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Pope repeats bridges not
The pope didn't refer to President Donald Trump in his comments. But at the end of his audience, he noted that yesterday marked both the church's day of reflection for young victims of human trafficking and coincidentally the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita.
She was a 19th-century Sudanese slave who, after migrating to Europe, became a nun. Sudan is one of the seven countries on the US travel ban list.
"In the social and civil context as well, I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges," he said. "To not respond to evil with evil. To defeat evil with good, the offense with forgiveness. A Christian would never say ‘you will pay for that.' Never.
"That is not a Christian gesture. An offence you overcome with forgiveness. To live in peace with everyone."
Francis has frequently invoked the "bridge not walls" appeal in urging countries to welcome migrants, including when he returned from a visit last year to the US-Mexico border.
On that occasion, he was asked about Donald Trump's campaign pledge to build a border wall and said anyone who wants to build a wall is "not Christian."
The Vatican has in recent weeks come out strongly and directly to criticise the Trump immigration policy, with a senior official saying the Vatican was indeed concerned and the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, saying the recourse to walls and travel bans was against US economic interests. (AP)
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