Pope Francis: Donald Trump's Treatment of Children is 'Immoral'
Head of the Catholic Church blasts US President during rant
Pope Francis has blasted Donald Trump in an angry rant, declaring the President's treatment of children as "immoral."
Following reports this week that families are being separated after illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the United States, the Pontiff targetted the Trump Administration for their "non-Catholic" actions.
In an interview with Reuters, the head of the Vatican said he supported recent statements by U.S. Catholic bishops who called the separation of children from their parents "contrary to our Catholic values" and "immoral," adding:
"It's not easy, but populism is not the solution."
During the rare and wide-ranging interview, Francis stated that he would consider accepting the resignation of more pedophile bishops over the child sexual abuse scandal in Chile.
CBC reports: Reflecting at his Vatican residence on his five years as Pope, he defended his leadership of the Roman Catholic Church against criticism by conservatives inside and outside the church who say his interpretation of its teachings is too liberal.
He also said he wanted to appoint more women to top positions in the Vatican administration.
One of his most pointed messages concerned President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy, in which U.S. authorities are criminally prosecuting all immigrants caught crossing the Mexican border illegally, holding adults in jail while their children are sent to government shelters.
The policy has caused an outcry in the United States and has been condemned abroad as videos emerged of youngsters held in concrete-floored enclosures and an audio of wailing children went viral.
U.S. Catholic bishops have joined other religious leaders in the United States in condemning the policy.
"I am on the side of the bishops' conference," the Pope said, referring to two statements from U.S. bishops this month.
"Let it be clear that in these things, I respect [the position of] the bishops conference."
On Wednesday he posted pointed tweets in support of refugees.
Francis's comments add to the pressure on Trump over immigration policy. The Pope heads a church that has 1.3 billion members worldwide and is the largest Christian denomination in the United States.
The president has strongly defended his administration's actions.
Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to ensure that no families will be separated at the border.
Fox News reports: The measure would allow children to stay in detention with parents for an extended period of time.
This comes as congressional Republicans scramble to draft legislation to address the same issue, but face challenges mustering the votes.
In signing the measure, Trump said he wants to keep families together while also enforcing border security. He vowed his administration's "zero tolerance" policy for illegal immigration would continue.
Trump, previewing the measure earlier in the day during a meeting with lawmakers, said the move would "be matched by legislation." He also said he's canceling the upcoming congressional picnic, adding: "It didn't feel exactly right to me."
The discord over the family separation spilled into the streets as protesters clashed with law enforcement in Philadelphia and other cities on Tuesday -- and Democratic lawmakers accosted senior administration officials and even the president himself over the policy.
As Trump walked out of the session in the Capitol basement, he was confronted by about a half-dozen House Democrats, who yelled, "Stop separating our families!"
Later in the day, protesters heckled Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen as she ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, chanting "Shame!" and "End family separation!"
A department spokesman tweeted that during a work dinner, the secretary and her staff heard from a small group of protesters who "share her concern with our current immigration laws."