions, atheists, everyone. He does not even obsessively talk about God and Christ, but rather about how we can help each other here on earth in practical ways. He obviously will condemn the idea of separating people. It goes against his philosophy, his training, and his message that he is trying to promote. He gets to be an idealist, he is not the leader of a country, he is the leader of the Catholic Church.

I respect him for acknowledging he is political, but is not there to advise on politics.

Strauss's avatar

The Pope’s statement in Italian (as quoted in L’Osservatore Romano, page 4):

E poi, una persona che pensa soltanto a fare muri, sia dove sia, e non a fare ponti, non è cristiana. Questo non è nel Vangelo.

Translation: And then, a person who thinks only of building walls, and not to build bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel.

NOTE:If anyone has a better grasp of Italian, I would appreciate some help; I’m pretty sure it’s a fairly accurate translation

JLeslie's avatar

Did he say it in Italian? I had assumed he was speaking in Spanish. I might have assumed incorrectly.

ibstubro's avatar

But what was the question he was responding to, @Yetanotheruser.
Can you find that?
I believe the Pope was intentionally baited.

Strauss's avatar

@ibstubro, @JLeslie I figured L’OSSERVATORE would probably be the most authoritative source for the Pope’s actual words. I’m on my phone right now, so I will investigate later; if the interview was in Spanish, I’ll correct myself.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, @Yetanotheruser. Appreciate your efforts.

JLeslie's avatar

The Spanish and Italian are incredibly similar in this instance, so it probably doesn’t matter for meaning, I wasn’t trying to be overly critical, just curious. He usually speaks in Italian when addressing a crowd from the Vatican if I remember correctly, but in MX he spoke in Spanish for obvious reasons. I had assumed the interview was in Spanish. If you do find out it still will be interesting to know.

Strauss's avatar

Direct from the official English version of L’Osservatore Romano:

“a person who thinks only of building walls anywhere – rather than building bridges – is not a Christian”.

Still on my phone, going to try to find the original interview.

JLeslie's avatar

A significant part of the Evangelical Christians here in the US don’t even consider the Catholics to be Christians.

Strauss's avatar

And a considerable number of Catholics don’t consider themselves “evangelical”.

Strauss's avatar

AHA! I found it! Here is the full text of the interview as reported by the Catholic News Agency. Below is the excerpt which includes the question and complete reply in question.

The Question: (as asked by) Phil Pullella, Reuters: Today, you spoke very eloquently about the problems of immigration. On the other side of the border, there is a very tough electoral battle. One of the candidates for the White House, Republican Donald Trump, in an interview recently said that you are a political man and he even said that you are a pawn, an instrument of the Mexican government for migration politics. Trump said that if he’s elected, he wants to build 2,500 kilometers of wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, separating families, etcetera. I would like to ask you, what do you think of these accusations against you and if a North American Catholic can vote for a person like this?

The Answer: Pope Francis (replied): Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politicus.’ At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, @Yetanotheruser.
That was exactly what I was looking for. More importantly, I was wrong.
I thought that perhaps the reporter had baited the Pope by asking the question without mentioning Trump by name. Indeed, Trump was mentioned. And twice.

I’m even more impressed with Pope Francis. He needs to speak plainly against the outrageous proposals Trump spouts off about.

Now the poor Pope has to worry about the Vatican being attacked and President Trump refusing to help.

JLeslie's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I never use the term evangelical to refer to Catholics. Maybe outside of America they do, but I never hear that term used here. I don’t even use the term Christian to refer to Catholics when I am talking about American religions and especially politics, but I do agree they are Christians and find it offensive when people say they aren’t. It’s much like using the term Asian, but only meaning eastern Asians.

ibstubro's avatar

More importantly, @JLeslie, how do you feel about the exact quote of the question the Pope responded to?
Was that what you expected?

Strauss's avatar

@JLeslie It was an off-hand remark. Sorry for not making that more apparent.

Of course I realize that Catholics are Christians! It’s the faith I was raised in, and I believe that fact, plus the fact that my family members were devout, went into play in forming my core morality.

JLeslie's avatar

@ibstubro I think the question relates to how much time the Pope has spent focusing on new immigrants in America. When he was here in the US, if you saw the one hour show that was televised, he spent a tremendous amount of time with Latin American immigrants. Possibly, the reporter, Pullella, has a bias against or for Trump? I don’t know. I’m not completely sure what motivated him to ask the question. Since Trump has specifically called out the Pope previously, I guess bringing up Trump is fair game. Except to say, the church is not supposed to comment on politics, and the Pope handled that carefully. I don’t think Trump had specifically criticized this Pope very negatively though, had he? Wasn’t Trump just saying as a leader the Pope is political? Is that necessarily negative or divisive or derisive? I don’t think so.

The Pope wanted to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. So do I. My MIL is very offended by Trump, because she feels he was saying all Mexicans are criminals. I made the same point to her I make to jellies constantly, I said to her, “when you say Gringos XXX, do you feel and believe all gringos are like that.” Of course not. It’s a way of speaking, it’s shorthand, and it’s not necessary to constantly be saying, “not all, I don’t mean all, just some, just the part of the group that does do it,” is it? This same woman, my MIL, calls poor Mexicans, Nacos, which is a slang that isn’t a very nice term. Basically, it means they are uneducated (in terms of etiquette) and part of the lower class. It seems ridiculous to me that she can be offended by Trump. She came here legally and she is not a criminal, and she herself uses pejoratives about her own countrymen.

I liked that the Pope mentioned Aristotle. He is a philosopher who is often credited with the scientific thought process of Jews, sometimes vice versa, and I think the Catholics also embrace logical, systematic thought present day, while other parts of Christianity seem to be criticizing it.

I wondered a little off topic with that answer, but I felt it was related to the topic of Trump, immigration, and the Pope. I hope that’s ok.

@Yetanotheruser I didn’t think you considered Catholics not to be Christians, I was just clarifying my point of view.

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