I had intended to critique Pope Francis’s speech to Congress today, but the speech was so vague and so cautious, with a little something for everyone, that I decided it wasn’t worth the effort. The global warming part, for example, was more or less incomprehensible.
I do think this point is worth making, however: the Pope is definitely in favor of taking in migrants.
Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.
But what country has, in fact, taken in by far the largest number of migrants and refugees? The United States, of course. This chart from the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest tells the story. The European Union has a far larger population than the U.S., 503 million to 320 million, but we have taken in 10 million more foreign-born residents. Click to enlarge:
The Pope, in short, is preaching to the choir. How about the Middle Eastern countries that have been unwilling to absorb even a token number of their fellow Muslims? The Pope is silent. Of course, you might say: the Pope has no status in Islamic countries, so why waste his breath on them? But that raises a larger question. Many thousands of Christians are being murdered, raped, abused and driven from their homes in Muslim countries around the world. Does the Pope care? Does he intend to do anything about the number one human rights abuse in the world today?
Apparently not. In any event, there was not a word about oppressed Christians in the Pope’s speech today. Francis’s appearance before Congress was enthusiastically hailed by the liberal media, but it was a disappointing effort, for those of us who are actually Christians.
UPDATE: A Facebook friend writes:
The Vatican is about 110 acres, however, the Catholic Church holds about 177 million acres. You’d think there would be at least some room for these suffering refugees.
You would indeed. Some quick Googling suggests that 177 million acres (I haven’t confirmed that number) is about 25% larger than Germany. If that calculation is right, Francis might want to start close to home. Also, if liberals are looking for some vacant space, the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard are sparsely populated. Those would be good places to house 50,000 or 100,000 migrants.