By REZA MALEK
Outside a gymnasium of a Bronx Catholic school hardly seems an apt place for a high-profile discussion of the recent dustup between Pope Francis and Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
But this site indeed provided the background on Thursday for Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to weigh in on the controversy.
“Do you care to weigh in on the Donald Trump little riff with the Pope?” asked a Fox news reporter at St. Clare of Assisi School.
“I think its over now,” said Cardinal Dolan. “I think both sides have stepped back and said look, this isn’t personal.”
He continued: “The Holy Father is great in standing up for principles, for values, for biblical virtues. So he’s speaking about hospitality, he’s speaking about justice to people, mainly immigrant,” he added.
Earlier this month, Pope Francis suggested that Donald Trump was ‘not Christian’. On the flight from Mexico back to the Vatican, he told reporters that anyone that wants to build walls, and not build bridges, is not a Christian.
Dolan also commented on the topic of immigration, trying to rephrase what Pope Francis was trying to say when criticizing Trump.
“Where people come from, whether they got a document or not, in God’s eyes, that doesn’t mean much,” said Dolan. “That’s what the Holy Father was trying to say. I think he says it beautifully, and I think we need to listen to him.”
In bantering with reporters, when asked to weigh in on the Donald Trump riff with the Pope, Dolan responded by saying, “never use the words ‘weigh in’ with me,” referring to his girth.
“Legitimate security at borders, you bet,” the cardinal added. That’s a great responsibility of government. That’s a good thing to talk about. But we would never treat the immigrant as an object, as someone to be afraid of or someone to treat with distain. That’s not biblical, that’s not what God wants, and I think that’s what the Holy Father was saying.”
He went back to blessing the children.