Pope Francis urges US Catholics to pray before voting for president
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Pope Francis is urging U.S. Catholics to pray before casting their ballots for president.

“You have asked me a question that describes a difficult choice because, according to you, there are difficulties with one and difficulties with the other,” he said Sunday, according to Reuters.


“During political campaigns, I never say a word. The people are sovereign. I would only say, study the proposals well, pray and choose with your conscience.”

Reuters said Francis was asked his thoughts on the White House race during a press conference aboard his plane while traveling from Azerbaijan. A reporter asked the Catholic leader about the U.S. election, the news service added, alluding to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE’s support for abortion rights and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE’s remarks on migrants and religious minorities.

Francis did not name either Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, or Trump, her GOP rival, during his response.

The Pope additionally described a “fictional situation” to bemoan the polarization of politics in nations like the U.S.

“When in any country there are two, three or four candidates who don’t satisfy everyone, it means that perhaps the political life of that country has become too politicized and that it does not have much political culture. People say, ‘I’m from this party’ or ‘I’m from that party,’ but effectively, they don’t have clear thoughts about the basics, about proposals.”

Francis in February said Trump’s remarks on immigration and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border are “not Christian.”

Trump, who is Presbyterian, said Francis’s comments were “disgraceful,” adding he is a “proud” Christian.