A century after his Irish ancestors arrived in America in pursuit of a new life, Cardinal Raymond Burke is lashing out at Muslims seeking to do the same today
A prominent Roman Catholic cardinal is claiming that it’s perfectly moral for Catholics to protest “large-scale” Muslim immigration to the United States.
Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a staunch Catholic traditionalist and one of Pope Francis’ leading critics, said restricting Muslim immigration is a patriotic and “responsible” stance.
Church doctrine is clear that Catholics must help “individuals that are not able to find a way of living in their own country,” the cardinal said during a conference in Rome on May 17. But the church doesn’t have that same obligation toward immigrants who are “opportunists” ― particularly, Muslims, he said.
Islam “by definition believes itself to be destined to rule the world,” Burke said.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see what has happened in Europe,” the cardinal added, pointing to countries like France, Germany and Italy.
Burke referred to former Breitbart News reporter Raheem Kassam’s book “No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You,” which stokes fears about Muslims trying to implement religious law in the U.S. ― something no national Muslim organization has ever called for.
“They resist the authority, the legitimate authority, of the state,” Burke said about Muslims. “And so to be opposed to wholesale or large-scale Muslim immigration is, in fact, as far as I’m concerned, the responsible exercise of one’s patriotism.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Burke’s remarks on Thursday.
“It is sad that Cardinal Burke is using his platform and position as a religious leader not to promote interfaith peace and understanding but to smear Islam and promote debunked conspiracy theories,” CAIR’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, said in a statement. “The Cardinal’s remarks fly in the face of a long history of interreligious dialogue and respect between the Catholic and Muslim communities.”
In the past, Pope Francis has said he believes governments have the right to carefully assess whether they are able to properly integrate new arrivals. But overall, he has encouraged his flock to be welcoming toward migrants regardless of their faith ― setting an example by personally bringing a group of Syrian Muslim refugees to resettle in Rome.