VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican newspaper on Friday branded U.S. President Donald Trump's reported comments about African countries and Haiti as "particularly harsh and offensive".
The newspaper did not print the word "shithole," which Trump reportedly used repeatedly on Thursday at a White House meeting on immigration on Thursday, according to U.S. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who attended the gathering.
The newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, wrote about the comment in a front-page article about the immigration debate in the United States. It noted that Trump's comments had immediately sparked "controversy and indignation".
Trump denies using the term.
Immigration is one of the issues that Pope Francis, who has strongly defended the rights of developing countries, and Trump have clashed over.
In 2016, in response to a question about then-candidate Trump's views on immigration and his intention to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, Francis said a man with such views was "not Christian".
Trump, who grew up in a Presbyterian family, shot back saying it was "disgraceful" for the pope to question his faith.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella, Editing by William Maclean)