Pope Francis is worried that mass migration from the Arab world has become a threat to the continent’s cultural values.
The pontiff commented on Europe’s migrant crisis in Friday’s issue of L’Ossevatore Romano, the Vatican’s official daily newspaper. The “Arab invasion” is turning Europe away from its historical and cultural roots, Francis believes, and into an “empty place.”
“Today, we can speak of an Arab invasion,” the pope said. “It is a social fact.”
Francis went on to explain that Europe has survived several “invasions” throughout history and still managed to survive. If it’s handled correctly, the cultural exchange can help it grow, according to the pope.
“It has always been able to overcome them, moving forward and finding itself better through the exchange between cultures,” he said.
Francis said anyone looking for an end to the trend — in particular movements and political parties opposing immigration — “will remain disappointed.” (RELATED: ‘Grandmother’ Comment Earns Pope Francis A Call From Merkel)
“When a country closes itself to a healthy notion of politics, it ends up being a prisoner hostage to ideological colonization,” Francis said. “Ideologies are the poison of politics. You have the right be right or left. But ideology takes away freedom.”
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