One of Pope Francis’s own bishops has issued a stunning rebuke of the pope’s stance on refugees, calling him “misinformed” in his requests for Europeans to welcome Muslim migrants, a message the pope is expected to repeat on his upcoming visit to America.
Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive at the White House for a meeting with President Obama on Sept. 23 and will address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 24. Then he will give the keynote address before more than 190 heads of state at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25.
President Obama announced Thursday that the U.S. would take an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees during the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. But that was far short of the 65,000 to 100,000 Syrians that aid organizations had been lobbying for.
In his U.N. address, the pope is expected to give his enthusiastic endorsement of the U.N.’s “2030 Agenda,” which amounts to a doubling down on the Agenda 21 document approved in 1992. One of the main tenants of the Agenda 2030 sustainability document is for easy migration or maximum “labor mobility” on a global basis. One of the ways the U.N. envisions attaining its stated goal of “eliminating poverty by 2030” is to allow large portions of the Third World to migrate into wealthier industrialized nations.
The European nations are now getting a glimpse of what this type of mass migration looks like.
And one Hungarian bishop is pushing back against the pope’s admonishment that Europeans have a moral obligation to help all of the refugees that pour across their borders.
“They’re not refugees. This is an invasion,” said Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo in an interview with the Washington Post. “They come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.”
Europe is being invaded by a group of people who oppose Christianity and Europe’s “Christian, universal values,” the bishop said.
The bishop said he stands with Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who also sees the flow of Muslim migrants as a threat to predominantly Christian Europe.
Orban was rebuked in the New York Times earlier this week when he made comments that Hungary would act to preserve and protect its Christian heritage and not allow masses of Muslims to continue using its country as a route into Central Europe. The Times article referred to Orban as a “xenophobe.”
Orban has restricted the flow of refugees and is planning to build an eight-foot fence along Hungary’s southern border with Serbia. Slovakia has announced it will accept only Christian refugees, and Poland has also said “no” to Muslim refugees.
“I’m in total agreement with the prime minister,” Kiss-Rigo told the Post.
All migrants are not destitute
The images shown to Americans on television lead one to believe that all the refugees coming into Europe are desperate and destitute, with nothing but the shirts on their backs.
But the Hungarian bishop said many of the “refugees” streaming into his country do not deserve assistance because they “have money.”
Many of them paid upward of $1,200 or more to make the trip from Syria, from Iraq, from Afghanistan, and various North African countries. Some have speculated that money for these pilgrimages to the West has been provided by mosques back home. Saudi Arabia admitted Friday that it is providing money to build dozens of new mosques in Germany.
“They leave garbage along their path and refuse the food offered them by humanitarian workers,” said Kiss-Rigo, who has been serving for nine years as bishop for southern Hungary, a region where some 800,000 Catholics live.
“Most of them behave in a way that is very arrogant and cynical,” he said.
Kiss-Rigo said Pope Francis is misinformed about what is really happening in Europe. He “doesn’t know the situation,” he said.
On Sunday, the pope spoke before pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square, appealing to parishes, convents and monasteries across Europe to be “neighbors” to the refugees.
“Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death by war and by hunger, and who are on a path toward a hope for life, the Gospel calls us to be neighbors to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope,” Pope Francis said. “It’s not enough to say, ‘Have courage, hang in there.'”
“May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe host a family, starting with my diocese of Rome,” Francis said.
In the U.S., the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is one of the nine private nonprofits that gets paid by the federal government to resettle foreign refugees into more than 190 cities and towns.
Where they come from
The U.S. takes in about 70,000 foreign refugees annually, and Obama has called for a slight increase, 75,000, in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Obama wants to take 10,000 just from Syria. At least half of the 70,000 refugees coming to the U.S. every year are Muslim, and this does not include the 40,000 asylum seekers the U.S. takes in every year, or those issued employment-based visas.
The largest populations of refugees being resettled in the United States in recent years have come from Iraq, Burma, Bhutan and Somalia, followed by Cuba, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Texas and California receive the most refugees, followed by New York, Michigan and Florida.
Here are the top 10 states for refugee resettlement based on 2014 figures from U.S. State Department data:
New York, 4,079