When asked about Donald Trump’s views on immigration, Pope Francis said Thursday that anyone who wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border isn’t Christian.
"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," Francis said. "This is not in the Gospel."
Trump, a leading U.S. Republican presidential candidate, has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border from Texas to California and expel 11 million people who are in the country illegally if elected president.
In response, Trump called any religious leader questioning a person’s faith ‘disgraceful.’ He said he is proud to be a Christian.
He also added that the pope should pray that he is elected president. Click here to read the full statement.
"If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS' ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened,” Trump said.
Read the full statement: The Pope's comments en route home from Mexico came hours after he prayed at the Mexico-U.S. border for people who died trying to reach the United States.
Trump, a Presbyterian, last week criticized Francis' plans to pray at the border. He said the move was ill-informed and showed Francis to be a political figure being exploited by the Mexican government.
"I don't think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico," Trump said in an interview with Fox News. "I think Mexico got him to do it because they want to keep the border just the way it is. They're making a fortune, and we're losing."
Asked if he felt he was being used as a pawn of Mexico, Francis said he didn't know.
"I leave that judgment to you, the people,” he said.
But he seemed quite pleased to hear that Trump had called him a "political" figure, noting that Aristotle had described the human being as a "political animal."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.