Days before the U.S. election, Pope Francis warns against the politics of fear

Pope Francis delivers his speech an audience with representatives of the popular movements at the Vatican Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP) Pope Francis delivers his speech an audience with representatives of the popular movements at the Vatican Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

In a speech delivered at the Vatican just three days before the U.S. presidential election, Pope Francis urged social justice activists from around the world not to give into the politics of fear by building walls but instead work to build bridges.

“Because fear—as well as being a good deal for the merchants of arms and death—weakens and destabilizes us, destroys our psychological and spiritual defenses, numbs us to the suffering of others,” he said.

“In the end,” he continued, “it makes us cruel.”

RELATED: Pope Francis Denounces ‘Basic Terrorism’ of the Global Control of Money that Threatens Humanity

The pope did not mention the Nov. 8 U.S. election, but many of the themes he touched on have played out in debates between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton in recent months.

For example, the pope reiterated his plea for nations to respond more generously to the global refugee crisis, which he blamed on “an unjust socio-economic system and wars.”

He pointed specifically to the hundreds of thousands of people who have died in the Mediterranean Sea seeking entry into Europe in recent years and, he said, “no one should be forced to flee their homeland.”

The United States accepted about 10,000 Syrian refugees this year fleeing a brutal civil war but not without controversy.

Several Democratic and Republican governors said last year that the refugees would not be welcome in their states.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has said that if he is elected he will ban all Muslims and migrants from countries experiencing terrorism from entering the United States.

A newly named U.S. cardinal, Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis, clashed with Mr. Trump’s running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, over the issue last year. Mr. Pence had asked the archbishop not to resettle a Syrian family in Indiana, a request the archbishop refused.

RELATED: Cardinal-designate Tobin Makes Case for Welcoming Syrian Refugees

The Obama administration announced last month that the United States would seek to welcome 110,000 refugees in 2017. A vice president at Catholic Relief Services told The Washington Post that the group welcomed the news, but that it did not go far enough in addressing the needs of "the 65 million globally displaced people around the world right now."

The pope echoed that refrain, describing the refugee crisis “a problem of the world” and urging political leaders to do more.

On the issue of migration more generally, Francis devoted several minutes of the speech to condemning “physical and social walls” that “close in some and exclude others.”

Mr. Trump has proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which led to a tussle with the pope earlier this year.

In February, following a visit to the border, the pope said in response to a question from a journalist that politicians who propose building walls instead of bridges are “not Christian,” leading to objections from the Trump campaign. The Vatican later clarified the remark, saying that the pope was not speaking about specific candidates.

It is not just Republicans on the receiving end of Catholic criticism around immigration.

Some Catholic immigration activists have been critical of the Obama administration for its mass deportations of undocumented people living in the United States and for what they say are human rights abuses in U.S. detention centers along the southern border.

For her part, Mrs. Clinton said that she will push comprehensive immigration reform during her first 100 days in office.

The pope said on Saturday that Christians should not give into the temptation to build walls, even in the face of “hateful and cowardly attacks,” a reference to global terrorism.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he said, “all walls fall.”

The speech, given in Spanish to representatives of grassroots social justice organizations from 60 countries, included a lengthy a quote from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Francis has previously held up the civil rights leader as a great American in his speech to the U.S. Congress last year and he included a quote from King in “Amoris Laetitia,” his apostolic letter about family life.

On Saturday, the pope invoked King to urge the audience to combat fear with bridge building and love.

Francis said “mercy is the best antidote against fear” and that it “is much more effective than walls, that barbed wire fences, than alarms and arms, and it is free. It is the gift of God.”

He also touched on the need for individuals at the grassroots level “to revitalize” democracy around the world that are imperiled due to “the enormous power of economic and media groups that seem to dominate” and repeated his condemnation of placing money above human beings.

Christians have a duty, he said, to be active in political life, but he warned against corruption and arrogance.

“Anyone who is too attached to material things or the mirror, who likes money, lush banquets, sumptuous mansions, refined suits, luxury cars,” he said, should avoid going into politics—as well as the seminary. Instead, political leaders must lead by example, living frugally and humbly.

Francis also offered some advice on how to fight terrorism and oppression, saying, “the best antidote is love. Love heals everything.”

