Does Christian charity really require civilizational suicide? The Poles say no. Pope Francis differs.
Here’s the politically correct fantasy:
“Vatican statement accuses Polish politicians of whipping up fear against Muslims,” by Christopher Lamb, La Stampa, July 23, 2016:
Just days before Pope Francis’ visit to Poland a Vatican statement has denounced an “artificially created fear of Muslims” which it says is being fed by some political parties in the country.
The press release, released by the Holy See but written by a spokesman for the Polish Bishops, describes Poland as “ethnically homogenous” and that immigration is a relatively new phenomenon seen as strange to the average Polish person.
“For this reason, even through the official statistics relating to foreign citizens legally resident in Poland show that they make up just 0.4 per cent of the population as a whole, great fears exist”, Fr Pawel Rytel-Andrianik writes in a statement issued just before the beginning of World Youth Day in Krakow and which he stressed was a summary of the media debate in Poland.
These fears, Fr Rytel-Andrianik explains, are due to a lack of public debate, complicated migration procedures and no public programme of teaching people in the country Polish about diversity of religion, race and culture.
But he writes: “Unfortunately these fears are fuelled by some political parties, and inappropriate statements made by politicians. There is an artificially created fear of Muslims understandable indeed in some ways (terrorist attacks). Poland borders Germany, which has a large Muslim population, and on the border they do not run some regular checks.” …
“Francis and Poland differ on migrants ahead of pope’s visit,” by Frances D’Emilio, AP, July 24, 2016:
VATICAN CITY — Support for migrants is so central to Pope Francis’ vision for the church that he has made welcoming them a potential test for those seeking entry to Heaven on Judgment Day.
The pontiff’s advocacy for refugee rights faces a diplomatic test Wednesday when he begins a five-day visit to Poland, where a populist government has slammed the door on most asylum-seekers.
Francis is scheduled to meet Polish President Andrzej Duda in Krakow’s millennium-old castle atop Wawel Hill where, in the neighboring cathedral, Polish national heroes for centuries have been laid to rest. He then will hold a question-and-answer session with Poland’s bishops behind closed doors.
Ahead of the pope’s arrival, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak defended the ruling Law and Justice party’s opposition to immigration by citing the Bastille Day truck massacre of 84 people in Nice, France. Blaszczak argued that such violence was an inevitable consequence of multiculturalism.
The pope suggests that reluctance or refusal to shelter newcomers in need conflicts with the parable of the Good Samaritan, who offered aid to a robbed, wounded stranger.
Addressing the faithful earlier this month in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said that ultimately “we will be judged on the basis of works of mercy.”
“The Lord will be able to say to us: ‘Do you remember? That migrant, who so many wanted to kick out, was me.’”
Seeking to inspire by example, Francis in April brought 12 Syrians back with him to Rome after visiting a migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, where tens of thousands were stranded after perilous crossings from nearby Turkey in often overcrowded boats.
The Rev. David Hollenbach, a professor of ethics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Affairs in Washington, said the pope’s championing of migrants is “politically important and socially important, but also religiously important to the identity of Christianity.” Hollenbach, who like Francis is a Jesuit, said in a telephone interview that the treatment of migrants and foreigners is “central in the Bible.”
It’s also intrinsic to the pope’s definition of a Christian.
Returning in February from a pilgrimage to Mexico, Francis told reporters aboard his plane: “I think that a person who thinks of building walls and not bridges isn’t Christian.” The pope was responding to a question about Donald Trump, the Republican U.S. presidential candidate, who says he wants to build a border wall to bar Mexicans from the United States.
A Polish commentator, Adam Szostkiewicz, said he expected the pope to raise Poland’s opposition to aiding refugees during this week’s visit because “this is the central theme of his pontificate in Europe. This is a European problem.”
Szostkiewicz said he expected the pope to argue against Poland’s policy, which he compared to Pontius Pilate’s attitude to the crucifixion of Jesus: “We wash our hands. This does not concern us.” But he forecast that any papal appeal would spark only a momentary stir, not any shift in government policy.
“It will be good if he says it, and it will be commented on, but it will soon be forgotten,” he said….
And here’s the reality:
“Iraqi man arrested in Poland ahead of Pope Francis’ visit,” DW, July 25, 2016:
A 48-year-old Iraqi man has been arrested on charges of possessing explosives in Poland. The arrest in Lodz comes just days ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Poland for World Youth Day.
Small amounts of explosives, “not sufficient to make an explosion” were found on the man, according to Beata Marczak, spokeswoman for prosecutors in the central Polish city of Lodz said. He could face up to eight years in prison if convicted on charges of illegal possession of explosives, she added.
Explosive traces were found on the man’s luggage and clothes at hotels in Lodz and Krakow, news channel Polsat News reported. The man was reportedly arrested at a hotel in Lodz on Sunday and was reportedly in possession of notes on preparing terrorist acts against French supermarkets in Poland.
The man was reportedly questioned by the Internal Security Agency in English and put under two months’ arrest. Marczak said there are as yet no legal grounds for categorizing this as terrorism,” Marczak said.
Lodz court spokesman Pawel Urbaniak said on Monday that the man’s identity is being investigated as he had “very basic” documents on him. Polsat News said the man had arrived in Poland a couple of weeks ago after being expelled from Sweden and had lived in Switzerland for several years previously….