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Vatican walls loom over Pope vs Trump controversy

Friday, February 19, 2016 - 01:31

The ''not Christian'' spat between Pope Francis and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, still playing out across the U.S., has also reached tourists and residents around Vatican City. Mana Rabiee reports.

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The Vatican walls are suddenly center stage of American politics. When Pope Francis said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's idea of building a border wall across Mexico to stop illegal immigration sounded unchristian to him -- Trump fired back -- saying on Facebook it's the VATICAN that's built the ultimate wall to keep people out. On the internet, the idea got repeated loud and clear -- 'Pope Francis: tear down that wall'. But in Vatican City, these tourists weren't buying any of it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VISITOR FROM THE UK, MICHAEL JULLIET, SAYING: "There's two big differences, is the walls around the Vatican are there but everybody is welcome in, he was building a wall across Mexico, I believe, or on the borders, to not allow anybody in." (SOUNDBITE) (English) VISITOR FROM LIVERPOOL, UK, MARION SMITH, SAYING: ''The worrying thing is that he's actually has people who support him.'' Trump has complained it's not the place of a religious leader to question any one's faith. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WIDER OF REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "The Pope is being told that Donald Trump is not a nice person. Donald Trump is a very nice person." Now, the Vatican's trying to tamp down the firestorm, assuring the Trump campaign the Pope's comments weren't a personal attack on him. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VISITOR FROM LIVERPOOL, UK, MARION SMITH, SAYING: "I say, good on Pope Francis for saying what he said.'' Still, the extraordinary exchange -- between a billionaire real estate mogul and the leader of the world's Roman Catholics - is still resonating, not only in the election-obsessed United States but beneath these ancient walls as well.

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Vatican walls loom over Pope vs Trump controversy

Friday, February 19, 2016 - 01:31