Sunday, 24 April 2011
Pope Benedict, in his Easter message to the world, on Sunday lamented that the day's joy was marred by war in Libya and urged Europe to welcome desperate migrants fleeing strife in north Africa.

The 84-year-old pope, marking his sixth Easter as Roman Catholic leader, presided at mass for more than 100,000 people in a St Peter's Square bedecked with 42,000 bright flowers and plants donated by Holland to symbolise hope and love.

But Benedict, who delivered Easter greetings in 65 languages, wove his sermon around the contrast between the joy of the Easter season and the wars, poverty and suffering around the world, particularly in north Africa.

"Here, in this world of ours, the Easter alleluia still contrasts with the cries and laments that arise from so many painful situations: deprivation, hunger, disease, war, violence," he said in his twice-annual "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message.


He called for respect for human rights in the Middle East and north Africa and appealed to Europe to welcome those fleeing conflicts from those areas.

"May help come from all sides to those fleeing conflict and to refugees from various African countries who have been obliged to leave all that is dear to them," he said.


The savage North Africans now streaming across Italy towards Northern Europe are not refugees and they were not obliged to leave everything that was dear to them. They are economic migrants who, in almost all cases, have paid between 1000 and 2000 euros for the crossing. This is enough to feed a typical Tunisian family for a year or two. These people are not poor. Nor are they oppressed. The only mildly repressive government of Ben-Ali has been removed. Tunisians have the chance to construct their country anew, as they would like it to be. But the selfish savages now coming in droves across the water aren't interested in that. They just want some of Europe's cash.

It strikes me as paradoxical that when Christianity was in its heyday, its core tenets of turning the other cheek and showing compassion towards your enemy were largely ignored; while now that Christianity has only a vanishing, residual presence in Europe, the policies of European governments seem to be largely shaped aroud its suicidal spirit of infinite compassion.


Johnny Rottenborough said...

On Good Friday, Muslims in Indonesia very nearly engulf one of the Pope’s cathedrals in a fireball. On Easter Day, the Pope tells Europe to welcome Muslims with open arms. Time for some joined-up thinking in the Vatican.

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