It's not appropriate for Pope Francis to criticize Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump walks a tightrope with comments on NATO Progressive politics have done nothing to help black America Is civility in America really dead? MORE said Friday.

“It’s sad we get involved in these kinds of distractions,” he told hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“The pope is obviously a good person and tries to look out for everybody,” the Republican presidential contender continued. "But it’s not appropriate for the pontiff to get involved in issues like that. Of course every nation has a right to sovereignty. The Vatican has a right to sovereignty.”

Trump, who is leading polls ahead of Saturday's GOP primary in South Carolina, derided Francis as “disgraceful” Thursday for suggesting the billionaire’s call for a barrier on America’s southern border is “not Christian” earlier that morning. Carson, a Seventh Day Adventist, noted that his religion provides the moral basis for both his political policies and private conduct.

“I would much rather lose that lie,” he said as an example of his principles. "I take my examples from the life of Christ. I make no bones about the fact that I’m a Christian and that I have Christian values.”

Carson, who ranks second-to-last in Republican voter supporter nationwide, added he is not giving up on his quest for the White House just yet.

“There’s a lot of people saying, ‘Hang around, we’ve got your back,’” the retired neurosurgeon said the day before South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary.

“The nice thing for me is that my support comes from ‘We the People.' It’s not about ‘They the Pundits’ or the political class. It’s nine-inning game. You don’t get out after the second or third inning."