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Undoubtedly, the Pope’s comments about Donald Trump will infuriate some (many?) people, especially those who support The Donald. But he points to the fact that simply saying one is a Christian does not make one a Christian; rather, it is attempting to live according to Jesus’ words.

I can’t find anything in the Gospels that can justify demonizing refugees, the poor, the exploited, the marginalized, the victims of violence. While the issue of undocumented workers and refugees are serious issues, the Christian (and Jewish, and Muslim, and Buddhist, etc.) response is to approach these things with compassion and understanding, not aggression and hate.

But in a larger sense, the Pope gives us an example of the prophetic call that is part of being Christian–to both draw attention to and work to rectify the actions and words of those who reject or ignore Christ’s teachings.

St. Francis knew that we all can fall into error, and that when we do we should be corrected:

Let the friars, who are ministers and servants of the other friars, visit and admonish their friars and humbly and charitably correct them, not commanding them something which is contrary to their conscience and our rule. (Rule, Chapter X: On the admonition and correction of the friars.- See more at: http://www.franciscanmissionaries.com/about-us/admonitions/#sthash.axIzg0rc.dpuf)

Of course, doing so must be done with humility, compassion, & from a place of love; and we should always keep in mind Mt 7:3: “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Francis remains one of the best examples of how to gently and lovingly engage with those whom we feel have fallen into error.