Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he might “have to scare” Pope Francis if the two were to meet during the pontiff’s upcoming trip to the United States.
“The pope is coming; do you want to meet him?” CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Trump Thursday.
“Well I’m Protestant. I have great respect for the pope,” Trump said. “I like the pope. I actually like him. He’s becoming very political, there’s no question about it. But I like him. He seems like a pretty good guy.” The real estate mogul has previously identified as Presbyterian.
Cuomo then posed a hypothetical involving a meeting between Trump, Pope Francis and the pope’s translator (as WCBS pointed out last year, the pontiff has trouble with English). “The translator says to you, ‘The pope believes that capitalism can be a real avenue to greed. It can be really toxic and corrupt.’ And he’s shaking his finger at you when he says it. What do you say in response to the pope?”
“I’d say, ‘ISIS wants to get you,’” Trump immediately answered. “‘You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican? You have heard that. You know, that’s a dream of theirs, to go into Italy. You do know that?’” Cuomo was surprised that Trump would change the conversation towards discussing ISIS, suggesting he would try to “scare the pope.”
“I’m gonna have to scare the Pope because it’s the only thing,” Trump said. “The pope, I hope, can only be scared by God. But the truth is – you know, if you look at what’s going on – they better hope that capitalism works, because it’s the only thing we have right now,” Trump continued. “And it’s a great thing when it works properly. In our country Chris, it has not been working properly.”
Between regulation, between all of the Dodd-Frank, all of the different things that have been imposed, we aren’t competitive like we used to be. We have to open up our country to great capitalists.
I don’t think the pope is opposed to capitalism by the way. I’ve seen a lot of what he’s opposed to. And I don’t think the pope is opposed to capitalism.
During a speech in Bolivia earlier this year, the pope asserted the “system is by now intolerable: farm-workers find it intolerable, laborers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, people find it intolerable … The earth itself … also finds it intolerable.” He would go on to argue:
And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea, one of the church’s first theologians, called ‘the dung of the devil.’ An unfettered pursuit of money rules. That is the dung of the devil.
“Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy,” he said later in the speech. “It is a moral obligation. For Christians, the responsibility is even greater: it is a commandment.”
Relevant material starts just after the 5:00 mark:
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth