Above: (L) Pope Francis speaks to youth in Morelia, Mexico, February 16, 2016. The CAtholic leader will give a mass on Wednesday in solidarity with immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border. (R) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says "You're fired!" during a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins; REUTERS/Dominick Reuters

The Vatican has responded to Donald Trump’s comments criticizing Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.-Mexico border. In an interview last week, the businessman and GOP presidential frontrunner described the Pope, in essence, as an unwitting pawn of Mexican foreign policy saying that “the Pope is a very political person.” Ahead of the pontiff’s immigration-themed mass in Juarez on Wednesday, Vatican spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi called Trump’s comments “very strange.” He also reframed the Pope’s comments as pastoral and generally humanitarian, as opposed to prescribing a specific set of policies, according to Crux.

“The pope always talks about migration problems all around the world, of the duties we have to solve these problems in a humane manner, of hosting those who come from other countries in search of a life of dignity and peace,” Lombardi told reporters.

In addition to lobbying for better treatment of immigrants in the Americas, Pope Francis has been speaking out regularly in European countries, calling for the compassionate reception of Syrian refugees fleeing the country’s civil war. Citing

adding that “Trump would know if he came to Europe.”

Last week, Trump told Fox Business News’ he didn’t think that Pope Francis “understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico” and the "danger of the open border that we have with Mexico.” Trump has proposed creating a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border using Mexican funds. He has also proposed deporting an estimated 10.9 million immigrants from the U.S.

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