Saturday, June 29, 2019


With words of apostacy and hersey coming from high places and from a cardinal, is this pope now alarmed?  This is from Crux:

Francis warns German Catholics they can’t just do their own thing

Pope Francis poses with Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising and his delegation during the pope's general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 19, 2917. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS.)

ROME - As the Catholic Church in Germany prepares to embark on a synodal process motivated in part by a desire to stop a hemorrhage of faithful, Pope Francis has sent them a letter reminding them they don’t walk alone but with the universal Church.

In the missive he also reminds the Germans that a “structural” reform, simply changing to adapt to modern times, is not the solution.

The Church’s raison d’etre, Francis wrote in a letter released by the Vatican Saturday, is that God “so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that all who believe in him may not die, but may have eternal Life.”

This means that the transformation and revitalization sought after by the German Church with a synod called by the bishops’ conference, cannot simply be a “reaction to external data or demands,” including a drop in births and aging communities. Though these are “valid causes,” Francis wrote, seen outside the ecclesial mystery they could stimulate a reactionary attitude.

The pope’s letter to the Catholics of Germany comes three months after Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising announced that the local church was embarking on a “binding synodal process” to tackle what he says are the three key issues arising from the clerical abuse crisis: Priestly celibacy, the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, and a reduction of clerical power.

True transformation, Francis wrote, “demands a pastoral conversion.”

“We are asked for an attitude that, seeking to live and make the gospel transparent, breaks with ‘the gray pragmatism of the daily life of the Church, in which all appears to proceed normally, while in reality faith is wearing down and degenerating into small-mindedness’,” Francis argued, quoting his 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, which in turn was quoting then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, today Pope emeritus Benedict XVI.

Throughout the 7-page letter Francis quotes his German predecessor often. The first time is when he diagnosed the local Church, with the “growing erosion and decay of the faith.”

This deterioration, Francis wrote, is multifaceted and doesn’t have an easy solution. The criterion par excellence, he wrote, guiding the Church and its discernment must be evangelization, since this is its “essential mission.”

Believing that solutions are purely structural, Francis argued, is “one of the first great temptations at the ecclesial level.”

“Without having the Gospel as its soul,” Francis wrote, a well-organized and even modernized ecclesial body could become a “gaseous” Christianity that has no evangelical zeal.

“Each time the ecclesial community tries to leave its problems alone and focuses exclusively on its forces or its methods, its intelligence, its will or prestige, it ends up increasing and perpetuating the evils it was trying to solve,” Francis said.

No matter how challenging the scenario, the pontiff insisted, it cannot make the Church lose sight of the fact that its mission is not based on forecasts and calculations, ecclesial and political and economic surveys, or pastoral plans.

In the end, he writes, it all comes down to God’s love for his children.

His love “allows us to raise our heads and start again, with a tenderness that never disappoints us and that can always give us back joy,” Francis writes. “Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, never declare ourselves dead, no matter what happens.”

The ecclesial community, he continues, needs to ask what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church today, recognizing the signs of the times, which does not mean to simply adapt to the spirit of the times without questioning.

Evangelization, Francis argued, is a conversion of love to the one “who loved us first,” it’s to help Christ’s passion to touch the “multiple passions and situations” where Christ continues to suffer due to sin and inequity. Among the examples of situations that make Christ suffer today, the pontiff listed modern slavery, xenophobic discourses and a culture based on indifference and individualism.

Speaking about the synodal path the German Church is about to embark on, Francis said it has to be rooted in the Holy Spirit and that it has to be a “walking together” of the entire Church, involving the laity, the religious, the clergy and the bishops.

“The synodal perspective does not cancel the antagonisms or perplexities, nor the conflicts are subordinated to syncretistic resolutions of ‘good consensus’ or resulting from the elaboration of censuses or surveys on this or that topic,” he said, urging the Germans to instead pray, do penance and participate in eucharistic adorations.

These three attitudes, he said, are “true spiritual medicines” that allow those who live them to experience what it is to be a Christian who knows he is blessed and a member of the Church of the Beatitudes.

Lastly, the Argentine pontiff also reminded the German Church that the local Church walks alongside the universal Church, and if they are separated from it they become weak and die, hence the need to keep communion alive.

Quoting one of his own country’s most famous authors, Martin Fierro, the pope wrote: “May brothers be united, because that is the first law; may they have true unity, at whatever time, because if among them they fight, those from outside will devour them.”

