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Cardinal Schönborn’s ‘U-turn’ on Muslim immigration

September 17th, 2016

A conservative commentator remarks that the Archbishop of Vienna, who now warns of ‘a third attempt by Islamists to conquer Europe’, was a harsh critic of Hungary’s measures against illegal immigration last year.

During the holy mass on the occasion of the “Holy Name of Mary Celebration” in St. Stephen’s Cathedral on 11 September, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn marked the 333th anniversary of the victory of the Christian armies over the army of the Ottoman Empire. Today, many Muslims interpret the current wave of immigration as ‘the third attempt by Islam to conquer Europe’, the Cardinal said.  He added that Europeans should blame themselves for having abandoned their faith, and thereby opening a window of opportunity to peoples of alien cultures. He then asked ‘what will become of Europe?’ The Cardinal later issued a statement, in English and German, saying that his comments had been ‘misinterpreted on social media as an attack against Muslims and even as directed against the refugees. “One must not take my homily to be a call to defend ourselves against the refugees, this was not at all my intention. The opportunity for a Christian renewal of Europe lies in our hand.”

On Válasz, Szilárd Szőnyi refers to the original comments. He reminds his readers that last December the Cardinal passionately joined those who condemned Hungary for erecting a fence along its southern borders to halt the flow of migrants. Szőnyi admits that it is difficult to follow the humanitarian commandments of Christianity and at the same time protect European societies. He therefore assures the Cardinal of his ‘deep sympathy’. Nevertheless, he asks him to ‘count to ten’ before he chastises another country for building fences and controlling the flow of migrants. All the more so, since similar measures are now being taken by his Austria as well.



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