JULY 19, 2017
Quo Vadis, Papa Francisco?
Pro-migrant Pope ‘destroying Christianity’
By Tess Livingstone, July 19, 2017
The unconcealed disdain from one pope to his successor, delivered in front of the world, was unmissable. Retired Pope Benedict XVI, in a message read out by his secretary in Cologne Cathedral last week, likened the church under Pope Francis to a boat that “has taken on so much water as to be
on the verge of capsizing“.
The occasion was the funeral of German cardinal Joachim Meisner, 83, who was one of four cardinals who had been in direct conflict with Francis
(co-signatory of the dubia)
over his controversial apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), which has softened church rules on divorce and Holy Communion.
The alarm about Francis extends far beyond theology to politics, immigration, Western relations with Islam, the global balance of power and climate change. Ahead of the G20 in Hamburg, the Pope called in a journalist from Italian newspaper La Repubblica to voice his concern that the summit would not advance the cause of migrants. A proponent of big government, Francis also urged European nations to abandon their sovereign borders and “take as soon as possible a federal structure”.
Far from hiding his anti-Americanism, Francis drew a parallel between the US and totalitarian regimes including North Korea: “I am afraid there are very dangerous alliances between powers who have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Russia and Assad in the war in Syria.” A recent article in a Vatican journal by two of the Pope’s closest confidants took aim at the religious right in the US and every Republican president from Ronald Reagan onwards. Francis’s backing for Marxist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has enraged bishops and citizens.
One prominent figure who is unsurprised by such outbursts is Marcello Pera, a former president of the Italian Senate who co-authored a significant book, Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam with Benedict in 2007. “The Pope reflects all the prejudices of the South American regarding North America, markets, freedom, capitalism,” he told Il Mattino newspaper in Naples.
Pera’s main concern is Francis’ politicisation of the church, especially his support for illegal immigration, a stance that is alienating much of his flock, including those who support generous but orderly immigration policies such as Australia’s. “Bergoglio just wants to do politics, the Gospel doesn’t matter at all,” Pera says, addressing Francis by his surname.
Concern is strongest in Italy, the destination of Nigerians, Gambians, Sudanese and others drawn by human traffickers’ promises of a warm welcome and plenty of welfare assistance.
Italy is struggling to cope with hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who have sailed across the Mediterranean in recent years; double-digit unemployment; youth unemployment of 40 per cent; and street crime. Another 25,000 newcomers arrived last month, mainly from Nigeria and Guinea. The total number this year will exceed the 170,000 people, predominantly Muslim males, who arrived last year.
Some communities are in revolt over the cost of housing them and the criminal behaviour of some of the men towards women. Rome mayor Virginia Raggi recently called on the government not to send any more migrants to the city.
Despite community anger Francis has remained defiant, urging young people to be “protagonists of change” in backing mass migration without defined limitations. His attitude has prompted pertinent questions about the kind of religious and cultural melting pot he wants Europe to be.
Pera says: “It’s evident to all that an indiscriminate welcoming is not possible: there is a critical point that cannot be reached. If the Pope does not make reference to this critical point, if he insists in a massive and total welcoming, I ask myself: ‘why does he say it? What is the true end of his words? Why does he lack a minimum of realism, that very little that is requested of anyone?’ The answer I can give myself is only one: ‘the Pope does it because he hates the West, he aspires to destroy it, and he does all he can to reach this end. As he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition, Christianity as it has realised itself historically’.”
Strong and extraordinary words from a papal co-author.
Pera fears a brutal kickback, through some form of alliance between European nationalists from both right and left with conservative Catholics, who realise increasingly that Francis is out of synch with much of his flock.
The latter sentiment was evident at Cologne Cathedral. The night before Meisner died, he spoke to fellow German cardinal Gerhard Muller, 69, who had just been dismissed as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Francis, six years short of retirement age and with minimal notice. Both cardinals, noted for their doctrinal orthodoxy, were sad. Muller’s departure, and the absence of Cardinal George Pell, leaves Francis with a weakened curia. Not that he always consults his cardinals. He has not met with them as a group at the last couple of consistories.
Pera says the world needs a Pope who “does not dream of an impoverished West” and Italy needs a political class that returns “issues of identity and national tradition” to the centre of public opinion. Benedict, just as pointedly in his message in Cologne, spoke of the church’s “pressing need for shepherds who would oppose the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, fully resolved to act and think from a faith standpoint”.
