Monday, September 07, 2015

Responding to the Pope

I know my own bishop, God bless him, is already making plans to deal with the Pope's request that every parish in Europe should welcome at least one refugee family, I am sure many others are planning how not to do it. Insurance, safeguarding are real issues. I understand the two Vatican parishes are planing to take one each. I find that disappointing, I was hoping Francis might follow Pope Pius XII and have refugee women giving birth in his bed, that there might actually be twelve families in the former Apostolic apartments, he said there was room for them when he first was shown them. I hoped that the papal holiday home Castel Gandolfo might also be used, I certainly welcomed the idea of St Marta being overrun by refugee toddlers, it would give a whole new perspective to the Synod on the Family. Cdl Kasper on the floor playing with bricks, Baldissieri playing hide and seek, Bishop Forte changing nappies ... my imagination runs away with me - but you get my drift.


Mass population movement. like famine, disease and terror, is a weapon of war, it is the opposite of siege, it is meant to destabilise. The obvious targets are those states surrounding IS territory, Lebanon has taken in a million people, its own population is 4 million. Turkey too has taken in vast numbers, Jordan too, these states are experiencing a degree of instability because of their generosity, in every way it is costing them.

So many European countries are suffering the results of mass contraception, the wholesale demolition of the family and abortion have left a huge population vacuum. Politicians, like Angela Merkel, realise that in the medium term Germany will not be able to care for its elderly or maintain the standard of living its citizens have been used to without fresh workers, as they are not being bred they have to be imported. The Middle Eastern refugee crisis is in part an answer to Europe's demographic crisis. The great advantage of bringing people in, is that you have a 'human resource' immediately and cheaply; no waiting twenty or so years for a worker to reach maturity and what is more there is no expensive education, that is borne by the country of his birth. There is also a certain 'natural selection': someone willing to leave his homeland and pass through the various hurdles to get to somewhere else is likely to have a certain entrepreneurial ability, he is unlikely to be a couch potato.

Those who have suffered tend to be resilient and have a determination but they are often also traumatised and hardened and even radicalised. Christian and Yazidis might have suffered terribly under IS but the real enemy of these Sunni Muslim are Shi'ite Muslims, whether European countries are ready to face Sunni Shi'ite clashes  is doubtful, both have been made militant by the experience of victory or defeat. A radical change in the balance in the relatively peaceful European Islamic communities is likely to change.

Europe has been talking about welcoming 120,000, that is presumably likely to increase. It would be tempting to go down the line of Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic and just admit or make a priority the admission of Christians but Europe has constantly insisted that Christianity is not part of the European narrative, maybe this might begin to change, as Europe itself will change.

At the moment there is banging upstairs a friendly joiner is getting rid of some unwanted junk and making my house ready to invite whoever God sends us. When someone has been beaten up on the Jerusalem Jericho road one sees to his wounds and spends whatever is necessary, when someone comes knocking on the door at midnight wanting bread you get up and give it give it. You know it is going to cost eventually, that it is likely to tun your life upside down but I really do fear being told, 'In as much as you failed to do it to the least of these ...'. The wonderful thing about being a celibate Catholic priest is that I can be reckless.

I am not sure what this all going to entail and how to get the parish involved, I had become quite comfortable in my own little rut but as I say every night, 'In manus tuas Domine ...'. 

Deus providebat


Alex Smith said...

Shouldn't that phrase be altered to "Bishop Forte changing their nappies"?

Victimae Paschali Laudes said...

Nice to see a Divine Office reference at the end, Father! May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Alex, Whose?

nickbris said...

Be nice to see some happy smiling faces in that big old house Father

Just another mad Catholic said...

I'd be more supportive of the Holy Father if he insisted that every Parish pray for the conversion of Europe and the migrants at the Bidding prayers........ but that might be asking for too much.

Jacobi said...


The real problem with Europe is contraception and catch as cans such as abortion and artificial conceptions. But vacuums are filled. In warfare, opportunities are seized and that is happening at present.

