Source: The Guardian
By Peter J Walker and agencies
Pope Francis has said an “epidemic of animosity” toward religious and ethnic minorities is hurting the weakest in society, in a thinly veiled assessment of the rise of populist nationalism.
Little more than a week after Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, which has buoyed anti-immigration parties in Europe, the pope said people should not be seen as enemies because they were different.
The 79-year-old Argentinian pontiff has repeatedly voiced support for immigrants, and last year made an impassioned speech on cultural diversity in Philadelphia.
Trump branded Pope Francis “disgraceful” in February after he suggested the billionaire tycoon was “not a Christian” because of his plan to build a wall along the US border with Mexico.
“We see, for example, how quickly those among us with the status of a stranger, an immigrant or a refugee become a threat; take on the status of an enemy,” Francis said at a Vatican ceremony on Saturday, during which new cardinals were ordained.
“An enemy because they come from a distant country or have different customs. An enemy because of the colour of their skin, their language or their social class.
“An enemy because they think differently or even have a different faith.”
The pope followed the US election campaign carefully, and four days before the vote cautioned against “social walls” and “false prophets”.