26 of 418 readers’ comments
1. I’ve given up on him. It’s sede vacante as far as I am concerned. I’m just hoping I last longer than he does. But I do wonder. He has supporters every bit the white ant-er that he is. Did I read aright that Bergoglio’s English mate, the former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, said, “Four years of Bergoglio ought to do it”, i.e. liberalise the church and rid it of the conservative likes of Benedict.
Why, for heaven’s sake, did Benedict resign when he must have known full well that Bergoglio had the numbers all stitched up to replace him? I’d have gone on into decrepitude if need be with that prospect in front of me.
2. Francis The standard bearer of liberation theology by stealth.
3. With migration (illegal principally) and birth rates Europe will be majority Muslim by 2050. Sharia will be the law of the land. That’s not some sort of paranoid projection. The Pope appears to be inadvertently assisting this process.
4. He is a globalist elitist dangerous Marxist not a Pope at all. Dump the dud now.
5. Bergoglio, by his demonstrated regard to date, is a very real danger to civilised society. I am one of the many practising, and committed Catholics who has arrived at this view of him.
6. When a purportedly religious figure is so ignorant of the scriptures and so self-absorbed as this the worst pope in at least half a century is, Catholics and Protestants must be concerned. Steps should be taken to remove him before he wreaks more doctrinal havoc through his secular musings.
7. Fatuous, social media and “social justice” obsessed Marxist, who has the nerve to lecture cardinals on careerism.
Washing the feet of illegal Muslim migrants at Easter while the cameras roll.
Encyclical on Climate Change.
Telling Catholics not to “breed like rabbits”, advice better directed to followers of the Prophet.
The case hardly needs to be made. Why did Benedict resign, indeed?
8. The simple fact is that the current Pope is a Marxist. He’ll do untold damage to the church before he is replaced.
9. Who will rid us of this meddlesome Pope? Bring back Benedict.
10. The Pope’s stance on refugees is naïve in the extreme, and lacks any foresight about consequences of an unlimited welcome mat. Everyone who wants to move to the west is now calling themselves a refugee, real refugees without means will suffer as a result, and existing citizens stand to be harmed, economically and culturally. Far better to get out of the palace and return to the missionary days of working amongst those in need where they live, not inviting them to somebody else’s house where they might not fit in and where their presence causes economic stress.
What were the Cardinals thinking, when they elected this dangerous, divisive False Prophet, when it was known that he was, and is, a Liberation Theologian (Marxist)?
12. A progressive Pope. Destroying the Church.
13. Most of the illegal migration into Italy and Europe that the Pope encourages is from Muslim countries. It will destabilise Europe; the Pope doesn’t care which makes you wonder what sort of Europe he wants or whether he cares about Europe at all.
14. Is the Pope a Catholic? I have to wonder.
15. He’s a Jesuit. Say no more.
16. As a Catholic, I am appalled by the way Pope Francis has stepped outside his role as Pope and became an activist on various divisive issues, especially in his blind support for catastrophic man-made global warming. In the past, he has attacked capitalism. He has also attacked Trump’s border security policy. His reaction to ISIS killing Christians has been most bizarre, as has been his invitation to Muslims to the Vatican. At a time the Church should have been strengthening its position in the world, this Pope displays weakness and lack of personal authority, which is why he has relaxed the Church’s position on some issues.
17. I have been a practising Catholic for just over 50 years, and without doubt Bergoglio is the worst Pope I have had in my lifetime, he has been disastrous in his teachings and practice. I thought Paul VI was doing damage after Vat II but his agenda was not as bad as Bergoglio and his confused teachings, unorthodox statements, lack of reverence, poor liturgy and left wing political agenda.
18. This leftist Pope must go.
19. There is a terrifying book written back in the 70’s by a French author Raspali, called “Camp of the Saints”.
It was frightening when I read it then. Now I read it in the newspapers! Compulsory reading for anyone who is concerned for the future of European culture. To read an informed view of this Pope and the similarity with the fictional Pope in the book is a real worry.
20. I’m curious why the Pope is trying to destroy Christianity and its cultural heritage?
Does he believe Gaia and Allah are more important than a Christian God?
21. I am a catholic who lost faith in the church many years ago. Popes like Francis are the reason why. He is the worst form of the cancerous identity politics. The so called virtue signaling leftist deceivers who always come from an elitist position. They push absurd change but always without saying that it must be with them remaining in their comfortable well healed positions. I had a great Aunt who headed a religious order that tended to the poor and sick. She was completely non judgemental and saintly in every way. The best example I have ever met of a Christian person. It is a great pity that the churches of today don’t seem to have any people who are pious and selfless as was so obvious in my great aunt.