 

Carlos Orozco
2 months 2 weeks ago
In "War and Peace", Tolstoy described the French Grande Armée as a mortally wounded beast that, by inertia, reached Moscow after the brutal battle of Borodino (1812). That battle involved approximately a quarter of a million men and was only surpassed in size and ferocity until WWI (Verdun). A few days later the French Emperor entered the czarist capital unopposed, reaching the zenith of his temporal glory. Months later, his still ailing army was slaughtered with vengeance when retreating from that year's winter. It turned out Borodino, from a military perspective, had been too-costly of a victory. Hillary Clinton is nothing close of a Napoleon, but as the military and political genius after Borodino, she has already lost and does not know it yet, or refuses to accept it. Don't get me wrong, I still think she is the favorite to win this Tuesday's election (the mother of all electoral battles), but I have no doubt she has already lost the war for the hearts, minds and RESPECT of the American people. In an election that has been decided by internationalist elites (or so they think), their presstitute parrots have been overwhelmed in their tasks by the merciless revelations of WikiLeaks. How HRC does not blush purple knowing that millions of people know the lies and corruption she desperately fought to keep secret is beyond me. O what we have learned! We would need an entire article to mention the most important revelations. As the Bible says, truth has set us free! I trust Americans will vote NO to rapists (Bill Clinton), child molestors (Anthony Weiner), black magic enthusiasts posing as Catholics (John Podesta) and the criminal that has protected them. That evil criminal who promotes war and abortion on a global scale and is at the service of the rich and powerful of this world. Yes, HRC has already lost, but America does not have to lose with her. May God bless America.
Anna Pavone-Palazola
2 months 2 weeks ago
Did you read the article at all?
Carlos Orozco
2 months 2 weeks ago
'“Because fear—as well as being a good deal for the merchants of arms and death—weakens and destabilizes us, destroys our psychological and spiritual defenses, numbs us to the suffering of others,” he said.' '...For example, the pope reiterated his plea for nations to respond more generously to the global refugee crisis, which he blamed on “an unjust socio-economic system and wars.”' That, to me, sounds like the war profiteers and banksters that are behind HRC: the warmongers that have created the immigration crisis the Pope delves into. When the elephant in the room is not being addressed int the media, we have an obligation to bring it up, even if it gives the appearance to be outside subject.
Kevin Murphy
2 months 2 weeks ago
Funny how Hillary is the only person mentioned favorably. As for Francis, I tuned him out long ago. I'm tired of his grandiose statements about immigration. He doesn't have to live with the outcomes of his teachings. He hops back on the plane and leaves.
Paolo Roberto
2 months 2 weeks ago
It appears this pope is more interested in communism, protecting abusers within the church and keeping women down like the Muslims do than recognizing perversion and evil for what it is. This guy is a politician.
Hannah Vickers
2 months 2 weeks ago
Never thought I would see the leader of the Catholic Church supporting a pro choice candidate. Truely we are in the end times. Innocent lives trump walls any day..pope need to wake up.
Ronald Miner
2 months 2 weeks ago
How does he justify his own hypocrisy? He's supporting baby killers who think Catholics are backward and thinks it's perfectly fine to vote for a candidate in a party of monsters simply because they want to flood the United States with immigrants who will vote for them and keep them in power...Something is obviously wrong with Francis..
John Walker
2 months 2 weeks ago
The new Pope is an ass. Ignoring Clinton's crimes, lies, "Pay to Play" protocol and her general dishonesty is a travesty. Ignoring her incredible history of tragic, deadly international failures killing millions is even worse. Shame on him.
Bob Green
2 months 2 weeks ago
Come on, Frank. You have a problem with Trump, and would rather have the baby-killer Hillary in the White House?
Chas Youngs
2 months 2 weeks ago
The pope??? Oh the the guy who lives in Vatican city?? With that huge, huge, huge WALL???! Ok., can we say hypocritical?. I hear Pope also could share some wealth too.! This is why you need to let your party leave you... it is in fact leaving us all......Unless you are a defensive conservative Let your party go but keep your values... These ugly left radicals are polluting us and have saturated us from every direction. For so many it is too late.. but many, like me believe we can slow American erosion down. Vote Trump to slow the nonsense of over infiltrated LIBERAL gluttony. ************ ******* ***** A vote for Trump sends a message to BOTH parties.... who gave birth to: TRUMP / Pence Nov.8th, 2016 Clinton and Dear Barry O, Here's something we think you should know.. Any dumb slob, could exceed at your job... If they had 20 trillion to BLOW. (16 trill is Obama's ) Donald can turn us around He's known as financially sound. He see's the Libs wrath They can't do the math. They've driven us deep in the ground.
