Acton Institute Powerblog

Rev. Robert Sirico Takes On Trump’s Comments On Pope Francis

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p Last week, the Washington Postfeatured an interview with Donald Trum, entrepreneur-turned-presidential candidate. Trump is clearly no fan of the pope’s comments on capitalism and free markets, and his approach to dealing with the pope on this topic is rather unique: Trump wants to scare Pope Francis.

It’s common for some to criticize Pope Francis’s wariness about capitalism, but Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump just took that to a new level, saying he’d try to “scare” the pope by telling him: “ISIS wants to get you.

I’d say ISIS wants to get you,” Trump said. “You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican? You have heard that. You know, that’s a dream of theirs, to go into Italy.

I’m gonna have to scare the Pope because it’s the only thing, Trump said. The Pope, I hope, can only be scared by God. But the truth is — you know, if you look at what’s going on — they better hope that capitalism works, because it’s the only thing we have right now. And it’s a great thing when it works properly.”

The Rev. Robert Sirico, who has voiced his own concerns regarding the pope’s economic views, clearly was not impressed with Trump’s views on how to deal with the views of “the people’s pope.”

My gut reaction to that is, if you want this pope to respond to a concern you have, you do not say it in the way [Trump] just said it. Culturally that is an offensive, boorish way of communicating, especially to a pope,” [Sirico] said. “And I would suspect it will confirm every negative stereotype this pope would have about American businesspeople.

It’s like a lot of things with Trump – he has some ideas worth considering, but the packaging in which it comes – he’s used to being, how would you say it? It’s his bravado. He can feel the response to him when he’s saying things that are blunt and he gets addicted to it.

Asked whether the Vatican would pay attention to a comment from Trump or other candidates, Sirico said: “I think the Americans [church leaders] will be paying attention. They’ll be at dinner, and it will be: ‘He said this or that,’ but there wouldn’t be any close monitoring. I’ll tell you right now, his entourage is saying: ‘Do not comment on Donald Trump because you’ll get into a mudslinging match’ and that is not this pope’s style.”

Read the entire Washington Post article here.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.


  • Douglas Ditmar

    Trump has really stirred things up, which I think was needed. Most of the time his choice of words aren’t the best, but it is obvious that many citizens are responding positively to the message. He is not my personal choice and I have yet to make that decision. Not being Catholic I don’t look to the Pope for his advice. We need to care for the poor but can’t that be accomplished by faith based organizations and not through increased taxation and entitlements which penalize accomplishment?

    • JTLiuzza

      I’m deeply Catholic and I don’t look to this Pope for advice either. He’s a disaster. And your last sentence is not only spot on, but it is a great deal more Catholic than I have heard coming from Pope Francis.

  • Mike Barber

    Donald Trump is a buffoon. If he’s elected, God forbid, he’ll have us at war with Canada – for starters.
    I think he’s pretending to run in order to make the other candidates look downright reasonable.
    I’m sure the pope is really worried about Donald Trump’s opinion of him.

    • Redbird25

      Yeah, we need more socialist idiocy advocated by Obama and the pope, don’t we?

  • kap man

    He’s right again, what’s the story here? I guess people just aren’t used to straight with it

  • Redbird25

    Oh boo hoo, Trump is boorish in communicating. Sure beats thousands of illegal aliens flooding across the border every week.

  • Will the Pope listen to Trump if he becomes President?

  • David Castlen

    But our blessed Pope DOES get into mud slinging. He has condemned the very thing that has made the earth cleaner, given people the ability to have time to read God’s word, increased people’s health, improved the lives of the aged – the Free Market and Fossil Fuels – two of the greatest gifts to man.

  • Gloria Rodriguez

    I don’t hear the Pope or any other foreigner give us credit for the millions of people we permit LEGALLY. Yes, it takes 10 years for them to become citizens but that works for us for it gives them time to simulate and find out the cost of freedom. If the Pope or anybody else is so charitable, why won’t you take these millions to their Country? Where’s the charity for the millions of Americans out of work, so many that they are not counted when computing the actual figure for people out of work. And most important, where’s the out-cry for the robbing of our CHILDREN’S FUTURE?

