Pope Francis speaks in Washington, D.C., during the annual U.S.-European Council meeting on June 15, 2021. 

Trump has made many anti-Catholic statements.

He’s called the pope “a liar,” a “son of a whore” and said that the pope would have “very good relations with the Russians” if he had not been elected president. 

In the same speech, Francis urged Americans to stand up for the pope.

“I will never be silenced,” Francis said. 

“I will fight for the truth, and I will stand for it,” he said, “not only for those who are persecuted and persecuted for their faith, but also for those whose faith is threatened, because their faith is endangered by those who have their power.” 

Francis made his comments during a meeting with the pope’s political advisers and family, who said they had received assurances from the pope that his comments would not be used against him in the future.

The Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Francises remarks on his own show of strength and unity were in line with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who has made several public comments on his views on religious freedom, including the Vatican’s recent statement that it is the responsibility of the church to protect religious freedom. 

A former Jesuit priest, Francis also issued a statement in 2017 saying that he was “not against all religions,” but said “I do not consider all religions to be equal.” 

On Wednesday, Francis said that if his own position had not changed since he became pope, he would have never been ordained as a priest in the first place.