22. It’s called the social gospel. It’s an alternative to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The social gospel is fundamentally ideological/political in nature and focused on social justice and works, whereas the Gospel of Christ is fundamentally spiritual in nature and focused on firstly the sinful state (not just doing bad stuff but who we are), then God in Christ exchanging his native righteousness for our sin on the cross, then (once reconciled) the gradual outworking of a new life born of the Holy Spirit in the inner man.
God is a natural at social justice, and Christians do it instinctively to the degree that they’ve learnt to follow the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. Others certainly do it too, but the reasons and motivations vary. The motivation of the Holy Spirit is selfless. For all the bad rap that Christians have had lately, there have been countless examples of selfless love over many generations.
23. The Vatican took on a family of 4 Syrian Muslims – which was strange considering the plight of Syrian Christians.
24. That is a great article Tess. You don’t get that degree of frankness from the Catholic media.
Pope Francis began to lose me when in one of his early statements he first started to attack capitalism as inherently “evil” – ignoring the fact that capitalism is largely responsible for the tremendous rise in human living standards because of its ability to unlock the human potential for economic improvement (as the Chinese are proving). The pope seemed blind to that. (That is not to deny that capitalism can have bad effects if used inhumanely – but any economic system will do that).
My early misgivings to Pope Francis then went off the scale when he issued his “climate change/environmental” encyclical “Laudato Si”, where, amongst other ridiculous assertions, he appears to denounce the historical fact that the Industrial Revolution was ever a benefit to humanity – once again ignoring the massive benefits that the Industrial Revolution has brought to the human race. I thought that Emeritus Prof Ian Plimer’s 2015 book “Heaven & Hell – the Pope condemns the poor to eternal poverty” was an excellent debunking of Pope Francis’ irrational views on science, and the “climate change” issue in particular.
All this gave me the impression that Pope Francis’ view is that the optimum period of human society was stuck somewhere around the end of the 16th century – when coincidently the Spanish Empire was at its height of power and wealth. Most people in the English-speaking world are not aware of the veiled resentment that the Hispanic world holds for the Anglosphere and its historic achievements, including the great success that the British rule of law and its historical offshoots have brought to humanity. I see an element of that resentment in Pope Francis’ attitudes.
I was astonished to see that Pope Francis took close advice from the German theoretical physicist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who is not Christian, and appears to profess a variant of the Gaia Earth-cult (which historically, is a very German thing to do). Remarkably, it also appears that perhaps the majority of the members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences advising the pope are not Christian either – let alone Catholic. Very strange!
It was disturbing to learn that before issuing his “Laudato Si” encyclical, Pope Francis refused to see a delegation of highly-qualified people who wanted to inform him of the alternative realist and non-alarmist scientific views on “climate change”. That makes it pretty obvious that Francis intended to use his office as pope to push his own personal political obsessions, which seem to indicate a very restricted understanding of both history and the world. These leanings need to be understood in the light of the fact that Pope Francis is a Jesuit (at least in outlook and in origins), and that from the 1970s on, that religious society has adopted a pro-Marxist interpretation of the way society should be ordered – which is not surprising seeing that the Jesuits live by a collectivist philosophy. (Pope John Paul II told them to desist from this, but he was ignored).
One other disturbing thing that struck me was the way the Vatican public relations machine went into complete overdrive to push the very flawed historical and scientific message contained in “Laudato Si” when it was launched. I found that suspicious. If there is a truthful message in something then it should be able to stand on its own two feet and not need Madison Avenue-style hype to support it. Frankly, Pope Francis gives me one more reason to be embarrassed to call myself a Catholic.
Finally – thanks for the tip on the existence of the book by Marcello Pera & Pope-Emeritus Benedict. I have now downloaded it from Kindle as a result.
25. The Pope’s behaviour is that of a communist who regards capitalism as evil. He wants open borders which will facilitate the Islamic immigrant invasion of Europe. Within a few decades that will mean the end of 2,000 years of western Christian civilisation and its replacement with unreformed, medieval Islam. Pope Francis is joined in the call for open borders by many western politicians who want to see the end of nominally white Christian economic dominance, not only in Europe but also in the United States and other English-speaking countries like Australia. He should resign and be replaced by a Catholic who will support the Church instead of its enemies.
