As president Donald Trump was being sworn in, Pope Francis told an interviewer it would be “reckless” to pass judgment on the new president before he had a chance to do anything.

“We must wait and see,” the Pope told two reporters from the Spanish newspaper El País during a 75-minute interview published last Saturday.

Asked if he wasn’t worried about some of the things Trump said before his election, the Pope responded: “I’m waiting. God waited so long for me, with all my sins.

“Being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite reckless,” he said. “We will see. We will see what he does and then we will judge – always on the concrete. Christianity either is concrete or it is not Christianity.”

El Pais then asked about Mr Trump and populists in the United States and Europe who “capitalise on fear in the face of an uncertain future in order to form a message full of xenophobia and hatred towards the foreigner”.

“Crises provoke fear, alarm,” the Pope said. “In my opinion, the most obvious example of European populism is Germany in 1933. After Hindenburg, after the crisis of 1930, Germany is broken, it needs to get up, to find its identity, a leader, someone capable of restoring its character, and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler who says: ‘I can, I can.’ Hitler didn’t steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people.”

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