BUDAPEST — Pope Francis’s message Sunday couldn’t have been clearer: With hundreds of thousands of refugees flowing into Europe, Catholics across the continent had a moral duty to help by opening their churches, monasteries and homes as sanctuaries.
On Monday, the church’s spiritual leader for southern Hungary — scene of some of the heaviest migrant flows anywhere in Europe — had a message just as clear: His Holiness is wrong.
“They’re not refugees. This is an invasion,” said Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, whose dominion stretches across the southern reaches of this predominantly Catholic nation. “They come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.”
The bishop’s stark language reflects a broader spiritual struggle in Europe over how to respond to a burgeoning flow of predominantly Muslim men, women and children onto a largely Christian continent.
The pope’s call for compassion and charity is competing with a view most prominently articulated by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has cast the flow of migrants as a direct challenge to Europe’s Christian character.
And despite the heat that Orban has taken worldwide for attempts to crack down on some of the globe’s most vulnerable people by halting their journeys or throwing them into prison, his stance has seemed to only burnish his reputation here as a no-nonsense nationalist who will defend the country against an onslaught of “tens of millions” of new arrivals.
“I’m in total agreement with the prime minister,” Kiss-Rigo said in an interview Monday.
The pope, by contrast, “doesn’t know the situation.”
The situation, as Kiss-Rigo describes it, is that Europe is being inundated by people who are posing as refugees but actually present a grave threat to the continent’s “Christian, universal values.” Read entire report here
We’ve touched on the so-called “migrant crisis” on the General Discussion thread, but since it is apparently worsening, and since we’ve now got the Scots Bishops among those who are calling for us all to open our homes to the “refugees”, it might be helpful to consider the alleged migrant crisis from the perspective of the Hungarian Bishop, Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, which stands in stark contrast to the Pope’s opinion on the matter. Is this a case of innocent people fleeing torture and death – or is there something else at work here?