26. It never ceases to amaze me how the Church continues to destroy not only its own faith, but the faith of its congregation. Christianity is being daily over run, Churches destroyed and Christians killed by a religion that pledges and commands the destruction of Christianity. Yet, the Pope pours Holy Oil on the Islamic fire engulfing Europe.
Every year, on the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis has issued a message that is published on the Vatican site https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/migration.index.html in eight languages during the moths of August or September. The last such was dated September 8, 2016, on the occasion of the 103rd World Day to be celebrated on January 15, 2017.
There is a Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People at the Vatican.
This is what the leftist America magazine has to say:
Pope Francis: Protecting the world’s migrants and refugees is a moral imperative
By Gerard O’Connell, February 21, 2017
Pope Francis has again emphasized the urgent need for “a coordinated and effective response” by the political community, civil society and the church to the challenges arising from the massive wave of migration across the world that has created the greatest humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.
Addressing participants at the Sixth International Forum on Migration and Peace taking place in Rome on Feb. 21 to 22, the pope said it is a “moral imperative” to protect migrant workers “and among these particularly men and women in irregular situations” as well as those “exiled and seeking asylum” or “victims of trafficking.”
Moreover, he said, “defending their inalienable rights, ensuring their fundamental freedoms and respecting their dignity are duties from which no one can be exempted.”
The pope did not name any country, but his emphasis on protecting undocumented workers is particularly significant for Europe and the United States, where the treatment of refugees and migrants has been a consistent challenge. He listed several initiatives that could protect migrating people, including the adoption of clear juridical instruments, both international and national, the implementation of “just and far reaching political choices” and programs to fight human trafficking.
In the final part of his talk, delivered in the stately and beautiful Sala Clementina, Pope Francis told the forum participants, “We have a duty toward our brothers and sisters who, for various reasons, have been forced to leave their homeland: a duty of justice, of civility and of solidarity.”
Referring to the “duty of justice,” he said, “We can no longer sustain unacceptable economic inequality, which prevents us from applying the principle of the universal destination of the earth’s goods… One group of individuals cannot control half of the world’s resources. We cannot allow for persons and entire peoples to have a right only to gather the remaining crumbs. Nor can we be indifferent or think ourselves dispensed from the moral imperatives which flow from a joint responsibility to care for the planet.”
Commenting on “the duty of civility,” he said, “our commitment to migrants, exiles and refugees is an application of those principles and values of welcome and fraternity that constitute a common patrimony of humanity and wisdom,” codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. Today more than ever, he said, “it is necessary to affirm the centrality of the human person, without allowing immediate and ancillary circumstances, or even the necessary fulfillment of bureaucratic and administrative requirements, to obscure this essential dignity.”
Then there is “a duty of solidarity” in the face of tragedies, such as conflicts, persecutions, violence, that take the lives of so many migrants and refugees. “Solidarity is born precisely from the capacity to understand the needs of our brothers and sisters who are in difficulty and to take responsibility for these needs.”
The sacred value of hospitality, present in all religious traditions, is based on this. “For us Christians,” the pope said, “hospitality offered to the weary traveler is offered to Jesus Christ himself, through the newcomer: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’ (Mt 25:35). The duty of solidarity is to counter the throwaway culture and give greater attention to those who are weakest, poorest and most vulnerable.”
He concluded with a special appeal to welcome, protect and integrate “the children and young people who are forced to live far from their homeland and who are separated from their loved ones.” They are particularly vulnerable and need protection, he said.
Pope Francis said that contemporary human migration, “in terms of origin, transit or destination, involves nearly every part of the world,” and he drew attention to the fact that “in the majority of cases, this movement is forced, caused by conflict, natural disasters, persecution, climate change, violence, extreme poverty and inhumane living conditions.”
The pope advocated a “shared response” to this crisis by the political community, civil society and the church. He said that effort could be described with four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.
Two years ago, in January 2015, addressing the ambassadors from 180 countries that have diplomatic relations with the Holy See, Francis observed that “rejection is an attitude we all share; it makes us see our neighbor not as a brother or sister to be accepted, but as unworthy of our attention, a rival or someone to be bent to our will.”
In his address on Feb. 21, he said rejection is “rooted ultimately in self-centeredness and amplified by populist rhetoric,” and he underlined the need for “a change of attitude, to overcome indifference and to counter fears with a generous approach of welcoming those who knock at our doors.”
He called for the promotion of an “integral human development” of migrants, exiles and refugees and said this requires “a coordinated effort” involving the political community, civil society, international organizations and religious institutions.