In this case, he said “those from outside” are one: “the father of lies and division,” the Devil, who “pushing us to look for an alleged good or an answer to a specific situation, ends up fragmenting the body of the holy faithful People of God.”
Follow Inés San Martín


rcg said...

So who let it run this far without reeling them in? It seems that Pope Francis uses the uncertainty of the Jesuit contemplative approach to Church teaching to bring the Church to a series of mini crises that he may believe will winnow out the heretical and strengthen True Faith. Unfortunately, the conclusions of his exercises are not clear. In this case I am left wondering why throw the Germans under the bus? The premise of the synod did not fit with Catholic teaching so why was it ever held? Perhaps to allow the Germans to formally compose the thesis for rejection? Or to inure and exhaust the faithful to the idea of married clergy? I hope the Germans were in on it, in either case, or they may initiate the cause of Saint Draco.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is as though this was written for him. I wonder how many cardinals and bishops behind the scenes and in private are vocing alarm over what Pope Francis has managed to do in his time as pope, bringing us back to the confusion of the 1970's. His homily on the multiplication of loaves was a class I had in 1977. To say there was no real miracle, just a theological point drove many seminarians away from the seminary and many lost their faith. Of what use is this method?

But Cardinal Brandemuller's missive yesterday, Pope Emeritus' interview and all the rest of what is happening with the Amazon Synod, I wonder if there is real alarm and calmer voices warning the pope that he could be charged with heresy and apostasy?????

Carol H. said...

I see elements of Benedict XVI in this. It appears to me that the two had a discussion.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As the Nazi said on Laughin, “very interesting!”

Mark Thomas said...

This isn't anything new from Pope Francis. It reflects simply his beautiful orthodoxy...his love of God and Holy Mother Church.

It reflects the great concern that he has held for years in regard to the direction taken by the Church in Germany.

In 2015 A.D., Pope Francis "read the riot act" to the Church In Germany.

Pope Calls German Bishops to Conversion

"During their recent ad limina visit in Rome, the German bishops heard a message from Pope Francis that could have come straight from the mouths of Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

"What solutions did Pope Francis offer? Not a falsely understood aggiornamento (a watered down faith to satisfy the lukewarm), which many in the Western Church have been pursuing assiduously, but by a return to the sacraments.

"One might have thought that he was quoting from Cardinal Cordes’s jeremiad: his public letter to the German episcopacy (published in the Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost on March 7 [here]).

"Pope Francis referred to this crisis, called for the safeguard of Catholic doctrine and for the promotion of the life of the faith by encouraging people to return to the sacraments, including confession."


Mark Thomas

Dan said...

"This isn't anything new from Pope Francis. It reflects simply his..." tendency to publicly say something occasionally Catholic while privately supporting that which is destructive to the Church.

My guess is that Francis and Marx had a private laugh about the 'mess' the bishops of Germany have created.

When the German bishops proceed doing what they intend to do, you will hear only silence from Francis.

Anonymous K said...

I’m loving the Benedict fan fiction, in which all things wise & pious flow from B1 & Francis is but a wayward teen who needs to be straightened out woth a word from Uncle Karl. As has been pointed out here recently, apart from a few wayward one-liners, Pope Francis’ 50-year track record is that of a mainstream Vatican moderate — which for the rest of the world means orthodox & very conservative. He knows what he’s doing & so did the cardinals who elected him.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous K

I don't doubt that PF knows what he's doing, but do the rest of us?

He's the Pope, and providing he fulfils his mission of handing down the Faith unadulterated, he has my filial support, loyalty and prayers.

We do not pick and choose our popes. St Thomas More put his life on the line for papal supremacy, despite the fact that Clement VII was hardly exemplary (but at least he was orthodox).

However, I did not contribute to Peter's Pence today because I don't want a brass farthing of my money being spent on encouraging illegal immigration or paying the electricity bills of illegal squatters, which seem to be PF's priorities.

Carol H. said...

Benedict XVI uses distinctive phrases and terminology because his native tongue is German. It can also be spotted in JP2's writing (Cardinal Ratzinger was his proofreader). There are traces of his phraseology here. Just a statement of fact.

Anonymous K said...

