ROME — Breaking what had been a broad silence on U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order imposing a temporary ban on admitting refugees from seven majority-Muslim states, a senior aide to Pope Francis on Wednesday said that the Vatican is “worried” about the decision.

“Certainly there is worry, because we are messengers of another culture, that of openness,” Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s deputy secretary of state, told TV2000, an Italian Catholic television station that had asked about Trump’s order.

Asked about the presidential promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Becciu said that, “Pope Francis insists on the ability to integrate those who arrive in our societies and cultures. All Christians should be strong in reaffirming this message.”

Pope Francis’s decision to remain quiet heretofore on an issue that is clearly close to his heart was partially explained by American Cardinal Joseph Tobin in a recent interview with Catholic News Agency.

In it, the Newark prelate said that in recent days, during a visit to the Vatican’s new Dicastery for Integral Human Development, Father Michael Czerny, a senior official of the department, told him “the Holy Father doesn’t feel the need to intervene because he believes the bishops, not just one bishop, but the bishops of the United States are making an adequate response, a Gospel response.”

The responses from the American bishops to Trump’s decision have been ample, and the bulk of it critical, with Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich calling the order a “dark moment in American history.”

“The executive order to turn away refugees and to close our nation to those, particularly Muslims, fleeing violence, oppression and persecution is contrary to both Catholic and American values,” Cupich said in a statement.

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Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, in his weekly blog released on Tuesday, wrote that “Being ‘pro-life’ involves a great deal more than a defense of unborn life, though it should naturally start there.  We also have grave responsibilities to the poor, the infirm, the elderly and the immigrant – responsibilities that will shape our encounter with the God of justice when we meet him face to face.”

According to Chaput, there are “few embodiments of the weak more needy or compelling than refugees,” and it is for this reason that the Church in the United States has reacted “so strongly, so negatively — and so properly — to President Trump’s executive orders of January 28.”

He goes on to quote Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, himself an immigrant from Mexico and a naturalized American citizen. In the writing quoted by Chaput, the Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says that even though it might be true that Trump didn’t impose a “Muslim ban” because the majority of Muslim countries are not affected, this “does not make these orders less troubling.”

“Halting admissions of refugees for 90 or 120 days may not seem like a long time. But for a family fleeing a war-torn nation, or the violence of drug cartels, or warlords who force even children into armies — this could mean the difference between life and death,” Gomez wrote.