Welcome to the Countdown: Top 21 stories of 2017.
by WorldTribune Staff, January 29, 2017
Several leaders in the Catholic Church are openly challenging what they say is Pope Francis’s decision to condone the rapid spread of Islam in Europe.
“[T]hey are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’, they want to take over,” said Laszlo Kiss Rigo, head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community.
Rigo “belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe,” Giulio Meotti wrote for Gatestone Institute on Jan. 29.
“They speak in open opposition to Pope Francis, who does not seem too impressed by the collapse of Christianity due to falling birth rates, accompanied by religious apathy and its replacement by Islam.”
Catholic commentators are also questioning what they see as the Church’s “blindness” about the danger Europe is facing. One is the cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles, Laurent Dandrieu:
“Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church. The Church is watching the establishment of millions of Muslims in Europe… and Muslim worship in our continent as an inescapable manifestation of religious freedom. But the civilizational question is simply never asked.”
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna who is seen as a top candidate to succeed Francis, has appealed to save Europe’s Christian roots. “Many Muslims want and say that ‘Europe is finished,’ ” he said, before accusing Europe of “forgetting its Christian identity.” He then denounced the possibility of “an Islamic conquest of Europe.”
After a Tunisian national, who arrived among a wave of Arab migrants into Germany, murdered 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin, the Catholic archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, who was appointed by Pope Francis, also sounded a warning: “Perhaps we focused too much on the radiant image of humanity, on the good. Now in the last year, or perhaps also in recent years, we have seen: No, there is also evil.”
The leader of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, also warned about the threat of Islamization. “Muslims in Europe have many more children than Christian families; that is why demographers have been trying to come up with a time when Europe will become Muslim.”
“Europe will pay dearly for having left its spiritual foundations; this is the last period that will not continue for decades when it may still have a chance to do something about it,” Cardinal Vik said. “Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamized and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society.”
Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia, has also questioned Pope Francis’s “welcoming culture.”
French presidential candidate Francois Fillon, who “doesn’t hide the fact that he’s Catholic,” rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: “We’ve got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum,” Fillon said. “Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity.”