Pope Francis made a somewhat eyebrow-raising remark the other day — eyebrow-raising because it’s such a 180 from his normal progressive talk — and it’s one that went like this: Not all migrants are in the migrant move for the job opportunities.
They’re not all honorable in intent.
Some, he said, may have less than praiseworthy intentions.
You don’t say.
But truly — the pope hasn’t. Typically, this pope makes international waves for scolding those countries, like America, that try to cap the number of migrants and refugees who enter, as well as those leaders, like President Donald Trump, who dare to suggest not all crossing borders do so with honorable intents. And that’s what’s so remarkable about the pope’s remark.
“[Not all migrants are] always guided by the best of intentions,” Francis said, during his annual address to the Diplomatic Corps, Breitbart noted.
He also said migrants ought to assimilate with the countries who take them in, and that it’s not the role of the church to tell sovereign nations how to deal with their borders — more surprising comments that are more Trump-esque than Vatican-like in tone.
“[Migrants] must necessarily conform to the rules of the country offering them hospitality, with respect for its identity and values,” Francis said, Breitbart reported. “The Holy See has no intention of interfering in decisions that fall to states which, in the light of their respective political, social and economic situations, and their capacities and possibilities for receiving and integrating, have the primary responsibility for accepting newcomers.”
Somebody check the skies for flying pigs.
The pope also spoke of the need of nations to consider their own resources before overwhelming the citizenry with mass migration — and even referenced biblical principles to show that prudence, in this area, was indeed A-OK.
“Leaders have a clear responsibility towards their own communities,” Francis reportedly said, “whose legitimate rights and harmonious development they must ensure, lest they become like the rash builder who miscalculated and failed to complete the tower he had begun to construct.”
This is such a stark contrast to previous reported pope statements on migration.
“Pope appeals to leaders to open borders to migrants,” Radio Vatican’s own headline from March 2016 stated.
Then there was this, from the Australian in August of 2017: “Pope Francis urges open border policies above national security.”
And this, that same month, from SpartaReport: “Pope Francis Calls for Unlimited Migration, Open Borders.”
Or this, penned by Frontpage Mag in September 2017: “The Amnesty & Open-Borders Pope.”
Or this, from CBN TV: “Pope Wants World to Open Borders to Refugees.”
The point? This pope hasn’t exactly been a voice of reason or modicum on matters of migrants and refugees and national borders. He’s been outright anti-border, pro-amnesty in fact — or so it seems. So what’s up with the dramatic switch in rhetoric?
Perhaps it’s a growing recognition that total embrace of migrants from countries with massively different cultures and beliefs — Muslim countries, to be specific — isn’t exactly good for the hosting nation.
“What is the danger when a refugee or migrant is not integrated? He is ghettoized,” Francis said, Breitbart reported. “That is, he enters a ghetto. And a culture that does not develop in relation with another culture, that is dangerous.”
One need only look to Sweden and its ongoing struggles with Muslim-dominated communities for example. Or, reflect on Germany’s 2015 New Year’s Eve sexual-assault crisis against women, mostly at the hands of recently welcomed migrants and refugees — and the government coverup that ensued.
This pope may be late to the truth-telling game about mass migration and open doors to refugees. But at least he’s making an appearance. At long last, he’s finally coming to the table.
Cheryl Chumley may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.