Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea said Sunday that world leaders must respect the rights of countries to reject migrants who won’t assimilate or who are dangerous.
Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said at the Europa Christi conference in Poland that the rights of countries to distinguish legitimate political and religious refugees from migrants who seek economic benefits with no intention of assimilating to a country’s culture must be respected, according to Catholic Herald. Sarah’s comments on immigration directly contradict those of Pope Francis, who on multiple occasions has urged countries, including the U.S., to keep their doors open to migrants.
“The right of a nation to distinguish a refugee from an economic immigrant who does not identify with the culture of the country in which he wants to live cannot be undermined,” Sarah said according to Polish news organization GOSC.
Poland, according to Sarah, is one such country that chose to make that distinction and to reject the immigration policies that “some people want to impose.” Sarah’s comments on immigration are not the first instance of him contradicting Francis, as Francis has publicly corrected Sarah twice before for Sarah’s resistance to Francis’ decentralized vision of the Catholic Church.
Sarah acknowledged that migrants should be respected as human beings, but also noted that the factors of religion, culture, and national safety make the issue of immigration more complex than acknowledging general humanity. World leaders should not undermine the right of any country to deny migrants who pose a threat to that country’s common good, who seek to erode national identity, or who hold religious beliefs that are contradictory to that country’s culture, according to Sarah.
“The ideology of liberal individualism promotes a mixing that is designed to erode the natural borders of homelands and cultures, and leads to a post-national and one-dimensional world where the only things that matter are consumption and production,” Sarah said, according to GOSC.
Sarah then lamented what he saw as the secularizing effect of such “liberal individualism” on Europe, which he said has forsaken its Christian heritage and is now in “a state of quiet apostasy” that began to develop two centuries ago with the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.
“Europe has since then been in an ongoing crisis caused by, among others, atheistic ideologies, and is now plunging into nihilism,” Sarah said.
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