On Tuesday, the Trump administration blasted out another round of immigration orders, pledging to detain and deport undocumented immigrants to enhance public safety. As with other administration directives, the memos and subsequent press conference were hazy on important details, such as who will be impacted or how the colossal expansion of policing will be funded.
On Wednesday morning, Pope Francis—who has been an outspoken defender of refugees and immigrants—tweeted what appeared to be a rebuff to the administration’s anti-immigrant stance.
Jesus entrusted to Peter the keys to open the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, and not to close it.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) February 22, 2017
It’s not the first time the Pope seemed to be subtweeting the President (or his anti-refugee counterparts in Europe). On Saturday, the Pope tweeted: “How often in the Bible the Lord asks us to welcome migrants and foreigners, reminding us that we too are foreigners!”
As Gizmodo reported, the Pope’s tweets have spurred a far-from Christian reaction among some of his followers, who appeared to take a harsher, Old Testament view of the suffering of vulnerable groups.
so Heaven has a wall, a gate, and a vetting process. And would I be able to walk into your house?
— Rev. James McCubbin (@JamesMcCubbin1) February 22, 2017
… You wouldn't allow uninvited people in your own home. GOD did close the doors to the banquet after the guests welcomed came.
— Verna Khantzian (@VernaKhantzian) February 22, 2017
So, it is ok for heaven to have a gate, but not the US? Why don't you take down your wall and security at the Vatican? #PlankInEye
— Patrick Hooper (@P_Hoop) February 22, 2017
Love you to death Pope Frenchie but your kinda a hypocrite when you have huge walls around the Vatican. Hmmm
— Bernice Garza (@garza_bernice) February 22, 2017
You need to go re-read the sermon on the mount.
— Anonymous Source (@404UserNotFond) February 22, 2017
Of course, the responses were not all negative. Many of the Pope’s followers replied with “Amen” and thanked him for his message of tolerance.