Pope and Welby criticise Trump

Pope and Welby criticise Trump

Pope Francis has used his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” Christmas Day address to call for a two-state solution in Palestine. 

The Argentinian clergyman appealed to Christians to “recognise Christ in the faces of little children … as the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline”.

He told the event at St Peter’s that negotiations were crucial in the Holy Land. He criticised Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as a capital.

It was the second time Francis had spoken out against Trump’s approach and has previously called for Jerusalem’s “status quo” to be respected.

Francis asked for God’s backing for “all those in the international community inspired by goodwill to help that afflicted land to find, despite grave obstacles the harmony, justice and security that it has long awaited”.

“Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders,” said Francis said at the Vatican.

He compared the plight of more than 22 million refugees worldwide to that of Joseph and Mary, who travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem but found no where to stay.

The pontiff said: “We see Jesus in the faces of Syrian children still marked by the war that, in these years, has caused such bloodshed in that country. May beloved Syria at last recover respect for the dignity of every person through a shared commitment to rebuild the fabric of society, without regard for ethnic and religious membership.”

Head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in his annual sermon at Canterbury Cathedral condemned “populist leaders that deceive” their electorates.

“The nature of those who have power is to seek to hold on to it,” Welby said.

“In 2017 we have seen around the world tyrannical leaders that enslave their peoples, populist leaders that deceive them, corrupt leaders that rob them, even simply democratic, well-intentioned leaders of many parties and countries who are normal, fallible human beings.”

Trump was condemned by Welby last month for tweeting an anti-Muslim videos from the hate group Britain First.

The archbishop said at the time: “It is deeply disturbing that the president of the United States has chosen to amplify the voice of far-right extremists.”


The status of Jerusalem remains deeply divisive. Picture credit: Wikimedia

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