BANGKOK, Thailand (ChurchMilitant.com) - During his recent visit to Thailand, Pope Francis slammed populist movements and compared President Trump to King Herod, who slaughtered hundreds of babies in Bethlehem.
Addressing a group of brother Jesuits at the Shrine of Blessed Nicolas Bunkerd Kitbamrung about 30 kilometers from Bangkok in late November, the pope focused on the issue of refugees and border walls.
In a Q&A session the pontiff was asked by a worker for the Jesuit Refugee Service about "living a ministry of hospitality." Francis lamented, "There are walls that even separate children from parents," a thinly veiled jab at President Trump's policies on the Mexican border, adding, "Herod comes to mind."
The pope said that for the Jesuits, work with refugees has become a real "theological place."
"That's how I see it, a theological place," he repeated.
The pope pivoted his focus to social and political issues, saying, "The phenomenon of refugees has always existed, but today it is better known because of social differences, hunger, political tensions and especially war. For these reasons, migratory movements are intensifying."
Asking rhetorically about the answer the world gives to the idea of refugees, the pope answered, "The policy of waste. Refugees are waste material."
Lambasting defined borders, the pontiff said to the Jesuits: "As I told you, the phenomenon of migration is compounded by war, hunger and a 'defensive mindset,' which makes us in a state of fear that you can defend yourself only by strengthening borders."
This is not the first time the Pope has targeted president Trump. Prior to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Francis accused then-candidate Trump of not being sufficiently Christian. The pope said that while he would not presume to tell Americans how they should vote, anyone who thinks about "building walls ... and not building bridges, is not a Christian."
The pontiff professed "shock" at some of the narratives he hears about borders in Europe, casting aspersions on countries like Hungary and Croatia. "Populism is gaining strength," he claimed.
In contrast with King Herod's reputation, President Trump has been called the most pro-life president in American history. In September at the opening of the 74th U.N. General Assembly, he delivered what many called the most pro-life statement any U.S. president has ever delivered to the world body:
Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to tax-payer funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child, born and unborn, is a sacred gift from God.
While the pope has issued a number of strong pro-life statements, various actions by Vatican leaders and councils have called such pro-life commitment into question. Church Militant recently reported on a Vatican conference last November, backed by Pope Francis and the Pontifical Academy of Science, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, notorious for promoting and funding the cause of abortion worldwide.
Representatives from pro-abortion organizations like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Nestlé, which partners with biotech firm Senomyx in conducting experiments using aborted fetal cells in artificial flavor enhancers, were also featured at the Vatican conference.
Pope Francis compared President Trump to the murderous King Herod who massacred innocent children while trying to kill the baby Jesus. https://t.co/rnjsfK3pbz— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 6, 2019
Critics of the pope's remarks about President Trump noted he made no criticism of Democrat supporters of abortion. Earlier this year, for example, forty-four Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would have protected newborn infants from being killed or subjected to negligent homicide should they survive an attempted abortion. In an effort to sway the 2020 election, Planned Parenthood plans to spend at least $45 million backing Democrat candidates in local, state and national races who support abortion rights.
Other critics have turned the pope's comparison of President Trump to describe the abortion industry. In an article called "The Slaughter of 'Holy Innocents' Continues ... in Pennsylvania" it was reported that over 30,000 babies died in 2017 in the Keystone State. After Gov. Thomas Wolf (D-PA) vetoed a pro-life bill, the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation stated:
No living child should have to endure being ripped limb by limb from a mother's womb, and no mother should have to endure the emotional pain of losing a child in such a brutal manner. Governor Wolf's distressing decision goes against the will of the vast majority of Pennsylvanians, who want to see cruel dismemberment abortions banned, once and for all.
The story of King Herod is recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew (2:1–17), where Herod speaks with the Magi seeking the King of the Jews. Feigning sincerity, Herod says to the Magi: "Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him."
When the Wise Men did not return to tell of His location, Herod slaughtered all male children under two years of age.