For almost two millennia, Christianity has survived innumerable challenges from without, including heresies, schisms and philosophical “isms,” as well as more than a few challenges from within. But the most dangerous challenge of all may be one that was overcome seven centuries ago but is now regenerated—the challenge posed by Islam. Its agents no longer wield battle axes and scimitars, as their militant predecessors did. They travel instead in the peaceful garb of immigrants and refugees. Their stated purpose for migrating is to find opportunity or to escape persecution and in many cases that claim is no doubt genuine. Yet even in those cases, their Muslim belief obligates them to replace the host country’s ethical, legal, and religious culture with their own Sharia system.
There are two reasons doctrinaire Islam may succeed where militant Islam failed. The first is that the same European countries that for twenty-five generations conducted Crusades against Islam now have political leaders who welcome Muslim migrants in numbers that, given both their beliefs and their prolific birth rate, ensure the eventual overwhelming of Western culture and Judeo-Christian values.
The second, no less ironic reason is that today the institution most responsible for the defeat of militant Islam—the Catholic Church—is by its position on immigration supporting doctrinaire Islam. This assertion may seem incredible to some readers, so let me present the evidence that supports it.
On the issue of immigration in general and Muslim immigration in particular, the Catholic hierarchy’s perspective has been unwavering.
The Catholic prelates’ unwavering support of lenient immigration policy is frequently in the news, in part it would seem because the mainstream media here and abroad share that view. One might expect that such frequent and favorable exposure, together with the prelates’ prestige as moral and spiritual leaders, would guarantee acceptance by a great majority of religious people. And yet that is not the case!
American Catholic lay people tend to oppose the prelates’ view on immigration, as do Jews, Mainline Protestants (MLPs), and Born-Again Protestants (BAPs).
The reason that Germans and most other Europeans tend to harbor negative attitudes toward Muslim immigrants, Murray explains, is not hardheartedness or bigotry but instead a refusal to accept immigrants bringing to their countries a belief system that not only rejects theirs but also is intent on undermining it, an intention made evident by the events in Europe in recent decades.
Rome, the USCCB, and other conferences of bishops tend to dismiss the view of such laypeople as biblically and theologically uninformed. They claim that both the Gospels and Christian tradition require us to see Christ in our neighbors and to welcome them into our midst in Christian love. Although that claim is basically correct, their application of it to the issue of Muslim immigration is at best highly questionable.
Msgr. Charles Pope has remarked on the complexity of the issue of immigration and the importance of intellectual balance in dealing with it. As a model of such balance, he offers St. Thomas Aquinas’ reasoning on the matter.
Though Thomas affirms the gospel requirement of loving neighbor as self and treating those in need with loving kindness, Pope explains, he adds an important qualification, one that I believe the prelates have clearly ignored:
With regard to [foreigners wishing citizenship], a certain order was observed [by the Jews]. For [foreigners] were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations . . . The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people. [Thomas goes on to say that the Jews admitted some people to citizenship “after the third generation,” but denied citizenship forever to “hostile” people; and “held as foes in perpetuity” those who were exceedingly hostile.] (Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 105, Art. 3).
St. Thomas’ reasoning is especially relevant to the present issue of Muslim immigration. After all, during his lifetime (1225-1274) three of the nine Crusades were fought in response to the Muslim conquest of Europe and the Holy Land. If Thomas were alive today, he would undoubtedly perceive that, though the means of today’s Muslim effort are different—immigration and population growth rather than the sword—the end of displacing Christianity is the same. (See also St. Thomas’ views of Mohammed and Islam.)
St. Thomas is not the only distinguished Catholic intellectual whose view of Muslim immigration is at odds with the present Magisterium’s thinking. Another is Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. In The World’s First Love: Mary, the Mother of God, (1952) Sheen wrote this:
At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power.
Sheen’s comment was clearly prophetic because fully 65 years after he wrote it, there is ample evidence that “the goal of [Muslim] migration . . . is not peaceful assimilation to the political system and mores of the host country.
In conclusion, the Prelates’ unqualified support of Muslim immigration constitutes a serious failure to provide intellectual and moral guidance and example to their followers. More importantly, it does a grave disservice to the tens of thousands of Christians of all denominations who have been persecuted by Muslim extremists and the millions more who will suffer if Western culture is replaced by Sharia.
Read it all.