Chaput Slams Trump on Immigration

Says candidate's plan "plays on our worst fears and resentments."

Chaput Trump

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput assailed GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying Trump’s rhetoric on immigration “plays on our worst fears and resentments.”

The comments were reported by the Associated Press, which said they were “prepared for a church forum that was part of the run-up of activities to a visit by Pope Francis.”

In those comments, Chaput disputed Trump’s proposal to end “birthright citizenship” — the automatic granting of citizenship to babies born on American soil, even if their parents are illegally.

“This is a profoundly bad idea,” Chaput said.

Chaput initially avoided using Trump’s name, instead saying: “At least one of our presidential candidates has already made the national immigration debate ugly with a great deal of belligerent bombast.”

Chaput also criticized the Obama Administration for carrying out a record number of deportations. “This brutally affects immigrant families — especially those with children who are U.S. citizens,” he said.

The archbishop has been criticized in the run-up to the pope’s visit, mostly from the left, for his response to the firing of a gay teacher at Waldron Mercy.  Tuesday’s comments offer him a chance to show that Catholic social teaching can offend — or appeal — across the entire political spectrum.

Pope Francis visits Philadelphia on September 26th and 27th.