Pope Francis says he would not have allowed his adopted son, Benedict XVI, to become a Catholic, calling him a “dissident.”
Speaking at the Vatican on Sunday, the pontiff told the gathering of Catholics that he would never allow Benedict to become Catholic, saying that he “would have raised me as a Catholic” and that he did not want his children to become Catholics.
“If God would have given me an infant, I would have sent him to a church of the Catholic Church,” he said.
The pope also expressed hope that the United States and its allies would soon have “more opportunities to join in the universal struggle against racism and injustice.”
“The U.S. must continue to be a beacon of light to the world, an example to the entire world, and a partner in the fight against racism,” Francis said.
“We must have greater respect for others, for the dignity of every human being, including Muslims and African-Americans.”
The pope was speaking after he met with American President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Vatican to discuss the global fight against global warming.
Trump has often criticized Francis, calling the pontifical assembly’s report into climate change “fraudulent” and “not scientific.”
Francis has called Trump a “fearmonger” who has not done enough to address climate change.
He said that the U.K. government, which has been one of Trump’s top allies in the U, had made progress toward climate action.
“I’m very hopeful that in the future, the United Kingdom will lead,” Francis told reporters.
“That’s what I have in my mind.”