John, if you don’t wish to offer a brass farthing in support of an issue that has been central to the faith since the Flight to Egypt, that is certainly your prerogative. I understand that many conservatives, even conservatives who call themselves Catholics, find the outside world confusing & scary.

Mark Thomas said...

Dan said..."My guess is that Francis and Marx had a private laugh about the 'mess' the bishops of Germany have created. When the German bishops proceed doing what they intend to do, you will hear only silence from Francis."

From 2005 A.D. to 2013 A.D., the narrative that I heard from the right-wing was that the majority of German bishops were out-of-control schismatics who did as they pleased.

Why did Pope Benedict XVI fail to have halted the rot in Germany?

For that matter, why didn't Pope Saint John stop the rot in Germany?

I know. I know. It is Pope Francis' fault.


Anyway...the reality is that Pope Francis is not laughing about the monumental rot of the Church in Germany...rot that had spread massively throughout Pope Saint John Paul II's, as well as Pope Benedict XVI's, Pontificates.


Mark Thomas

rcg said...

Anon K, Even if Pope Francis has been a moderate by Vatican standards that is at best relativism or maybe damning with faint praise.

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."However, I did not contribute to Peter's Pence today because I don't want a brass farthing of my money being spent on encouraging illegal immigration or paying the electricity bills of illegal squatters, which seem to be PF's priorities."

That's okay, Mr. Nolan. I'll match your usual Peter's Pence contribution to Pope Francis.

That will come to...let's see...

...okay, I'll drop two, count 'em, two hardware washers into the special collection plate.



Mark Thomas

P.S., if I see a piece of lint in the Peter's Pence collection plate, I'll know that you have a relative in America. :-)

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."However, I did not contribute to Peter's Pence today because I don't want a brass farthing of my money being spent on encouraging illegal immigration or paying the electricity bills of illegal squatters, which seem to be PF's priorities."

From Pope Francis' Misericordiae Vultus:

"How many uncertain and painful situations there are in the world today!

"How many are the wounds borne by the flesh of those who have no voice because their cry is muffled and drowned out by the indifference of the rich!

"Let us not fall into humiliating indifference or a monotonous routine that prevents us from discovering what is new!

"Let us ward off destructive cynicism!

"Let us open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help!"


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."

Pope Benedict XVI, 2007 A.D:

" venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God Pope Pius XII, wrote in 1952:

“The family of Nazareth in exile, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, emigrants and taking refuge in Egypt to escape the fury of an evil king, are the model, the example and the support of all emigrants and pilgrims of every age and every country, of all refugees of any condition who, compelled by persecution and need, are forced to abandon their homeland, their beloved relatives, their neighbors, their dear friends, and move to a foreign land” (Exsul familia, AAS 44, 1952, 649)."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Note to Mr. Nolan:

Pope Venerable Pius XII, December 24, 1948 A.D., letter to the American Bishops:

"You know indeed how preoccupied we have been and with what anxiety we have followed those who have been forced by revolutions in their own countries, or by unemployment or hunger to leave their homes and live in foreign lands.

"The natural law itself, no less than devotion to humanity, urges that ways of migration be opened to these people. For the Creator of the universe made all good things primarily for the good of all.

"Since land everywhere offers the possibility of supporting a large number of people, the sovereignty of the State, although it must be respected, cannot be exaggerated to the point that access to this land is, for inadequate or unjustified reasons, denied to needy and decent people from other nations, provided of course, that the public wealth, considered very carefully, does not forbid this.

"In these addresses and in our radio talks, we have condemned severely the ideas of the totalitarian and the imperialistic state, as well as that of exaggerated nationalism.

"We expressed the same view in our Christmas Address of 1948. It is better, we said, to facilitate the migration of families into those countries able to provide them with the essentials of life, than to send foodstuffs at great expense to refugee camps.

"Therefore, when Senators from the United States, who were members of a Committee on Immigration, visited Rome a few years ago, we again urged them to try to administer as liberally as possible the overly restrictive provisions of their immigration laws."


Mark Thomas

John Nolan said...

Anonymous K and Mark Thomas

If you lived in Europe you might have cause to question your glib and sanctimonious assumptions.

Pius XII in 1948 did not foresee the collapse of Christianity in its European heartland and the rise of militant Islam.