Now if your parish takes in a genuine asylum seeker, make sure it is a Christian (not a pretend one) or another genuinely persecuted sect. I knew such a sect well in Pakistan and they were sorely persecuted in the 80's. Heavens knows what it is like now. And be prepared for a long stay!

These fit aggressive young men pouring into Europe are going in the wrong direction. They are heading for Europe, with a purpose and we haven't woken up yet. The Muslim strategists must be falling of their chairs laughing.

Re your last blog, now don't get ratty with us. There are so few outlets for the sore unease which afflicts thinking Catholics at present, and your blog is one.

Mark said...

The Iron Curtain has been replaced by some posh blinds and Christian Eastern Europe chooses to close them in the face of Muslim Refugees. The modern secular Western Europe unencumbered by religion just see's fellow human beings needing help. They pay no attention to tribal, national or religious loyalties; since they have long since discarded old morality based on Faith. The New Morality is a humanist desire to support anybody so desperate as to risk their life fleeing persecution and terror. The lines between Refugee and Migrant become blurred. The Lines between victim and terrorist seem irrelevant in the mad scramble to live in a safer more secure environment.

Let's just hope nobody suggests we impose a better life on poor unsuspecting foreigners with more drones, more boots on the ground, as recent history points the finger at our failure to restore order & safety through guns & bombs. I think it was Einstein who said, "It's madness to keep pursuing the same action only to be surprised with the same results." The destabilisation we triggered by leaving tribal and religious groups in a uncivilised vacuum is coming home to roost. Germany has already taken 1 Million Refugees and now a structured Plan is required to share the load across Europe, North America & the Middle East, who stand idly by frozen with incompetence.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Maybe I am wrong but Hungary was trying to register these people in accordance with EU law. They refused and there seemed to be a certain level of organisation in their refusal. I wonder to what extent militant Muslims have infiltrated these crowds of refugees so that they can get into Germany without any prior checks. Time will tell if Germany has been a bit naïve about the security risks.

Further I wonder whether Germany did not make a bit mistake in saying they would take 800,000 refugees rather than just dealing with those who arrived. It seems to me that they have encouraged more to make very risky journeys. Moreover it is interesting that the UK has provided twice as much as Germany in aid to the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries around Syria. I wonder whether this reflects just a short term interest of the German Government to acquire more workers rather than anything else?

Dymphna said...

Europe seems to have a hangover from WWI, and a deathwish. Maybe hordes of violent young males from will be the cure.

Fr Ray Blake said...

My experience here is that 'registration' can be a lengthy process, several years rather than a quick process. I can understand the fear of this process ending up in internment or prison in a hostile country.

As for Germany making a 'mistake', it could be so, or it could be Germany using 'migration' as not so much a weapon of war but as a political weapon, but maybe I am too cynical.

Genty said...

Prepare to supply halal food, Father. I hope your guests won't expect you to remove Christian symbols and I hope that the Muslim community in the UK will step up to the mark, too.

nickbris said...

It is not GLOBAL WARMING that will destroy the planet but the XENOPHOBES & RACISTS.

Sixupman said...

Within five to ten minutes drive of my home in North Manchester, there exist several presbyteries of enormous proportions - eight or more bedroom accommodation. Management could be a problem, but not an insuperable one.

Bruvver Eccles said...

Baldisseri playing hide and seek with all the kiddies' books?

Nicolas Bellord said...

There is a statement by a German Government Minister that Germany could take 500,000 each year for the foreseeable future. This implies that they might take say five million. These will probably be, on the whole, young child-bearing people who in our UK experience probably go for larger families than the indigenous. Thus after a decade or two there might well be a very large percentage of the German population who will be Muslim in origin. Now there will be those who think that this does not matter because Islam is a religion of peace or that once absorbed into Germany they will join the majority in having little concern for religion. In view of the current state of the Catholic Church in Germany I can see little chance of their being converted to Christianity. Further I think the danger of Islam is always underestimated. They will claim it is a religion of peace in a country where they are a minority but once a country becomes dominated by Islam it is anything but peaceful with severe discrimination against non-Muslims.

