With a glance at last week’s headlines, some may have inferred that Pope Francis had validated the popular sentiment that Muslims are “invading” Europe when he said the continent was experiencing an “Arab invasion.” While I would argue that the word “invasion” carries a violent connotation, Pope Francis has a surprisingly optimistic outlook for the future.
“Today we can talk about an Arab invasion. It is a social fact,” he said last week while speaking to a French Chrisitan group. Pope Francis urged his audience to welcome this “exchange among cultures.”
“If Europe wants to rejuvenate, it is necessary for it to find anew its cultural roots. Of all Western countries, the European roots are the strongest and deepest. By the way of colonization, these roots even reached the New World. But, by forgetting its history, Europe weakens itself. It is then that it risks becoming an empty place,” said the Pope (as reported by Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano).
But what do these words mean for countries like Germany that are being crushed by over a million new residents – many of which do not support or approve of the country’s traditions?
“How many invasions has Europe known throughout its history?” asked Pope Francis. “It has always known how to overcome itself, moving forward to find itself as if made greater by the exchange between cultures.” Europe is the “only continent that can bring about a certain unity to the world,” he added.
According to Bloomberg, the number of Syrian refugees seeking safety in Europe doubled in 2015. The number of Iraqi refugees jumped to 121,500.
Editor’s note: From scholar Thomas Malthus (paraphrasing) “Population expands to consume all available resources, checked by war, famine and disease.” Turns out this does not apply in the industrialized nations. But the middle east populations are expanding rapidly, and will not only consume their own resources but those of Europe as well. It may take a couple of generations for this to happen, but it is indeed happening.