Pope Francis Waiting To Form An Opinion Of Trump

Politics |

Pope Francis recently said in an interview that he's going to give President Donald Trump time to show his character before forming a judgement about him. The Pope made his remarks to a Spanish newspaper called El País. "We must wait and see," said the Pope. And urged us not to "judge people prematurely."

"We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion. But being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite unwise. It would be like prophets predicting calamities."

Francis had words of warning against embracing violent populism. He made reference to Hitler.

“In times of crisis we lack judgment, and that is a constant reference for me,” said Francis. “That is why I always try to say: talk among yourselves, talk to one another. But the case of Germany in 1933 is typical, a people who were immersed in a crisis, who were searching for their identity until this charismatic leader came and promised to give their identity back, and he gave them a distorted identity, and we all know what happened.”

The Pope did send Donald Trump a telegram on Inauguration Day. The telegram included a request that he make policy choices informed by "rich spiritual and ethical values."

Catholic News Agency Catholic News Agency

Trump self-identifies as a Presbyterian. He's been a known Presbyterian churchgoer since childhood, when he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens. He also went to Sunday school and was confirmed at First Presbyterian.

He used to attend services at the Reformed Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. He met his first wife, Ivana, there in 1977. He is no longer an "active member."

He also has ties to the Lakeside Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump admits to participating in the Holy Communion ceremony, but has not sought forgiveness for his sins.

"I think if I do something wrong, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture."

Trump has relationships with various religious figures such as Paula White and Emmanuel Lemelson. Last year, he released a list of his spiritual advisors, which included James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr and Ralph Reed.

Pope Francis is considered a relatively liberal Pope, and has the public image of a progressive religious reformer. It will be interesting to see what position he takes on the Trump presidency, and how that opinion will inform the Catholic community's reaction to him.