by Robert Duncan
ROME (CNS) – Limiting the number of Muslims allowed to immigrate to traditionally Christian nations would be a prudent decision on the part of politicians, said U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke.
During a pro-life and pro-family conference in Rome May 17, the day before Italy’s March for Life, Cardinal Burke outlined his views on immigration.
“To resist large-scale Muslim immigration in my judgment is to be responsible,” Cardinal Burke said, responding to a written question.
Islam “believes itself to be destined to rule the world,” he said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see what has happened in Europe,” the cardinal said, citing the large Muslim immigrant populations in France, Germany and Italy.
Cardinal Burke’s comments are the latest addition to a debate among Catholics regarding the application of Gospel precepts to the large numbers of migrants arriving in Western nations from Africa and the Middle East.
No Papal Blessing for Salvini
In early May, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the pope’s almoner, told a reporter that the Vatican would refuse a papal blessing to Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister, who is known for his restrictive immigration policies.
Cardinal Burke said that the while the church must be generous to “individuals that are not able to find a way of living in their own country,” this is not the case for many Muslim migrants, “who are opportunists.”
The cardinal mentioned the book “No Go Zones: How Sharia Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You,” written by former Breitbart News reporter Raheem Kassam, as evidence that Muslim immigration is having an effect even in the United States.
Pope Francis on Migrants
Pope Francis has made a generous attitude toward migrants a cornerstone of his pontificate, underlining the Christian duty to “welcome the stranger” over political or demographic considerations, although he repeatedly has added that government leaders have a responsibility to assess how many migrants their countries truly can integrate.
Such an assessment should include the financial costs of helping immigrants learn the local language and customs, the pope has said.
Answering the written question from a conference participant, Cardinal Burke said Christian nations’ abandonment of traditional moral norms has been a cause of Europe’s Muslim influx.
“Muslims have said that they are able today to accomplish what they were not able to accomplish in the past with armaments because Christians no longer are ready to defend their faith, what they believe; they are no longer ready to defend the moral law,” the cardinal said.
Another reason for the demographic shift, the cardinal said, is that “Christians are not reproducing themselves,” referring to the widespread use of contraceptives.
Recoverting True Culture
In this context, Catholics have a duty to instruct migrants on “what is bankrupt in the culture” into which they are received. To the extent possible, Catholics should even to try to work with them “to recover what is true culture,” which includes a recognition of the dignity of life, respect for sexual morality and proper worship of God, the cardinal said.