Since the beginning of his campaign for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump has stood at odds with Pope Francis. The main point of contention is the president’s rhetoric and treatment of asylum seeking migrants.
In 2016, the Pope said of Trump, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian.”
Francis will now be putting his money where his mouth is. The Pope has announced a plan to donate $500,000 to aid migrants in Mexico.
The money will be donated through his charity organization, Peter’s Pence. Funds will be used mainly to help with housing and feeding migrants streaming up from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, in what the president has called ‘caravans’. A large portion of these funds are reportedly going towards housing in Mexico along the US borders. The charity said in a statement, “Men and women, often with young children, flee poverty and violence, hoping for a better future in the United States. However, the US border remains closed to them,”
The statement also noted that since it is no longer election season, coverage of the crisis has lessened. The Vatican wrote, “”Media coverage of this emergency has been decreasing and as a result, aid to migrants by the government and private individuals has also decreased,”
Trump has never seemed to be bothered by any of Francis’ critiques. Last night at a Milwaukee rally, Trump bragged about his treatment of asylum seekers:
“Last month alone, 100,000 illegal immigrants arrived at our borders, placing a massive strain on communities and schools and hospitals and public resources, like nobody has ever seen before,” the president boasted. “Now, we’re sending many of them through sanctuary cities, thank you very much.I’m proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea.”
The White House has yet to comment on the Vatican’s charitable plan.