jason kycek
2 months 2 weeks ago
I was thinking the same when he was making his comments about wealth, the wall and entitlements. Hypocrisy at it's best! Well said!
jason kycek
2 months 2 weeks ago
Has anyone asked the question why the #1 concern in the Pope's message does not include abortion? I thought the Catholic faith first and foremost defended the rights of the unborn and was adamantly against abortion. I find his speech to be nothing more than political rhetoric supporting Hilary and a poor example of leadership for the Catholic community.
Bob Taft
2 months 2 weeks ago
The Pope should lead by example like Jesus and tear down his own walls around the Vatican.
Tadao Moto
2 months 2 weeks ago
Pope Francis has the same ideology as Globalist Liberals yet he denounces Globalists and indirectly attacks Donald Trump and not Clinton. What we have here is a Pro Hillary supporter and a partner of Globalist Elites just as puppet Hillary is.
Rusty Wood
2 months 2 weeks ago
dear pope how about importing 100,000 of these refugees to the Vatican city?
Bill Mazzella
2 months 2 weeks ago
He did take some. How many did you and Fraud Trump do. http://www.businessinsider.com/new-york-times-prints-donald-trump-campaign-insults-2016-10
Mike Smith
2 months 2 weeks ago
Hey Mr. Pope, tear down the Vatican wall first, hypocrite.
Winston Galt
2 months 2 weeks ago
In the days of Galileo, the Pope chose to align himself with politicians and the "most distinguished scientists of the day" because it fit his personal ideology and he saw that alignment as in his best interests. Galileo and others were persecuted for daring to disagree with the ruling cabal. The actual persecution and jailing may be absent here (so far), but Francis is of the exact same mold. I came back to the Church after years away just over a decade ago, and I'm saddened by what I see. I have absolute faith in Catholic scripture. Catholic bureaucrats though, not so much. I will continue to support charities and causes that I believe it, but I will contribute nothing to organizations like Catholic Relief Services.
jack Teeom
2 months 2 weeks ago
Churches make millions of govt subsidies of money off ILLEGALS, They, like the Democrat criminals need new bodies to vote pay for the urbanites that left and now have turned into black baptist churches
jack Teeom
2 months 2 weeks ago
This is why I no longer support thre Catholic Church financially or my presence. Marxist Pope from So America This is what Democrats hope for, people to give up thier religion.
Bill Mazzella
2 months 2 weeks ago
shame on you who support Donald Trump who lies every day. The false birther. Insults disabled. Gropes women. Condemns Mexicans. Slanders ANYONE who disagrees with him. He is the worst candidate in American political history. You guys "do not know of what spirit you are."
Leo Ko
2 months 2 weeks ago
So, let me get this straight..... you support a known liar who sold out the Lincoln Bedroom and the office of the State Dept... and to top it off..... INFANTICIDE! Oh yeah, her Catholic bashing from her closest staff is totally acceptable to her. Not only do you spin and twist Trump's words... but you believe in evil and corruption. There are many causes for spiritual blindness such as Satan, pride, ignorance, following blind guides, caring what others think, and more.
Bill Mazzella
2 months 2 weeks ago
What a bunch of one issue candidates. Guess what women will decide this election. You should read the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan who was "outside the church" was accepted while the orthodox who did not help were condemned. Same with you who support the sleaze, Fraud Trump.
Leo Ko
2 months 2 weeks ago
The Jesuit Liberation Theology strikes again... Amazingly they cannot identify intrinsic evil! The US admits 1 million immigrants LEGALLY each year... are the Jesuits advocating unlawfulness? WHY DOESN'T THE POPE ADDRESS THE LEADERSHIP OF THE COUNTRIES WHERE HUMAN ABUSES FLOURISH ? A Practicing Catholic
David Burgess
2 months 2 weeks ago
Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has said that if he is elected he will ban all Muslims and migrants from countries experiencing terrorism from entering the United States. A lie. He wants to vette all migrants before allowing them to come. As far as walls go, tear down the wall around the Vatican City, and then we can talk about walls.
Mike Smith
2 months 2 weeks ago
The RCC receives hundreds of millions of dollars from the US government for providing shelter and food to the illegals who pour across our southern borders. Look it up.
Bob Smalser
2 months 2 weeks ago
Initially promising, but a huge disappointment as he leans left past the point of Christian values. At some point in time a fetus acquires basic human rights, and I suspect a consensus in this country won't agree with Hillary that time is when the infant leaves the hospital.
Elizabeth Flatt
2 months 2 weeks ago
Does this mean we need to vote for abortion loving Hillary...I think not...
Ian Michaels
2 months 2 weeks ago
