In his Easter address on Sunday, Catholic Pope Francis called for the return of Syrian refugees to their home country as he urged a political solution for the ongoing “humanitarian crisis” in the country. He told the 70,000 pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square that “Now is instead the time for a renewed commitment for a political solution able to respond to people’s legitimate hopes for freedom, peace and justice, confront the humanitarian crisis and favour the secure re-entry of the homeless, along with all those who have taken refuge in neighbouring countries, especially Lebanon and Jordan.”
Patriarch Bechara Raï, the head of the Lebanese Maronite Church, had earlier begged for the immediate return of Syrian refugees to their home country in his in his Palm Sunday sermon. The Cardinal said that the refugees have become “the victims of two wars, the one fought with weapons, which destroyed their homes, and the one of the politics of ‘wait and see,’ which will destroy their cultural identity and their history.” Patriarch Raï said it is deplorable that “for political reasons, the international community does not encourage them to return home.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea went further by saying Catholics do not need to support mass migration. He argued that the Western world does not benefit by bringing huge influxes of people with little to no regard for border security or cultural hegemony, saying, "All migrants who arrive in Europe are penniless, without work, without dignity. ... This is what the Church wants?" Cardinal Sarah told French publication Valeurs Actuelles that "The Church can not cooperate with this new form of slavery that has become mass migration. If the West continues in this fatal way, there is a great risk that, due to a lack of birth, it will disappear, invaded by foreigners, just as Rome has been invaded by barbarians."
Pope Francis has consistently promoted mass migration throughout his papacy, repeatedly denouncing the building of walls as a form of imprisonment. Cardinal Sarah, who is head of the Vatican liturgy office, minced no words in his denunciation of the prevailing viewpoint among liberal Catholics, which states that the faithful betray Christ by wanting stricter immigration policies, especially from Islamic countries. Liberal Catholics often speak of migration in romantic terms, but the Cardinal notes there is nothing romantic about people leaving their cultures and homes behind, saying they would best be helped in their culture of origin. "My country is predominantly Muslim," he said. "I think I know what reality I'm talking about."
Cardinal Sarah warned that if Europe were to fall, Islam would prevail as the world religion, altering the course of history and culture as we know it. "If Europe disappears, and with it the priceless values of the Old Continent, Islam will invade the world and we will completely change culture, anthropology, and moral vision," he warned.
In an interview about his new book with American Conservative, Cardinal Sarah did not mince words, saying, "A West that denies its faith, its history, its roots, and its identity is destined for contempt, for death, and disappearance. But I would like to point out that everything is prepared for a renewal. I see families, monasteries, and parishes that are like oases in the middle of a desert. It is from these oases of faith, liturgy, beauty, and silence that the West will be reborn."