I would normally give £20 to Peter's Pence. If MT wants to convert that to dollars and make up the shortfall, it's up to him.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

"Liberals" specialize in sanctimony and hypocrisy as well. THeir knowledge of history, government, and religioun is about an inch deep which explains how easily swayed they are by the left dominated media. It is all about "feelings"

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."Pius XII in 1948 did not foresee the collapse of Christianity in its European heartland and the rise of militant Islam."

Mr. Nolan, you play the above card — the Pope "did not foresee" this or that — whenever you desire to ignore Church teachings.

1. During the 1950s, substantial waves of Moslems had entered Europe.

2. Pope Venerable Pius XII was aware of Islam's history.

3. During the mid-to-late 1940s, among countless non-Christian migrants and refugees, were those who had sought relief in Christian areas.

4. In light of all of the above, Pope Venerable Pius XII never wavered in his having upheld the Church's ancient teachings that promoted the rights enjoyed by refugees and migrants.

The Church promotes Her teachings in and out of season.


Mark Thomas

rcg said...

I think Mr Nolan was pointing out that at the time Pious XII wrote he did not envision Christianity would be viewed as anathema by the political class while indifference or preference would be shown towards Islam. Likewis, the Charity Pious XII felt is due to refugees was not demanded to the detriment of Europe. Be careful that you don’t dissemble another person’s argument to give room for a point you prefer to make.

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."I would normally give £20 to Peter's Pence. If MT wants to convert that to dollars and make up the shortfall, it's up to him."

Mr. Nolan, I had some fun with you about the collection plate.

But — Deo volente — this weekend at Mass, I will place an extra offering — hardware washers, bolts, or even Canadian pennies :-) — into the collection plate on your behalf. I will beg God to grant you and your family many happy and blessed years.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...


Muslims did NOT enter into Europe in substantial waves in the 1950s. Pius XII never approved of illegal aliens breaking laws to enter into Europe to mooch off of them. Only left-wing loons trying to destroy western culture who LOVE abortion and gay marriage approve of that. When will you grow up? Pius XII, a brilliant and cultured man, would not want your support. He despised the left.

rcg said...

Pius. Dang autocorrect is an occasion for sin.

John Nolan said...

Yes, and of course in 1948 many people were displaced as a result of the World War in Europe. Poles, Ukrainians, Germans who were forcibly deported by the Allies in an early example of 'ethnic cleansing', Jews who insisted on the right to emigrate to Palestine, and so on.

They were not culturally alien. Many Poles and Ukrainians settled in Britain and were easily assimilated. It can be argued that European Jews were indeed alien to the Palestinian Arabs whose lands they appropriated, which is why the British imposed quotas in the 1930s in an attempt to mitigate ethnic conflict.

Peter's Pence is used by the Pope to further his philanthropic endeavours. In the past year he has given money to support those attempting to enter the US illegally via Mexico, and in a carefully organized publicity stunt agreed to pay the electricity bill for a host of illegal squatters in Rome who were using electricity for which they had no intention of paying.

Needless to say, I don't need cut-and-paste homilies from MT about what Pope X or Pope Y said in A.D.such-and-such. Believe it or not, I am already aware of them. I am also grateful to St Pius V in the 16th century and Bl. Innocent XI at the end of the 17th who did their utmost to keep Islam out of Europe, even when the Turks were battering at the gates of Vienna.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan said..."Pius XII in 1948 did not foresee the collapse of Christianity in its European heartland and the rise of militant Islam."

We have experienced the "collapse of Christianity in its European heartland."

Therefore, Europe, devoid in great measure of Christianity, should respond by closing its borders to Moslem migrants and refugees?


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."Needless to say, I don't need cut-and-paste homilies from MT about what Pope X or Pope Y said in A.D.such-and-such. Believe it or not, I am already aware of them."

Good. Your next step is to obey Papal teaching.

You may begin with His Holiness, Pope Francis.

In regard to the topic at hand, and in union with Pope Venerable Pius XII, as well as ancient Catholic teaching, Pope Francis has upheld the following:

“The family of Nazareth in exile, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, emigrants and taking refuge in Egypt to escape the fury of an evil king, are the model, the example and the support of all emigrants and pilgrims of every age and every country, of all refugees of any condition who, compelled by persecution and need, are forced to abandon their homeland, their beloved relatives, their neighbors, their dear friends, and move to a foreign land” (Exsul familia, AAS 44, 1952, 649)."

Carol H. said...

I wish that those who are pro-illegal immigrant would join the Border Patrol for just one year. Then they would see for themselves that those crossing our border that way are the furthest thing from a Holy Family.

Ignorance may be bliss, but it is also severely dangerous to our nation.

Anonymous said...

And Carol H., I wish you would move to Nicaragua or Honduras for a year and try to live with some semblance of dignity with a spouse and four children in crushing poverty, without medical care, with corrupt governments at every level, and then decide to come to the USA and clean toilets or mow lawns or harvest asparagus or lettuce to give yourself and family a far better life than you might ever have had otherwise.

John Nolan said...


There is nothing in papal teaching that would deny the right of a nation state to safeguard its borders and control immigration.

Anonymous said...

The Holy Family was escaping a murderous thug of a leader, intent on killing their child.
More importantly, once he was gone from the scene they did not stay in Egypt but returned from where they had come from.
I am not anti-Pope Francis and understand how he must be seen as caring for immigrants, but there are times he has said things which I wish he hadn't.

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."He's the Pope, and providing he fulfils his mission of handing down the Faith unadulterated, he has my filial support, loyalty and prayers."

John Nolan said...""Pius XII in 1948 did not foresee the collapse of Christianity in its European heartland and the rise of militant Islam."

Mr. Nolan, do you determine whether His Holiness Pope Francis, in this or that instance, has "fulfilled" his "mission of handing down the Faith unadulterated"?

Do you determine as to whether a Church teaching has become outdated...such as Pope Venerable Pius XII's teaching, which was in line with ancient Church teaching, in regard to the rights of migrants and refugees — rights that flow from God?


Mark Thomas

John Nolan said...

Actually, it's not difficult to determine whether a pope is or is not fulfilling his mission of handing down the Faith. For the record, Francis seems to be reluctant to clarify matters which urgently need clarification; it may be his personal style, or his Jesuit formation at a time when the Society appeared to be going off the rails. In any event, one can live with it.

Pius XII in his later years took a keen interest in scientific matters, read scientific journals, and regaled the scientific community with his views (which caused some amusement). No doubt MT would class these as infallible papal teaching, along with Francis's views on anthropogenic climate change.

The Church teaches that we have a duty towards migrants and refugees. It's on a par with feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, tending to the sick and dying, and visiting the imprisoned; in other words it's about charity. She does not teach, and never has taught, that people have a God-given right to become migrants and refugees and go where they please, which MT seems to be claiming in his last paragraph.

Anonymous said...

Excerpts from:
Migration and the Social Doctrine of the Church
Rev. Fr. Michael A. BLUME, S.V.D.
Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council

a. Right to emigrate, including the right to seek asylum

The first is the right to emigrate. “Among man's personal rights we must include his right to enter a country in which he hopes to be able to provide more fittingly for himself and his dependants” (Pacem in Terris 106). The SDC (Social Doctrine of the Church) has repeated this on many occasions and in many ways.

So every human person has an inalienable right to life and the activities needed to sustain and develop it.[2] Obviously when these rights are continually impeded, people have a right to go where they hope to start again to live humanly.

Second, limiting migration cannot be based on egoistical motives, e.g., the hope of preserving a certain lifestyle while the greater part of humanity lives below the poverty line.[6] The discussion of the rights of states and their citizens cannot be separated from solidarity, which is also basic to Catholic social teaching.

Among the rights of the family is “the right to emigrate as a family in search for a better life” (Familaris Consortio 46). They do this to fulfill duties for “the physical, spiritual and religious welfare of the family” (Mater et MagistraM 45). The need to seek a worthy livelihood constitutes a right to migrate, and that is all the more so when migration is forced.

rcg said...

Anon at 5:28 on 2 July, I have done that except for the living in poverty myself. My grandfather started a business in what was British Honduras to build roads and civic structures such as schools, my great aunt married a gentleman from Mexico and they ran a business in Mexico City until his death, I have worked in Panama, Honduras (CA), and Belize with “poor” in various capacities, most recently as a project manager to a medical/dental clinic and school in a very remote region of Honduras.

The “migrants” are political pawns that have served their purpose in those places and are liability to the state because they are the kindling for revolution. They have much greater economic potential staying at home and developing their own resources, but this would compete with the oligarchs and governments. Moving them to other countries without formal requests is necessary to expedite the move and disguise the reasons for moving. In the USA cynical politicians exploit this situation for their own reasons. So the “refugees” have simply moved from bad situation to another. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."Actually, it's not difficult to determine whether a pope is or is not fulfilling his mission of handing down the Faith."

Throughout the centuries, a great many folks have experienced difficulty in having discerned as to whether "a pope is or is not fulfilling his mission of handing down the Faith."

One Pope after another has been accused of having failed to hand down the Faith.

Today, we have folks who've produced/signed preposterous "Open Letters," and "Corrections," that have accused Pope Francis of having failed to hand down the Faith.

Certain folks accused Pope Benedict XVI of having failed to hand down the Faith.

Archbishop Lefebvre declared that Pope Saint Paul VI failed to hand down the Faith.

Archbishop Lefebvre said that Pope Saint John Paul II had failed to hand down the Faith.

"Traditional" Catholics have determined that Vatican II does not hand down the Faith.

Sitting in judgment of the Church and Pope leads to the above insanity...Open Letters, Filial "Corrections," splinter groups...utter nonsense.

Mr. Nolan, the bottom line is that God commands you, submit to Pope Francis' God-given authority to teach, govern, and sanctify you, I...everybody.


Mark Thomas

John Nolan said...

So I have to agree with Pope Francis on global warming? I don't think so. Do I have to agree with Paul VI's and Casaroli's Ostpolitik? I didn't at the time and in any case JP II put a stop to it and it is now shown to be an erroneous approach based on an assumption which events proved to be wrong.

Do I have to approve of the nepotism of Renaissance popes? Certainly not.

I ask again - do you believe that any action or any opinion of any pope is divinely ordained? If you do, you are a heretic.

It's about time you came clean on the issue.

Mark Thomas said...

John Nolan said..."So I have to agree with Pope Francis on global warming?"

Mr. Nolan, we are talking about Church teachings in regard to immigrants and refugees. We are talking about teachings that the Church has held for centuries.

As Catholics, we are compelled to accept said teachings as taught by the Roman Pontiff and bishops in communion with him.

Mr. Nolan, the Church doesn't work via your determination that this or that teaching does not apply to today.

You are not authorized to cast aside Pope Venerable Pius XII's teaching — ancient Church teaching — in regard to immigrants and migrants.

You are not above the Magisterium.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

MT, what is your position on regulation of immigration? Do you not believe a nation has the right to safeguard its borders and control the entrance of peoples into its territory? Do you believe a country does not have a right to prevent those who seek to walk across its border from doing so? You need to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1897-1900

John Nolan said...

Mark Thomas

I never said I was. But you might at least answer the question, if you can (which I doubt).

John Nolan said...

The only country in the EU which promotes unashamedly pro-family policies is Hungary. As a result, in a mere nine years, marriages are up by 43%, divorce is down by 22.5%, and there are 33% fewer abortions. The 2011 constitution is pro-life, stating that it begins at conception.

Catholics make up 38% of the population (making Hungary less Catholic than Poland, Slovenia and Croatia) yet the reforms have met with widespread public approval.

Hungary has strict controls on immigration, and has resisted attempts by the EU to bully her into accepting their quotas. At present, Moslems make up 0.06% of the population, and she has no intention of opening the door to the sort of invasion which would threaten national cohesion. The total population of Hungary is only ten million.

From the mid-sixteenth century to the very end of the seventeenth, large parts of Hungary, including Buda and Pest, suffered under Ottoman occupation. There is only one Gothic church left in the capital, which was used as a mosque (the mihrab or prayer niche is still there as a salutory reminder). Hungarians are aware of their history, and indeed their vulnerability.

Italy faces a demographic crisis with a birth rate below replacement level. Using immigration to solve this will prove disastrous in the long term - and this applies to other European countries, Britain included.

Those who pontificate about the 'right' to migrate would do well to read 'Reflections on the Revolution in Europe' (2009) by the American Christopher Caldwell. Before dismissing it as right-wing polemic (MT in particular take note), recall that it had positive reviews even in the liberal press (Guardian, Observer) as well as in the Catholic Herald. And the situation has become even more acute in the last ten years.

Anonymous said...

It is not a 'right' to migrate.

It is a right, as the Church clearly - and much to your horror - teaches.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous, why do you persist in attributing emotions to me (in this case 'horror') in such a gratuitous fashion?

There was a discussion recently about the rights and duties pertaining to Church and State. You obviously were not paying attention, preferring to trawl through other people's comments in order to score cheap points.

Carol H. said...

If the Church really wants to help people come to the US, there is a LEGAL route.

Apply at the embassy. If the Church knows the family to be good and law abiding citizens, the Church can find a host family and pay the application fee.

Families that are approved can then travel safely by plane to the US on a flight paid for by the Church or other donors after having received their proper immunizations. No need to subject them to walking through rough terrain, to rapists, to drug lords, or to other coyotes.

The support of illegal immigration and encouraging people to make that disgusting journey is EVIL.

Anonymous said...

Carol H.

The Trump administration has worked hard to restrict LEGAL immigration. Through a variety of changes he has enacted or wants to enact, his goal is to cut the numbers of poor and poorly educated immigrants. You know, the ones who come from "s**thole" countries, the ones who, like those from Haiti, live in "huts," and the ones, also like those in Haiti, who "all have AIDS."

Enticing those with high skills and higher education levels will likely harm the countries they leave. "Brain Drain" anyone?

And his reason for doing this is to benefit the United States. It is, in his view, better for us.

This plan of action stands in stark contrast with the idea enshrined on the base of the Statue of Liberty.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

You see, our view toward immigration used to be "How can we help them?" Under Trump, who sees everything through the lens of dollars and cents, wants to know only "How can they help us?"

John Nolan said...

In the earlier years of his pontificate, Francis in his public statements gave the impression that he favoured an 'open door' policy towards migration. However, in 2016, following a visit to Sweden, he gave a press conference which suggested, if not a volte-face, a more nuanced and realistic approach. Sweden, a notably tolerant country, had accepted a large number of mostly Moslem immigrants whom it could not integrate into society. A Swedish government official had informed the Pope that of the 163,000 asylum-seekers who arrived in 2015 a mere 500 had found jobs; the remainder lived off welfare benefits. The situation was economically unsustainable and socially divisive.

Francis made a distinction between migrants and refugees. He conceded that 'migrants should be treated according to certain rules, because migration is a right but one which is highly regulated.' Assimilation was the key issue. Even were a country to close its borders to all refugees, it might still be acting with prudence to ensure the common good.

Francis may also have been influenced by the findings of Anna Bono, Professor of African History at the University of Turin. Bono pointed out that most migrants to Italy were not families fleeing want, but young single men who had been recruited by traffickers in African countries on the promise of a better life in Italy - they were by no means poor, since they and their families could afford the 8,000 to 10,000 Euros demanded by the traffickers. They were also deceived - Italy has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Europe.

Yet Francis has continued to stress that we must open our hearts and our borders to migrants and refugees. Is his stance contradictory? I don't think so. 'Rights' are rarely absolute; they have to be balanced one against the other. The right of people to move to a different country in search of a better life has to be balanced against the right of the State to act prudently in the interest of the common good of its citizens.

Francis recognizes this; indeed it is at the core of Church teaching on the roles of Church and State. Both, in their different ways, are 'societates perfectae'. Both derive their authority ultimately from God.

The USA has certainly welcomed migrants and treated them a lot better than it did the indigenous inhabitants of north America. But it expected them to integrate and above all to learn English. It would appear that this condition no longer applies.

rcg said...

The qualifier, “yearning to breathe free (sic)” is over looked. The misery of the illegal immigrants is linked directly to the clandestine living conditions enforced by the people who promise them riches and who are aided by the mobsters in their homelands. There are few in America who would prefer an Italian or Irish mobster to the laborers from Ecuador if the latter were legal and respectful of our laws. It is the factious political and activist groups who cynically profit from keeping the immigrants away from freedom and self determination. I once attended a seminar by a nun who attempted to lay a guilt trip on her audience to accept more illegal immigrants based on the horrible conditions in their country. I asked why she didn’t take her fight to the villages and towns of misery? I knew the answer, despite her dissembling double speak: she would be raped, killed, and buried in a shallow grave if she challenged any of that status quo. She did admit that we needed the immigrants to shore up Catholic numbers in the USA. That was in about 1987. The entire situation is an onion of lies. Enough to make you cry.

rcg said...

And another thing: if you want to hear a truly interesting debate on immigration expand the population to include doctors, engineers, scientists, and teachers if you want to the polarity swap.