On Father Z's blog there is a video of migrants refusing boxes of food etc being offered by Hungarian Police (?) on the ground that there is a Red Cross on the box.

On a totally different matter I am told that this morning at Mass our assistant priest claimed that it was necessary for the Virgin Mary to be baptised in order to be cleansed from original sin. Still this was one of his lesser bits of nonsense about which nothing will be done so God help us.

GOR said...

This is a difficult situation in many respects. While the example of the Good Samaritan doesn’t admit of exceptions – charity knows no bounds – there must also be some regard for law and the Common Good of existing (Western) communities.

The challenge to European countries is somewhat analogous to that of the US. With some 11 million illegal immigrants reportedly already here in the US, and immigration control being progressively watered down or ignored, some communities are being overwhelmed dealing with the influx.

As a legal immigrant to this country I appreciate people seeking a better life. But I have a problem with illegal immigrants being granted legal status just because they managed to evade the law and are already here. It is one thing to grant refuge to those fleeing war and persecution, but open-ended admission of all ‘economic immigrants’ is fraught with danger – not least of which is infiltration by elements who have ulterior motives.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Genty, We can rarely afford meat. Which Muslim 'Community@ were you thinking of the Sunnies or Shia?

Pelerin said...

At the risk of getting banned from that well known American blog mentioned by Nicolas Bellord I should like to point out that the migrants mentioned did not turn down the help offered due to a Red Cross on the boxes. This is pointed out in a comment which gives a link as to what really happened. Unfortunately the post has no up date as yet which leads to many people jumping to conclusions.

khkcomments said...

My country never gave me anything. First it stole twelve years of my life lying to me about history and religion through false education, while abusing me and calling me wrong for not fitting neatly into their system. Then I am thrown out to unemployment and left to fend for my own. All throughout I am always seemingly extra unseen and anonymous because I am male, heterosexual, and a native; all I read in newspapers are about others groups who matter. It fosters a deep feeling of worthlessness. Worst of all it became when I converted to Christianity in all of this: enough to fill a novella.

I wonder then, why it hurts that this country of mine is now accelerating its destruction by a truly insane amount of immigration; all while its Good People found especially in journalists and politicians lie to themselves that economic migrants are really refugees, just so they can feel good about themselves.

And just as I thought I had grown numb, I read a post by a Catholic priest in another country that I thought I respected, and he to said: "Nevermind your own, look over here." I try to comfort myself that actual Christian doctrine of charity demands you don't let your own children starve to feed a stranger. Even now as I type this I resent myself for my self-pity, but I do pity myself. Maybe I'm just jealous everyone else can call themselves a Victim. Pathetic. I should really just go away, been thinking about that a lot latey.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Pelerin: Thanks for pointing this out. The comment has a link to an explanation which says inter alia:

"The refugees – says Petrovic in his email – had spent three days in the no man’s land between Macedonia and Greece. At the time the video was shot it was raining and the refugees had spent almost two hours under the pouring rain. Macedonian police wouldn’t let them cross the border. Then the Red Cross arrived to distribute aids for the refugees in the form of food and water. The refugees were angry because they weren’t allowed to cross the border into Macedonia, so they refused aid shouting “No! No!”. Macedonian policed only allowed one group of 200/300 refugees to cross the border every two hours, as such is the capacity of the train that connects Gevgelija to the Serbian border on which they were boarded."

Well it seems to me that it was one of those impossible situations where the police were just trying to do their best in keeping order. Perhaps one can excuse the migrants acting out of frustration but it does not bode well for the future. They want to come to law-abiding countries - can we be certain they will all be law-abiding themselves?

Genty said...

In answer to your question Father; both.

Jacobi said...


May I suggest we stop using the term "refugees" I think we and indeed now much of the secular press have moved on from that stage.

We are experiencing a historical phenomena, and like all such it is complex. The present enormous surge of Islam into Europe is unprecedented.

