Pope Francis has declined to offer any comment about Donald Trump in a new interview, but said he was concerned about how political policies may affect the lives of the poor.
The interview with Eugenio Scalfari, the founder of Italian newspaper La Repubblica, was conducted on November 7, prior to the US election. It was not recorded, but written up by Scalfari from memory.
According to Scalfari, when he asked the Pope for his opinion on Trump, the Pontiff said: “I don’t judge people and politicians, I simply want to understand what kinds of suffering they cause to the poor and the excluded through their way of doing things.”
Pope Francis added that his major concern at the moment was for the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis.
He said: “We need to knock down the walls that divide us, try to boost wellbeing and make it more widespread, but in order to achieve this, we need to knock down walls and build bridges that can lessen inequality and boost freedom and rights.
“What we want is a fight against inequality – this is the biggest evil that exists in the world today. Money is what causes this and it goes against measures that aim to even out wellbeing and thus favour equality,” he concluded.
In February Pope Francis had criticised Trump’s stance on immigration. He was particularly concerned about the president-elect’s campaign pledge to build a wall at the Mexican boarder.
At the time the Pope said: “A person who thinks only of building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, isn’t Christian.”
A Vatican spokesman later said this was not a personal attack.
On Wednesday Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, said it was “too premature to make judgments” about Trump’s stance on immigration. He added that he would pray for the president-elect’s “enlightenment”.