The Catholic Church has been at right angles with the populist movements rising up in Britain, France, and the United States for some time, and a recent statement from the Vatican proves that this situation is not going to change anytime soon. While the Church profits exceedingly well off of refugee resettlement and illegal immigration throughout the Western world, Christian men and women – even those who concede to the Pope on matter of doctrine – are not necessarily buying into the Vatican’s position on these matters. In fact, many Catholics are beginning to wish Pope Francis would stay quiet when it comes to matters of border security and national identity.
This week, Jesuit Father Michael Czerny told Italian media that much of the criticism thrown at the pontiff was unfair and that the Vatican stands behind Francis’s message of inclusiveness 100%.
Many would say that the modern “obsession with borders and national security to the detriment of the rights and dignity of refugees and refugees” is excessive, the priest declared. And for many others, “the media predilection for sensational stories that feed xenophobia and isolationism is also excessive,” he added.
For many people, “the way in which politicians create or exaggerate a sense of crisis to obtain short-term advantages is decidedly excessive,” he said.
Anybody who thinks the Pope’s focus on migrants is obsessive “should give the current situation a thoughtful look,” Father Czerny said. If anything is excessive, “it is the slowness with which the ‘developed’ world responds to such obvious and pressing needs,” many would say.
The line between the xenophobia that the Vatican denounces and common-sense border security measures is not necessarily all that thin. It only appears that way because the left (including the Catholic Church) has decided that the West – and the U.S. in particular – has the responsibility to resettle any refugee who needs a home, no matter how many millions that number may come to. No matter the security concerns. No matter the culture clash that is certain to follow. And no matter the real, proven threat of letting Muslims come to the West, knowing that at least some percentage of them will bring jihadist beliefs along with them. Jihadist beliefs that they will not hesitate to act on.
Should we act to help those in need? No doubt about it. But there are ways to do that – and Trump has said exactly this – without sacrificing our own country on the altar of good Samaritanism. This is the balance we must find. Germany and France and Sweden are showing us, in practice, what happens when we fail to do so.