Cardinal Burke is a known critic of Pope Francis

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a Catholic traditionalist and a known critic of Pope Francis, claimed that it is within the borders of morality for Catholics to oppose mass “Muslim immigration” into the U.S. He even went to the extent of claiming that restricting the immigration of Muslims can be regarded as “responsible” and patriotic. The American Cardinal in his May 17 speech in Rome said that although church doctrine says Catholics should assist individuals who are unable to reside in their own country, this obligation cannot be extended to immigrant “opportunists.” The Catholic official made specific reference to Muslims in this regard.

According to Burke, Islam, by its nature, believes that its destiny is to conquer the world. The Cardinal then mentioned a few European countries to shore up his point. The Catholic official was referring to a specific book authored by former Breitbart reporter Raheem Kassam, No Go Zones: How Sharia Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You. The book kindles fears concerning Muslims trying their best to implement religious law inside the United States. No Muslim organization has ever made such a demand. Burke claims that Muslims resist all authority, including the legitimate authority wielded by the state. Therefore it is patriotic and moral to oppose the immigration of Muslims to the United States.

Cardinal Burke’s remarks were condemned by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Ibrahim Hooper, the communications director of CAIR, expressed his sadness by saying that the Cardinal has utilized the platform awarded to him and his exalted position as leader of his religion to smear Islam along with promoting long disproved conspiracy theories. The remarks made by the Cardinal oppose the lengthy history concerning interreligious dialogue and the respect between the Muslim and Catholic communities.

The views expressed by Cardinal Burke are the opposite of what Pope Francis has advocated governments across the world. The pontiff said that although governments have the right to vet whether the new arrivals can be properly integrated into their host nation, the people of the country have the moral responsibility to welcome migrants independent of their faith. Pope Francis personally set an example in this context when he brought a Syrian Muslim refugee group to resettle them in Rome. Cardinal Burke’s remarks are ironic as Catholic immigrants themselves faced discrimination when they arrived on the American shores during the 19th century.

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