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Who is a Better World Leader: Pope Francis or Donald Trump?

Updated on August 21, 2015

Mr. Trump and Pope Francis

Donald Trump has been in the news a lot lately, more so for antics and outlandish statements than actual policy positions. One of these recent outlandish statements was a statement on CNN regarding Pope Francis.

See the video here: http://www.cnn.com//2015/08/19/politics/donald-trump-chris-cuomo-cnn-interview/index.html.

In this video, Donald Trump responded to a question about the supposed views of Pope Francis on capitalism. Trump’s response fell way short of diplomacy, much like most of his public comments. I say this for two reasons:

1.) (and probably the most obvious) Trump said something along the lines of he would tell the Holy Father that ISIS is after him. Not only is this a deeply disturbing thing to say about anyone, but it carries more sensitivities since thousands of Christians, many of them Catholic, have been brutally massacred at the hands of ISIS.

2.) (the less obvious one) any hope at strong international relations needs to include the Vatican on some level. The Vatican has eyes and ears in every country in the world. Trump’s blatant disrespect for Pope Francis is putting an already fragile alliance in jeopardy.

Trump did make an interesting point, however. He said that he doesn’t believe that Pope Francis is anti-Capitalist. I would have to agree with Mr. Trump. The politics of Pope Francis are discussed often in the news media. This is often done without looking at his comments through the lens of Catholic moral theology. Probably the most notable was when he was presented with a question about whether a homosexual man can make it to heaven. Pope Francis replied to this comment by saying that only God can make that judgement. That has always been the stance of the Catholic Church. However, the media wrongly spun it by saying that the Pope was for same-sex marriage. In fact, nothing was further from the truth.

I do not think that Pope Francis is necessarily a socialist per se. As Pope, he has a duty to make sure that God’s poor are looked after by society. Like the old saying goes, if the Catholic Church took a day off, the world would be in chaos. No other institution feeds more people, heals more people, clothes more people, and helps more people to feel human dignity. That is what is needed out of a world leader- someone who can build bridges with mutual respect and understanding. Mr. Trump, whether you love him or you hate him, is a divisive force. He has insulted many segments of the American population: immigrants, women, veterans, fellow Republicans, and most recently Catholics. It is fine to disagree with someone, but Trump is outright offensive and lacks diplomacy. With many international crises, such as relations with China, Russia, genocide in the Middle East, and tense race relations, we need a president whom has diplomacy and can build the bridges necessary to make the world a better place and strengthen America’s stronghold in the world. We need a president who would promote peace and take care of the least of us. Mr. Trump does not fit that bill. Perhaps with the visit of Pope Francis to the United States for the World Meeting of Families, Mr. Trump and other presidential candidates will learn about true diplomacy and world leadership. We can only hope so, as it seems that Mr. Trump is a popular political force to be reckoned with.

I truly believe that Mr. Trump is as popular as he is for challenging the status quo. Pope Francis is popular for the same reason. I can only hope that Mr. Trump can learn from the style of the Holy Father in his endeavors to shake up the political establishment.

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