The pope highlighted the need for the integration of migrants in host countries and explained that this “is neither assimilation nor incorporation. It is a two-way process, rooted essentially in the joint recognition of the other’s cultural richness: It is not the superimposing of one culture over another, nor mutual isolation, with the insidious and dangerous risk of creating ghettos.”
Migrants “are duty bound not to close themselves off from the culture and traditions of the receiving country” and must respect its laws, he said. Governments, on the other hand, should foster “the family dimension of integration” with policies that favor and benefit the reunion of families.
The two-day conference was organized by the newly established Vatican Department for Promoting Integral Human Development in collaboration with the Scalabrini International Migration Network.
Migrants aren’t a danger to Europe but a ‘challenge to grow’, says Pope Francis
February 17, 2017
Pope Francis, who was reunited on Friday with one of the Syrian refugees he brought home with him from Lesbos, Greece, has said migrants do not pose a danger to Europe’s culture but rather a challenge for societies to grow.
Francis made the comments during a visit to the Roma Tre university, one of the main public universities in the Italian capital. There, he met with Nour Essa, who along with her husband and child flew back to Rome with the Pope after his trip to Lesbos last April. Since then, Essa has won a government scholarship to finish her biology studies at Roma Tre and has become an activist for refugee rights in her new country.
During a question-and-answer session in a courtyard at the university, Essa asked Francis about fears expressed by many Europeans that Syrians and Iraqi migrants threaten Europe’s Christian culture. Francis responded by noting that his native Argentina is a country of immigrants, and that ending wars and poverty would trim migration flows.
“Migration isn’t a danger, it’s a challenge to grow,” he said, adding that European countries must not only welcome migrants but integrate them into society. “They bring to us a culture, a culture that is rich for us. And also they have to receive our culture and there has to be an exchange of cultures,” he said. “Respect. And this removes fear.”
Essa and her family fled to Lesbos from Syria and lived in a refugee camp for a month until Francis visited. After meeting with refugees, Francis flew back to Rome with three Syrian families, all of them Muslim, in a tangible sign of solidarity.
“Our lives changed in a day thanks to you,” Essa told Francis on Friday.
The Sant’Egidio community, a Catholic charity, took responsibility for settling the dozen refugees, getting the children enrolled in school and finding housing, jobs and language classes for the parents.
Essa recently was on hand at Rome’s airport to welcome a group of 41 Syrian refugees brought to Italy by a joint programme of Sant’Egidio and a Protestant church that organises “humanitarian corridors” for migrants to legally migrate to Europe. There, Essa told reporters that refugees aren’t terrorists. “We are refugees fleeing from war,” she said.
During Friday’s event, Essa and Francis chatted warmly with one another. She smiled when Francis recalled that in Lesbos the refugee families — already aboard his plane for the trip to Rome — didn’t want to come back down the stairs to the tarmac to bid a formal farewell to Greek authorities who had accompanied Francis to his aircraft.
“They didn’t want to get off,” Francis said. “They were afraid they’d have to stay.”
How Pope Francis is leading the Catholic Church against anti-migrant populism
By Anthony Faiola and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Vatican City, April 10, 2017
As politicians around the world including President Trump take an increasingly hard line on immigration, a powerful force is rallying to the side of migrants: the Roman Catholic Church led by Pope Francis.
Catholic cardinals, bishops and priests are emerging as some of the most influential opponents of immigration crackdowns backed by right-wing populists in the United States and Europe. The moves come as Francis, who has put migrants at the top of his agenda, appears to be leading by example, emphasizing his support for their rights in sermons, speeches and deeds.
The pro-migrant drive risks dividing Catholics — many of whom in the United States voted for Trump. Some observers say it is also inserting the church into politics in a manner recalling the heady days of Pope John Paul II, who stared down communism and declared his opposition to the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The Vatican is standing in open opposition to politicians like Trump not just on immigration but also on other issues, including climate-change policy.
But the focal point is clearly migrant rights.
In the United States, individual bishops, especially those appointed by Francis, have sharply criticized Trump’s migrant policies since his election. They include Newark Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, who last month co-led a rally in support of a Mexican man fighting deportation. Tobin has decried Trump’s executive orders on immigration, calling them the “opposite of what it means to be an American.”
In Los Angeles, Archbishop José H. Gomez, the first Mexican American vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which leads the U.S. church, described migrant rights as the bishops’ most important issue. He has delivered blistering critiques of Trump’s policies, and instructed his clerics to distribute cards in English, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese informing migrants of their rights in 300 parishes.
Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, one of Francis’s closest allies in the U.S. church, has issued orders that if federal immigration authorities should attempt to enter churches without a warrant in search of migrants, priests should turn them away and call the archdiocese’s lawyers. Catholic school principals were given the same instructions by the archdiocese, which Cupich said was an attempt to respond in a way that was firm “but not extreme.”
He said Francis has helped bishops shape their response.
“The pope makes it a lot easier for me to be a bishop because he’s very clear in his teaching, and [on] this one in particular, he’s trying to awaken the conscience of the citizens of the world,” Cupich said.
Francis has long been an advocate of migrants — kicking off his papacy in 2013 with a trip to an Italian island used as a waypoint for migrants desperate to enter Europe. In a highly public spat early last year, Francis and Trump exchanged barbs — with Francis declaring that anyone who wants to build walls “is not Christian.”
Speculation is building that Trump and Francis may meet during the U.S. president’s trip to Italy for a Group of Seven meeting in May. Since the November election, Francis has sidestepped direct criticism of Trump and other populist leaders like French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen — while at the same time forcefully condemning the dangers of populism.
“I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges,” Francis said in February on an international day of prayer against human trafficking. “To not respond to evil with evil. To defeat evil with good. . . . A Christian would never say, ‘You will pay for that.’ Never.”
Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of the Vatican’s most senior voices, said last month that it was wrong to portray the Holy See as “against” Trump. But a day earlier, he said that the Vatican was counting on the U.S. Catholic Church — as well as checks and balances — to stop Trump’s policies. “Luckily there are dissenting voices, contrary voices, in the U.S., in explicit disagreement with Trump’s positions,” Turkson said at a Vatican news conference, according to Italy’s ANSA news service. “His immigration ban was blocked by a lawyer in Hawaii. That is a sign that there can be another voice, and hopefully, via political means, gradually Trump himself will start rethinking some of his decisions.”
Those who have the pope’s ear say Francis is seeking to counter anti-migrant policies by appealing directly to voters.
“I don’t think the pope is challenging [the politicians]. I think he is challenging their supporters, both those who actively support them and those who passively allow their policies to happen,” said the Rev. Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the Vatican’s new Section for Refugees and Migrants, which opened in January, just before Trump took office. Czerny reports directly to the pope — a sign of the importance of the new office.
“Mr. Trump or Ms. Le Pen are not the root of the problem,” Czerny continued. “The root of the problem is the fear, selfishness and shortsightedness that motivate people to support them.”
The issue is hardly limited to Trump’s America. In Germany, for instance, the powerful conference of bishops last month raised eyebrows by strongly condemning the policies of an anti-migrant party in a statement that seemed to urge Germans not to vote for it.
Heiner Merz, a German lawmaker from the right-wing Alternative for Germany party, said he recently tangled with a pro-
migrant priest at an official event in Stuttgart. The priest, Merz said, publicly called him a “right-wing extremist.”
“I think it’s outrageous that priests preach party politics down from the pulpit,” Merz said.
Not all Catholic leaders have echoed the pope’s concerns. In some countries, such as Poland, prominent Catholic clerics have taken a different approach, generally supporting right-wing populists and their policies.
Conservative elements in the church, already chafing at some of Francis’s other statements, also say that the pope is in danger of over-politicizing his office.
A small number of prominent clerics led by Cardinal Raymond Burke — a longtime Vatican insider who met in Rome with Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, in 2014 when he headed Breitbart News — have issued surprisingly public critiques of the pope’s more open stance on divorced Catholics and gays and lesbians. The pope’s pro-migrant stance may be feeding the concerns of those who see him as overly liberal.
Roberto de Mattei, a critic of Francis and president of the conservative Lepanto Foundation in Rome, said that the church should play a “balancing role” in the migrant issue. “But if under Pope [Francis] the church sides with unchecked immigration, what then? [Right-wing] movements will accuse the church of colluding with Islam and pro-immigration movements.”
Overall, U.S. Catholics tend to be generally supportive of migrants rights. But the November election revealed a strong political divide along racial and ethnic lines: Sixty percent of white Catholics supported Trump, while 67 percent of Hispanic Catholics backed Clinton, according to exit polls. Surveys also show a clear difference on immigration. Nearly 90 percent of Hispanic Catholics say that undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements should be able to stay in the United States, while 65 percent of white Catholics say the same thing, according to a 2015 Pew survey.