Respectfully, I really don't understand the Pope's position on national integrity. The world is drifting towards global consolidation and de-nationalization. And I do not believe that the globalists - the self-appointed directors - are the best representatives of humanity and human ideals. In fact seems that they have managed to turn Christian teachings on their head, e.g. the principle about not judging others now "means" to accept everything. In my opinion, our Pope should be focusing on the affect of artificial intelligence and robotics. These are a clear danger to human dignity. When there are no jobs, there is no meaning in the human realm! What will this mean for our children's children? Will they become obedient to the state so they may eat another day? Whom will they worship? I believe it is important nations remain whole and controlled by those who are directly affected by the decisions. If this means the "unpopular" decision of slowing change so that it can be properly handled, then so be it. Everything must be done in an orderly fashion. Overwhelming nations with responsibilities to the breaking point indicates that something more is going on. Please tell me how I'm wrong.
dave gaetano
2 months 2 weeks ago
Globalization is a complete rejection of the Church's teaching on subsidiarity.
dave gaetano
2 months 2 weeks ago
And how cruel does it make us to stand with a candidate like Hillary who supports the legality of partial birth abortion?
Susan Sabin
2 months 2 weeks ago
The pope who is a socialist believes that he has to interject himself into politics. He rages against Donald Trump yet says nothing about hillary clinton whose stand is for trimester abortions, aborting babies minutes before they are born. Additionally where are his comments about her deviant behavior with underage girls? It has been found on weiner's laptop that weiner, hillary and bill are involved in an underage sex trafficking ring of girls. Speaking as a Catholic the pope needs to stay out of politics and do what he is supposed to - talk about God.
Sam Eugene
2 months 2 weeks ago
On April 23, 2015 HilLIARy Clinton delivered a speech at the women's World Summit where she stated. " Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will and DEEP-SEATED RELIGIOUS BELIEFS HAVE TO BE CHANGED. ". So this begs the question ... Are the pope's religious beliefs not deep seated or is he ignorant of whom he speaks ?
dave gaetano
2 months 2 weeks ago
Love does NOT heal everything, because people have free will.
Carl Mann
2 months 2 weeks ago
His message is good in general, but I shudder every time I read a 'wall-is-very-bad' There is a very big wall around the Vatican and every world leader's house, including the US presidential candidates Clinton and Trump homes. Where are there no walls? around the average person's house. So I feel this is somewhat hypocritical. Sorry Papa, but I just feel that way.
Michael Rice
2 months 2 weeks ago
This is the same pope who wants to give away everyone else's money but not his own. That's the lie of the leftist "religious" idealogue. They preach a message but don't follow it themselves. Mr pope, if you really believe your nonsense, "tear down that wall" at the Vatican and send your precious gold, silver and riches to the poor...Oh wait! That's not YOUR money either!
Stephen Paul
2 months 2 weeks ago
I have always had the utmost respect for the pope, but that has changed in the last few years because this Pope seems to insert himself in matters he should be keeping his nose out of. he sometimes focuses on the politics of the USA and he seems to always land on the wrong side of issues that effect Americans . it's bad enough what his underlings have done to the children of families that were once part of the church. in a normal world the pope would be promoting Donald trumps ideas and policies ,no doubt he should condemn some of the things he said but that should be forgiven very quickly. the pope seems to ignore the fact that the Clinton's Greed is on full display and it's not that hard to figure out what the Clinton's did to the Haitian people and how they took advantage of them. they have done the exact same thing to the people of India and they have promoted some of the world s biggest despots and violators of human rights for their own personal; gain. they took money from people who are some of the worst in history. but yet we have not heard him speak out about that. as far as the Wall goes ,it has nothing to do with Catholicism,the Church or the Pope and he ignores what has been going on with the Drugs and the people who come here illegally and reek havoc in American society. they steal resources from the poor Americans and they have been a cancer to American's jobs and wages.
Joni Likens
2 months 2 weeks ago
Hasn't the pope ever heard that, "Good fences make good neighbors!" The pope is a commie....who cares what he thinks!
John Ketcherside
2 months 2 weeks ago
I think this is very unfair. Mr. Trump is always respectful of the Pope, and especially likes his GIANT WALL.
Charles Phrelps
2 months 2 weeks ago
Translation - please don't stop my Catholic followers in Latin America from entering the US where they make a lot more money because I will lose my big cut of what they make. Maybe some have forgotten the politics of Rome over the centuries. I have not. You managed to OK Hitler but not Trump??? That says everything about you. Of course Hitler's best biud was Italian. Naturally you side with them. What a joke you are.
James Whitehead
2 months 2 weeks ago
Why is the pope silent on Hillary's stand on abortion? Its against official church doctrines.What matters more here, politics or religion? So far, the pope puts politics above official church policy. Makes me wonder if this is truly a Man of God. Is it now okay for Catholics to believe in abortion? He is full of contradictions. Long ago, Earl Butz' made a joke about a former pope, who told Catholics to never use condoms. This led to huge Italian families in poverty. He said the average Italian guy has learned to ignore the pope, who doesn't date women.. The Italian guys were saying: "He no playa the game, he no maka the rules."
dave gaetano
2 months 2 weeks ago
And now Italy has a highly negative, self-destructive birth rate.
Sam Eugene
2 months 2 weeks ago
In the pope's speech he used the term " merchant of arms " --- during HilLIARY's stint as Sec. Of State she pulled off the largest arms deal (80 billion $ worth ) in U.S. history to her good buddies in Saudi Arabia who then passed them on to ISIS FOR THEIR EXTERMINATION OF CHRISTIANS. So I ask ... Is this pope willfully ignorant -which is incredibly evil for a man in his position or is he a willful participant of this Christian genocide - which is unspeakably evil ???
Charlene Peters
2 months 2 weeks ago
Tear down the Vatican wall, sell off the treasures and build up Central America. Evict the paedophile priests from the Retirement Homes you have set up for them, extradite Cardinal Law back to Boston to face charges. Then you can BEGIN talking about Social Justice. Until then shut up.
Ed Pope
2 months 2 weeks ago
John Podesta doesn't need to co-op the Catholic Church. This pope is a committed communist. He lives in a protected city but, advocates everyone else should place themselves in danger just to grow the church. He's a hypocrite. He slams Trump because of his view in borders. Which is the same view the pope has for Vatican City. Yet, he has no problem with the democrat candidate that has visited a sex perverts private island 6 times. That advocates against any religion not called Islam. You reap what you sow Pope Frankie.
Rich Tanner
2 months 2 weeks ago
Just a man...
E.Patrick Mosman
2 months 2 weeks ago
Pope Francis is a very nuanced thinker and the actual meaning of his writings and/or "sound bites" of what he has to say are often not helpful and confusion reigns. Nuanced thinking (Nuanced definition, a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response,) is the realm of politicians and those who seek to sow confusion not for the head of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. The more often Pope Francis speaks "off the cuff" before crowds or especially reporters, the more he reminds me of Peter Sellers's Chance the gardener, better known as Chauncey Gardiner, from the movie 'Being There' who spoke simple words, spoken often due to confusion or to a stating of the obvious, which are repeatedly misunderstood as profound and often, in the Pope's case when he speaks or writes on economic systems, capitalism, climate change, immigration and other worldly matters, several factually in error, or even matters of a possible/potential change in long held Catholic doctrine which are walked back or explained later by a Vatican spokesperson. Is it any wonder that different people hear different signals when the Pope writes or speaks? The old proverb "Shoemaker stick to your last" is revelant to the Pope and his entree into politics.
Winston Jones
2 months 2 weeks ago
The Pope has turned the papacy into another left-wing political institution. And the proof is in the hypocrisy. He condemns walls while he lives behind a massive one himself. He and Hillary with her transformation from "dead broke" (her words) to worth hundreds of millions of dollars would get along get great.
John Barbagallo
2 months 2 weeks ago
This man troubles me. Instead of injecting himself into US politics, I would prefer to hear what the Papa is doing to stop the Christian genocide occurring in the Mid East or do We solve that with love? Please! How about the slaughter of innocents through partial birth abortion? All of this condoned and enforced by the dem party. So, does he like the idea of a catholic spring that Podesta espouses? And when will he tear down the wall around the Vatican? I'm sorry but this pope should move on.
Mike Bruscell Sr.
2 months 2 weeks ago
I have never believed in papal infallibility - popes are men, just like all other men. Some are weak, some are strong, some inspired, others misguided, many are good, a few are bad. Francis is a weak, misguided, bad man and his words are unacceptable to those who value life. He should take the beam out of his own eye before he speaks of the splinter in the eyes of others. Finally, he has no business trying to influence voters in America, which is a sovereign Constitutional Republic, not a satellite of the Vatican.

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