- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 6, 2016

The German Catholic church has called for a reduction in the number of refugees being admitted into the country, saying Germans cannot handle the burden of taking in a huge influx of asylum seekers. 

Last year Germany received over 1 million asylum seekers and Berlin has not yet given an official estimate on how many more are expected to arrive this year. 

“As a church we say that we need a reduction in the number of refugees,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German bishops’ conference, told the Passauer Neue Presse daily on Saturday. 

He added that Germany cannot “take in all the world’s needy,” according to The Guardian.

While many religious organizations have asserted it is the church’s duty to help the less fortunate, the cardinal asserted the migrant crisis should not solely be a matter of “charity but also reason.”

Cardinal Marx also expressed concern over growing xenophobia in Germany amid the worst refugee crisis Europe has seen since the second world war.

Germany’s anti-Islam group PEGIDA staged rallies in several cities across Europe on Saturday to protest the influx of refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

Last week, Frauke Petry Germany’s rightwing populist AfD party suggested that police “if need be” should threaten to shoot people seeking to enter the country.

Referencing Germany’s dark past, Cardinal Marx lamented such rhetoric saying, “Sadly there has always been a certain potential for rightwing extremism and racism in Germany,” according to The Guardian.

 

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