Yet senior U.S. clerics have largely united behind the pope on the migrant issue. In the politically red state of Kansas, for instance, Catholic bishops issued a statement urging Trump to develop “generous and prudent immigration laws.” Even Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, seen as conservative, held a prayer service for immigrants and stated in a column that “how we treat [immigrants] will prove or disprove whether we take our Christian discipleship seriously.”
Senior U.S. clerics also opposed the Obama administration on a number of policies, including a health-care mandate to cover contraception. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, described the church’s religious freedom as the “raging issue” under Obama, while immigration is now the “raging issue” under Trump.
Baltimore’s archbishop, William E. Lori, said U.S. bishops agree with the Trump administration on some issues, including abortion and school choice.
He added that previous popes have taken similar positions as Francis on immigration. But, Lori added, Francis is “perhaps more dramatic.” His trips, such as his 2016 visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, also connected his stance on migrants to politics.
“The poor is the hallmark of his papacy,” Lori said. “It will affect our priorities and it should.”
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QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 01D-MAUNDY THURSDAY FOOT KISSING
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 04-COMPROMISED BY NEW AGE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE?
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QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 06-ENDORSEMENT OF A NEW AGE HEALER FROM INDIA?
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 07-TEAM BERGOGLIO IS A HERETICAL CONSPIRACY TO OVERTHROW THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
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QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 10-NEW AGE CONSULTOR TO THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE NOW DENIGRATES THE EUCHARIST
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 11-PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE JOINS IN RELIGIOUS RITUAL OF NEW AGE CULT
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 12-CATHOLIC CRITICISM OF ENCYCLICAL LAUDATO SI’
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 13-SOME QUESTIONABLE ECCLESIAL APPOINTMENTS OF POPE FRANCIS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 14-A DANGEROUS POPE CHALLENGING THE CHURCH?
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 15-THE POPE SPEAKS ON CLIMATE CHANGE AIR POLLUTION AND A HERETICAL PRIEST EVADES PROLIFE ISSUES
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 16-CARDINAL DANNEELS REVEALS THAT HIS CLERICAL MAFIA STRIVED FOR BERGOGLIO AS POPE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 17-HOW WILL TRADITION VIEW POPE FRANCIS’ PAPACY?
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 18-CATHOLIC CRITICISM OF POPE FRANCIS’ MOTU PROPRIOS ON MARRIAGE ANNULMENT
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 19-CRACKDOWN ON THE FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF THE IMMACULATE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 20-ATHEIST PAPAL ADVISOR BELIEVES IN NEW AGE GODDESS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 21-AWARDED 2015 PERSON OF THE YEAR BY ANTICHRISTIAN PETA
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 22-THE CONTRACEPTION AND RABBITGATE CONTROVERSIES
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 23-THE LUTHERANIZATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 24-APOSTOLIC DECEPTION AMORIS LAETITIA
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 25-SHAME AND SCANDAL IN THE FAMILY
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 26-THE DECENTRALIZATION OF DOCTRINAL AUTHORITY (SYNODALITY AND COLLEGIALITY)
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 27-THE CHIEF DRAFTER OF AMORIS LAETITIA AND THE ART OF KISSING
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 28- QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 28-DID GERMAN PELF INFLUENCE THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY?