There are refugees, Christian and Muslim, there are pretend Christian refugees, there are economic migrants, and there are religious migrants determined in their various ways to Islamise Europe.

This will sooner or later trigger a very unpleasant open conflict which my grandchildren's generation will have to confront - and it is not at all clear that they will win.

John Simlett said...

I'm not sure why this has become purely a European problem. I understand that 'Europe' is the point of entry, but the solution should be global surely? Not for moral reasons but purely statistical ones. Whilst the population of the UK = c65m, the combined population of two of the largest countries in the world, combined, is 60 million: Australia 24m and Canada 36m.

Whilst welcoming Asylum seekers into our homes is a good and noble ambition, it remains an amateur solution. I wish some good organisation and international cooperation would lift these masses of poor souls into safety. I know plans are in position to tackle refugee crisis - I have been part of them in the past: flying refugees out of Iran, Aden etc - so why is no Professional solution visible in the current situation?

William Tighe said...

"Deus providebit," I think you must mean.

Fr Ray Blake said...


Quod scripsi scripsi.

Deus providebat.
Deus providet ergo provibit

nickbris said...

We should thank our lucky stars that fit,healthy,educated people want to come here to work. Without immigrants this country would come to a standstill. The most vociferous anti's are the unemployable.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Nickbris: The need for immigrants arises from the demographic problem that we are not producing enough young people ourselves as a result of artificial contraception and the millions lost in abortion. I do not think it has much to do with the unemployable whoever they are supposed to be.

Independent said...

If the solution is global and the immigrants are largely Muslim then why do Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. very rich areas, do not do their bit to take in their co-religionists? Do their elites prefer to spend their wealth on European property, casinos, and obliging ladies?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Keep up Inde!

Because Saudi (our ally, incidently) is backing IS and Saudis are Wahabi, a stric form of Sunni, and Sunnis (IS) are killing Shi-ites, even more than they kill Christians, Yazidis and less than 'orthodox' Sunnis, and most of those fleeing are Shia. Do you follow?

Besides would you want to live in SA?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Keep up Inde!

Because Saudi (our ally, incidently) is backing IS and Saudis are Wahabi, a stric form of Sunni, and Sunnis (IS) are killing Shi-ites, even more than they kill Christians, Yazidis and less than 'orthodox' Sunnis, and most of those fleeing are Shia. Do you follow?

Besides would you want to live in SA?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Keep up Inde!

Because Saudi (our ally, incidently) is backing IS and Saudis are Wahabi, a stric form of Sunni, and Sunnis (IS) are killing Shi-ites, even more than they kill Christians, Yazidis and less than 'orthodox' Sunnis, and most of those fleeing are Shia. Do you follow?

Besides would you want to live in SA?

nickbris said...

Unemployables are those that would rather sit about all day and rely on Government handouts; they winge & winge about foreigners taking the jobs that they themselves have refused or are incapable of doing in an honest manner.

Independent said...

Thank you Fr Blake for exposing the tangled web which is Islamic politics. Where is the Religion of Peace? Not being a Moslem I do not look to Mecca so have no desire to live in Saudi Arabia or even visit it. Mohammed on his deathbed is said to have wished that it be kept free of non-Muslims.

John Fisher said...

I am in Australia. Perhaps being a distance I see more clearly than the Brits caught up in the cultural bubble. A colleague of mine asked why aren't Syrian Moslems seeking refuge in Arab countries? How many has Saudi Arabia taken? Egypt? Rorate caeli has an interesting article on immigration. You see it is not normal for anyone to move to a country where they have no common language, religion, or ethnic racial link. When they do in numbers they colonize and displace those there. It happened in the USA, Australia and is unhappening in Africa, reversed in India. Capitalism discriminates in favour of displacement of peoples as gobbles up nations peoples and individuals as long as they can be used. For example India and Third world countries are stripped of their middle classes. There uneducated are servants in the West and rich Saudi Arabia. All aid and assistance in the case of Syria must take place in Jordan and adjacent countries. Britain is suiciding by allowing Islam in. Imagine if millions of displaces Nazis were allowed to settle in the UK. The country is being handed over to alien peoples who bring an ideology they are fleeing. civil war, ethnic division and social chaos will follow. We know the turmoil Roma, Saxon and Viking invasions of the UK caused. We Christians want to help our brother and sister who are Christians in the East. Islam is doing what it has always done and that is how it spreads.

Pelerin said...

From time to time I receive news via a French 'traddi' site containing information which includes the progress (or not as the case may be) of the growth of the EF as celebrated in churches in France.

I have recently been shocked at the racist remarks of commenters following the exodus of Muslim refugees to Europe. In my view these comments are just not Christian let alone Catholic and help enforce the view that 'traddis' tend to be racist.

Today I was prompted to put on a comment quoting Christ's words as mentioned above by Fr Ray. I had no idea of the quotation in French and by coincidence looked down at my crowded computer table and on top of the pile I spotted that very quote on a leaflet from Aide a l'Eglise en Detresse (which I presume is a branch of Aid to the Church in Need) which I had recently brought back from France.

What prompted me to write was one particular comment which stated the following loosely translated: 'My very pious sister in law closed her ears and gazed at the Crucifix during her Priest's homily which supported the welcome of migrants. And my wife is revolted by the attitude of the Church (following Pope Francis direction to welcome the migrants)and wanted to remove the crucifixes from the walls at home and take off her own from round her neck.'

The post concerned, links one of the French Bishops saying they must welcome migrants, with news that an EF has been discontinued in the same diocese. I see no connection between the two and such an article just helps to incite hatred of our fellow human beings.

nickbris said...

Different kind of English language in Australia by the look of it and the way they treat refugees is a disgrace to civilisation

B flat said...

There is a very different perception of who these crowds of people are, and why they want to come here. I can understand Christians fleeing for their lives from the Middle East. Five years ago, long before ISIS appeared on the scene, just after the murder of the priests and over sixty people at evening Mass in Baghdad (see Catholic Herald 1 Nov 2010) the organisation claiming responsibility for that atrocity, announced that all Christians in the Middle East are now under sentence of death. Events in the last three and a half years have confirmed that this is being carried out ruthlessly.

However, crowds of fit young men crying "allahu akbar" swarming over the borders of what was Christendom which is now called Europe, fill me with foreboding and a reaction to resist and repel an invasion. If this is unchristian, why did the Church celebrate the victories of Charles Martel at Tours in 732, of the "Catholic Kings" in Spain 1492, of Lepanto 1571 - instituting the Feast of Our Lady of Victories - and the Battle of Vienna 1683? There was much blood shed over a millennium to save Europe from Islam, and to give us the chance of Faith in Christ, Baptism, and to live according to the Gospel. The EU officially, and many millions privately, have despised and disregarded this inheritance. We are now seeing the consequence of their choices in the universal breakdown of civil society and our culture.
The Pope has called for every parish and every monastery to accommodate a family of these pressing to come. My understanding of monastic life is that it is precisely and essentially different from the life of a family, and the two cannot be lived in conjunction. There were always needy, even homeless, families, within the Catholic Church. Never in history were monasteries publicly exhorted or urged to welcome them as long-term co-residents in monastic buildings. Otherwise, one could argue in the typical spirit of Enlightened Despotism, the French or Bolshevik revolutions, or even Vat II "See how much good one could do with the empty houses in that Carthusian monastery!"
Similarly it seems imprudent to me, to say the least, to help moslems establish themselves here in Eurpe. The sunni wahabi sect, for whom Saudi Arabia has been building mosques around the world for the last twenty years at least, is precisely the one encouraging, and funding, the activities of al Qaeda, ISIS, and other extreme groups. There is no prospect of such moslems ever assimilating within, or becoming peaceful citizens of, any country with a Christian cultural basis.
Hence the reaction in Hungary of a Catholic Bishop seen here:
To tag this as racist is simply name-calling. It does not propose a rational counter argument, or win minds and hearts to a better understanding of the phenomenon.