Throughout this month of December, emphasis from the Vatican has been placed on migration and immigrant rights at a near frenzied level. Pope Francis addressed the issue of mass migration almost every chance he had last week, especially his interest in and support of the U.N.’s vote for a “Global Compact for Immigration.”
Speaking to ten new ambassadors on December 13, he said, “No effective humanitarian solution to that pressing global issue (of mass migration) can ignore our moral responsibility, with due regard for the common good, to welcome, protect, promote and integrate those who knock at our doors in search of a secure future for themselves and their children.”
On Dec. 14, he addressed organizers of a Christmas concert: “Little Jesus reminds us that half of today’s refugees in the world are children, blameless victims of human injustice.”
During the Sunday Angelus, he once more praised the U.N.’s “Global Compact for Immigration,” stating to the crowd of faithful there to pray that he hopes that with this compact, the international community will work “with responsibility, solidarity and compassion toward those who, for various reasons, have left their country, and I entrust this intention to your prayers.”
Yet, with all this emphasis on mass migration and migrant rights, the Vatican’s actions have rendered words empty – worse than silent, in fact. For words have consequences, and these consequences have real impact. With all the talk of migrants last week, it seems that the only action taken to aid them was from the much maligned president of the United States, Donald Trump, when signing the “Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act,” ordering material support and oversight for those suffering. Heightened security concerns expressed by Christians opposed to unhindered migration have begun circulating, anew – and not just in the regions that must endure the annual “fighting seasons.”
Last year, during the lead-up to Christmas, the Islamic terrorists formerly known as “ISIS” (as no “Islamic State” now exists for them) made clear the call for mass-casualty attacks at Christmas festivals and liturgies. Such attacks have almost become commonplace in the Middle East, and as unencumbered “migrants” flood into Western Europe, with the support of Pope Francis, the threat level has increased substantially. Unfortunately, such examples as the terrorist attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg, France prove the case.
What of the Christians suffering? Indeed, while the pope pontificated on the plight of migrants last week, two Christian men were put to death for “blasphemy” in Pakistan.
In China, as the Communist government continues to crack down on Christians, the Vatican insisted that two legitimately consecrated bishops of the Underground Church cede their sees to formerly excommunicated state-approved ones.
Let us not forget the plight of Pakistani Catholic Asia Bibi. Last evening, Italian journalist Antonio Socci broke a chilling report on his website: that Cardinal Pietro Parolin – Vatican secretary of state – gave a response to the question of asylum for Asia Bibi. Bibi and her family are still living in a perpetual state of fear, ever since her acquittal from a death sentence, last October, by the Pakistani Supreme Court. She, too, was sentenced to death for “blasphemy” – after drinking from the same source as Muslims, and later refusing to submit to coerced “conversion” to Islam. She and her family endured eight years of imprisonment before her release. Despite the Pakistani government refusing to allow her to leave, her family has continued to appeal to Western nations for asylum, including the Vatican. The Bibis are Catholic.
Socci reports that when Cardinal Pietro Parolin was asked about the status of Asia Bibi’s asylum request, he answered, “È una questione interna al Pakistan, spero possa risolversi nel migliore dei modi.” In English, the plight of Asia Bibi is “an internal issue for Pakistan, one which I hope will be resolved in the best way possible.” For Asia, it seems, hope now rests outside her beloved Church.
In the sight of all that has occurred last week, one must ask: have Pope Francis’s platitudes supporting unhindered migration turned deadly?
Bree A. Dail holds a Masters of Diplomacy, focusing on Conflict Management from Norwich University and a Bachelor of Arts from Christendom College. She is a veteran Naval Surface Warfare Officer, and has published various academic and AP articles on Military Affairs and Policy. She currently works as Consultant for a major Defense Contractor, and is the International/National Coordinator for Rosary Coast to Coast and the Holy League of Nations.