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 29-PROTESTANT ALPHA COURSE ENDORSED BY POPE FRANCIS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 30-ECUMENISM WITH PROTESTANTS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 31-AMORIS LAETITIA-CONTINUING FALLOUT
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 32-PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY UNVEILS DIABOLICAL SEX-ED PROGRAMME
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 33-POPE FRANCIS DECLINES DONATION BECAUSE OF 666 FIGURE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 34-POPE FRANCIS AND THE HAMMER AND SICKLE CRUCIFIX
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 35-RESURREXIFIXES AND A STRANGE CROZIER
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 36-THE BENT CROSS CONTROVERSY
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 37-A BEACH BALL BEFORE THE TABERNACLE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 38-CONFESSIONAL ABSOLUTION WITHOUT A SHRED OF REPENTANCE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 39-SILENT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISM CONCEDING TO ISLAM
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 40-THE PURGE OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 41-LIBERATION THEOLOGIAN BANNED EX-PRIEST BOFF SAYS FRANCIS IS ONE OF US
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 42-PRO-SOCIALISM, ANTI-CAPITALISM
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 43-FIRST-EVER ANGLICAN SERVICE IN VATICANS ST PETERS BASILICA
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 44-ARE THESE RUMOURS OR ARE INTERRELIGIOUS MASSES NEXT
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 45-CRITICISM OF TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS ORDERS AND THE TRIDENTINE MASS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 46-CLIMATE OF FEAR IN THE VATICAN
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 47-CRASS COMMENTS AND AD HOMINEM ATTACKS ON FAITHFUL CATHOLICS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 48-THE DESECRATION OF SACRED SPACES IN ROME
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 49-LITTLE REVERENCE FOR THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 50-ABOLITION OF THE SOLEMN TRAPPINGS OF THE PONTIFICAL OFFICE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 51-I AM THE POPE-I DO NOT NEED TO GIVE REASONS FOR ANY OF MY DECISIONS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 52-STRIPPING THE CHURCH-THE CATHOLIC FUNERAL OF THE FUTURE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 53-POLICE BUST DRUG AND GAY-SEX ORGY IN VATICAN APARTMENT
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 54-PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR MADE DIRECTOR OF L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO ARGENTINA
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 55-BRUTAL DISMISSAL OF CARDINAL MULLER AS PREFECT OF THE CDF
AMORIS LAETITIA AND THE CURRENT CRISIS IN THE CHURCH
AMORIS LAETITIA AND THE GAY MAFIA IN THE VATICAN 01
AMORIS LAETITIA-THE SSPX ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM
THE DUBIA OR DOUBTS ABOUT AMORIS LAETITIA-FOUR CARDINALS ASK FIVE QUESTIONS
POPE FRANCIS APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION AMORIS LAETITIA ACCUSED OF HERESY BY 45 THEOLOGIANS
POPE FRANCIS HIMSELF QUESTIONED ORTHODOXY OF AMORIS LAETITIA
INFALLIBILITY OF THE POPE, COUNCILS, PAPAL AND VATICAN DOCUMENTS
OBEDIENCE TO THE BISHOPS-RON SMITH
CAN A CATHOLIC CRITICIZE THE POPE?
WHEN PUBLIC CORRECTION OF A POPE IS URGENT AND NECESSARY
2016-THE YEAR POPE FRANCIS FINALLY SHOWED HIS HAND
A CLOSED LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS NOW OPEN-FR CONRAD SALDANHA
AN INDICTMENT OF POPE FRANCIS-ANTONIO SOCCI
AN OPEN LETTER ON THE CRISIS IN THE CHURCH-ARCHBISHOP PAWEL
AN OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS-FR GEORGE DAVID BYERS
AN OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS-FR RICHARD CIPOLLA
AN OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS-RANDY ENGEL
CARDINAL OSWALD GRACIAS INTERPRETS POPE FRANCIS PERSONAL REMARK ON HOMOSEXUALS AS CHURCH TEACHING
CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO POPE FRANCIS GROWING
HOMOSEXUALITY INSIDE THE VATICAN
IS POPE FRANCIS UNDERGOING TREATMENT WITH NEW AGE ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES?
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH UNDER POPE FRANCIS IN SCHISM
THE FRANCIS EFFECT & WHO AM I TO JUDGE-THE SPIRIT OF VATICAN COUNCIL II?
WE ACCUSE POPE FRANCIS
THE LANGUAGE OF POPE FRANCIS IS AT TIMES TRYING FOR CATHOLICS-EVANGELII GAUDIUM
THE POPE FRANCIS LITTLE BOOK OF INSULTS AND NAME-CALLING
THE SHOCKING INITIATIVES OF POPE FRANCIS
POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI BREAKS HIS SILENCE FOR A FOURTH TIME
A-Z LIST OF CONCERNS WITH POPE FRANCIS
FOUR YEARS LATER-REFLECTIONS ON AN UNPRECEDENTED PONTIFICATE
UNEDIFYING IMAGES OF POPE FRANCIS
IS POPE FRANCIS A HERETIC?
PUTTING POPE FRANCIS INTO PERSPECTIVE 2013-2017
IS POPE FRANCIS THE FALSE PROPHET OF THE BIBLE?
SATAN MUST REIGN IN THE VATICAN-THE POPE MUST BE HIS SLAVE
INDIAN PRIEST IN ITALY CRITICIZES POPE FRANCIS CONGREGATION STORMS OUT
POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI BREAKS HIS SILENCE FOR A FIFTH TIME-CHURCH ON THE VERGE OF CAPSIZING
POPE FRANCIS CONFIDANTE JESUIT FR ANTONIO SPADARO ATTACKS CATHOLIC MINISTRY