  • Gloria Rodriguez

    Mike Barber, in answer to your comment……are you kidding? We have a President NOW who is backing Muslims in every which way, lying for two years about sanctions against Iran while funding them with over 100 billion, Backing a religion who for 1,400 years, Muslims swearing death to non-believers and proving it on TV! Maybe you are willing to live under that religion but many of us don’t. Think…we were successful while we followed our Constitution and are failing with the shambles of the Constitution that Obama and both parties have accomplished. We need a proven accomplished man who is owing no-one and is willing to put his money where is mouth is!

  • Trump can save America after Obama and republican establishment trashed it for the past 30 years.

  • Mitya1102

    Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control–which of these does Trump exhibit? I’d take even one.

  • Dexter Hexter

    Trump speaks TRUTH! “Fools reject and even rage at truth.” King Solomon

    • Marc Vander Maas

      Just don’t ask Trump to identify who spoke those words or where in the Bible one might find them.

      • jcadla

        It wasn’t Solomon…but it’s a good observation.

  • michael burke

    disrespecting the pope won’t help trump at all or anyone else who would choose to run. he is a very holy man and people who are not even catholic love the man. i think using and opposite strategy such as saying if isis chooses to show up at the vatican america will come to the rescue immediately so don’t worry your holiness if iam elected president we will all be there for you.

  • Michael Ross

    Who cars about Pope francis, people shouldn’t warship a man. Why doesn’t the vatican houst as many immigrants as possible befor telling us to.

  • jcadla

    Elise, you are, of course, entitled to your opinion…but it’s obvious you do not like Mr Trump and cannot appreciate straight talk from someone. There was nothing said to ‘scare’ the pope,-only to point out the obvious and to caution him. Nothing would make Islam happier than to march into the Vatican and plant their flag,-after cutting off the head of the head of the Catholic Church,-the Pope. And capitalism and free enterprise is what made the US the most successful and free nation in history. (if there is anything else on which you are short or if you need more information about common sense things, please feel free to contact me)

  • Stuart Macadam

    Trump has no respect for anyone and thinks he is superior to all mankind!

  • Randa Floyd

    Donald Trump needs to remember that there are many sides to gun control. “Unsign ” any gun control measures. I am a voter and the mother of brutally murder child with a hand gun. Until you lose your child to gun violence consider our family and devastating loss. I will not be voting for Trump.

  • Jeff Morton

    What was offensive? He spoke the truth and he said nothing defamatory…ppl making a story about nothing. He is blunt, that is his personality. So what? the substance was matter of fact, truthful, and like he said maybe the only way to reach him and to get him to embrace capitalism was to show what could become a reality if we allow ISIS to grow. And he is very passionate about free market capitalism. It is whaT America was founded on. His off the cuff statement about our Pope shouldnt be afraid, Or I would hope not…a reference to those who have the Fear of God ableminded to subdue earthbound fears with God’s promise showed me Trump does have a degree of understanding about scripture and was kind of reassuring. I think this was a very preducial/superficial assertion, a man’s substance is not measured by how easily or difficult his words are to your ears, and while I am all to aware that Trump at first comes across as brash and divisive, if you look at his body of works he is clearly a unifier and the linguistics are not to offend, moreso that in New York and the big East Coast cities you come across people some good some bad, and that confrontational tyoe attitude serves people in getting to the core of people to find out who they really are. Unfirtunately for most people who arent used to it, they take it as being insulting. There was nothing insulting here…at most inviting a little controversy, but ue is running for oresident and us discussing this is just more free advertising for trump. But I will be honest, I am not catholic and I will talk to the pooe the same as I talk to my wife or my friends, A man who accepts an exalted position has already by that premise is not to be deemed Holy. No man is or was Holy, but Christ Himself.

  • jcadla

    The Pope has no business expounding on business, especially Capitalism and the free market.

  • TrumpSupporter

    Trump tells us exactly how he feels and exactly how he will deal with issues. For Trump it is … d_mn the Politically Correct words, full speed ahead. Trump is (and always has been) results oriented. He’s a winner. He’s an achiever … a very high achiever, at that. He’s smarter than his opponents. He knows what needs to be done and he knows how he will accomplish it.

  • Angry American

    Too much liberalism, and too many unethical, perhaps even illegal, things done by the Obama administration combined with the Harry Reid / Nancy Pelosi Democrat fiascos make me angry. And to watch the lamestream, national news media not say one thing critical or attempt to hold these progressives accountable makes me even madder. But this goofy deal with Iran is the icing on the cake. We need someone like Donald Trump to lead this nation back to stability and back to being successful.

  • Chris Smith

    TRUMP 2016!!