CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Chicago's Catholic archbishop had harsh words on Monday for politicians using what he called "hateful" language about immigrants.
Archbishop Blase Cupich did not name Donald Trump specifically, but left little doubt that Trump was one of his targets.
Trump insists good immigrants need not be offended by his complaints about undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. who've been arrested for rape and other violence. But Archbishop Cupich, a strong supporter of the comprehensive immigration reform Trump just as strongly opposes, objected to that language.
Cupich said he was speaking as a "strong (American) patriot."
“And I think I'd be remiss if I did not challenge the sometimes hateful language that we see today in our political discourse, which demeans immigrants,” said Cupich.
Archbishop Cupich expects the Pope himself to address immigration when the Pope visits the U.S. East Coast next week. The trip comes as the biggest wave of refugees since World War II flees the Middle East, provoking angry debate in many countries.
“This language fosters a mentality that reduces desperate men and women and children to a sound bite, designed to pander to our lower nature. It's unworthy of this blessed country, a land of immigrants,” Cupich said.
Trump complains on his presidential campaign website that "In 2011, the Government Accountability Office found there were 3 million arrests attached to the incarcerated alien population, including tens of thousands of violent beatings, rapes and murders."
The Archbishop acknowledged it's not just Trump making this argument.
“We've seen this in the past year or two, where immigrants have been described in very demeaning terms,” Cupich said. “In the long run, it's demeaning to our country to be perceived that way in the world, as though we are heartless.”
Some expect a similar message from Pope Francis when he addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill.