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Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle

Hungarian bishop on pope’s view of refugees: he’s wrong—UPDATED

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/08/15

Embed from Getty Images

From The Washington Post: 

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 in Hungary at least, it’s the prime minister’s view that seems to be winning out.

Read it all.

UPDATE: A reader in Illinois makes a good point. To wit:

It seems to me you might have provided at least a bit of commentary when you linked on Tuesday to the remarks of the Hungarian bishop, Laszlo Kiss-Rig, concerning the Syrian refugees who are seeking refuge in Europe.  For instance, you might have pointed out what the bishop was overlooking (due to ignorance or willful spin) when he said, “They come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.” “Allahu Akbar” means something along the lines of “God is great” or “God is the greatest!”  Fox News, Breitbart, and similarly right-wing sites typically depict any utterance of that phrase as a terrorist war-cry.  One wonders whether they would depict Christians the same way when they cry out, “Praise the Lord!” or when they call out the refrain from that song, “God is great — all the time!”  Guess what? Folks who are fleeing incredible violence, people who are unsure whether they would be able to find shelter and food for their young children, are giving praise to God as they arrive in what they regard as a relatively safe place.
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