Did Pope Francis Condemn President Trump for Issuing a Travel Ban?

Pope Francis said it was hypocritical to "call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee," but the pontiff made that comment before Donald Trump was elected president.

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Pope Francis condemned Donald Trump for issuing a temporary travel ban in January 2017.


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What's True

Pope Francis said that it was hypocritical to "call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee."

What's False

Pope Francis' comment was made before Donald Trump was elected president.


On 28 January 2017, the web site Bipartisan Report published an article reporting that Pope Francis had “called out Trump for being an intolerant racist” in regard to an executive order issued by President Trump that temporarily restricted entry into the U.S. for residents of select countries:

Pope Francis has probably been the most politically involved Pope ever, and his latest statements about President Trump’s new ban on Muslims is likely to leave The Donald in quite a tizzy.

It’s only been a matter of days since the ban on Muslims was enforced, and already its effects are being felt around the world. From angry Atheists who believe that all religious people are equally evil, to the devout Christians who actually try to practice what they preach, everyone is up in arms about the blatant discrimination of this very large group of people.


Pope Francis condemned President Trump while addressing a crowd of German Catholics and Lutherans:

“The contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions.”

“This is not something I’ve read in books, but I see in the newspapers and on television every day.”

“The sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy, which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teaching of Christ. You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,”

“You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.”

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help.”

Although the quoted statements attributed to Pope Francis are genuine, those comments were not made by the pontiff in response to President Trump’s January 2017 executive order restricting travel to the U.S. Pope Francis made these remarks in October 2016, before Donald Trump was elected President or sworn into office, and the pontiff was addressing general rhetoric aimed at immigrants and refugees and not a specific piece of U.S. legislation.

The Catholic Herald reported that the Pope spoke these words while talking to a group of Christian and Lutheran pilgrims from Germany:

The world needs Christians to witness God’s mercy “through service to the poorest, the sick (and) those who have abandoned their homelands in search of a better future for themselves and their families,” he said.

“In putting ourselves at the service of the neediest,” Pope Francis said, “we will experience that we already are united; it is God’s mercy that unites us.”