Catholic Cardinal Refutes Pope, Whose Stance on Migrants is At Odds With the Teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea follows the words of Saint Thomas Aquinas as he contradicts Pope Francis’ support of optional integration for migrants.

“Share the Journey,” a two-year initiative launched by Pope Francis and Caritas Internationalis (CI), a Catholic relief organization, was created to aid refugee families and spread Catholic teachings after the refugee crisis began to worsen. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of CI, admonished governments to “keep your doors open.”

Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, disagrees with Tagle and Pope Francis, who has on multiple occasions called for countries, including the U.S., to unlock their borders for migrants.

Sarah was speaking at the Europa Christi conference in Poland on Sunday when he said countries reserve the right to distinguish legitimate refugees from economic migrants who have no intention of assimilating into a country’s culture. 

“The right of a nation to distinguish a refugee from an economic immigrant who does not identify with the culture of the country in which he wants to live cannot be undermined,” Sarah said according to GOSC.

Sarah named Poland as a country which should be able to make that distinction and reject immigration policies “some people want to impose.” 

The Cardinal acknowledged that although migrants should be respected as human beings, the factors of religion, culture, and national safety complicates the issue beyond acknowledging humanity. 

Sarah spoke out against world leaders that are attempting to undermine the rights of countries that wish to deny migrants that wish to erode national identity, pose a threat to the country or hold religious beliefs that contradict a nation’s culture. 

“The ideology of liberal individualism promotes a mixing that is designed to erode the natural borders of homelands and cultures, and leads to a post-national and one-dimensional world where the only things that matter are consumption and production,” he said. 

He also spoke out against what he claimed to be a secularizing effort in Europe by “liberal individualism.”

According to Sarah, Europe has forsaken its Christian heritage, creating “a state of quiet apostasy.”

“Europe has since then been in an ongoing crisis caused by, among others, atheistic ideologies, and is now plunging into nihilism,” he said. 

The Cardinal’s words echo those of Saint Thomas Aquinas who also believed not all immigrants were equal and that every nation holds the right to reject anyone it deems harmful or hostile. 

“Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts,” Saint Thomas wrote in the Summa Theologica. 

Saint Thomas also notes that migrants who wish to become citizens in a nation must first desire to integrate fully into the culture and life of the country. He also argued that citizenship should not be considered immediately as integration takes time, quoting Aristotle as saying the process was deemed to take two or three generations. 

“The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people,” Saint Thomas wrote, noting that the Jewish people treated nations differently depending on their ability to integrate. 

Saint Thomas could be referring to Leviticus 19:34 which describes “nekhar,” the Hebrew word for foreigners whose allegiance remained with their country of origin. These migrants would be denied the benefits of citizenship in Israel due to their lack of a desire to integrate. 

By publicly revealing his views on immigration, seemingly in agreement with Saint Thomas, Sarah has once again contradicted Pope Francis but stood by the rights of citizens. The Pope has publically corrected Sarah twice for his resistance to Francis’ vision of a decentralized church. 

Featured Image Via Flickr/Lawrence OP


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  1. ssgtnelson

    October 26, 2017 at 10:41 am

    So not only are everyday Catholics ‘revolting’ against the Pope, but also his own Cardinals.

    • Julie Kasenow

      October 29, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Just burke and sarah.

  2. DaisyToo

    October 26, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Thomas Aquinas was, and remains, correct. As a Catholic, I’m relieved that there is one Bishop willing to speak up on this issue. The Catholic relief agencies are being paid Big bucks to ‘aid immigrants’ — and yes, no distinguishing between illegals and refugees allowed. It’s absolutely disgraceful.

    Of course, in defense of the Church, there are plenty of other denominations getting paid for exactly the same dirty work, and no one — at all — speaks out against the practice.

    • Suzana, from Brazil

      October 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Well, as a Catholic you’re not allowed to disagree with the Pope. He is infalible because the Holy Spirit guides him 100% of the time. Catholics either obey him or go away or get expelled. I went away.

      • DaisyToo

        October 27, 2017 at 4:45 pm

        Perhaps you should have stuck around long enough to learn there is no Pontifical church doctrine declared on illegals immigrants vs valid refugees.

        • Suzana, from Brazil

          October 27, 2017 at 6:59 pm

          Here we have theology of liberation which is totally marxist. The curia is sided with land invaders (or taken by them as they set the ideology in Catholic Universities) instead of reppealing them and abiding by the law.

          • DaisyToo

            October 27, 2017 at 7:23 pm

            Of course Liberation Theology is Marxist ( the Obamas practiced the black version) However, you shouldn’t confuse the Pope’s politics w the religion of the Church ( even if Pope Francis does)
            He’s not declared any dogma on immigration, he’s only spouting his misinformed opinion.
            Popes come and Popes go, the Church remains.
            Hope you come on back and become part of the solution.

      • anniegetyourgun

        October 27, 2017 at 10:18 pm

        No, what you stated is not accurate: Catholics ‘are’ allowed to disagree with the Pope. Should we disagree with him we are not expelled or told to go away. The Pope is infallible only on matters of ‘faith’ and ‘morals’. I’m glad you ‘went’ away. It’s obvious you have received minimal instruction about the catholic faith. People like you, who know little about the church, are the ones that speak (as you have) in error. People like you also give the CC a bad rep.

      • anniegetyourgun

        October 27, 2017 at 10:22 pm

        Suzanna, yes, we are allowed to disagree with the Pope. Yes, the Holy Spirit guides him when he speaks on matters of ‘morals’ or f’aith’. It’s important to understand when the Pope speaks on any matter other than faith or morals, he is not speaking infallibly. We hope we would be guided by the HS, but on subjects unrelated to faith or morals, he speaks almost as one of the churches followers. Please understand their is a profound difference.

  3. SingleCut

    October 26, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Pope Francis will be the Obama of the Catholic Church – a sneaky progressive who thinks that he is smarter than everyone else and will seek to impose his “enlightened” views upon the church utilizing any means possible. The historic teachings of the church will fall by the wayside. If you’re a traditional Catholic be prepared…

    • True.Epic.Crusader

      October 26, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Will the next pope after this be the Trump of the Catholic church?

      • AllenandTaylor Martin

        October 26, 2017 at 6:55 pm

        we can only hope

        • Shane Warne

          October 27, 2017 at 5:47 am

          Cardinal Robert Sarah seems sensible. Maybe he should become the next Pope?

          • anniegetyourgun

            October 27, 2017 at 10:28 pm

            He’s conservative and as such, he appears to comprehend the magnitude of allowing illegal alien immigration’s horrific actions not to assimilate and cause chaos is not good for countries in general and for Christians in particular.

          • thos1787

            October 28, 2017 at 12:07 pm

            He should have been the CURRENT Pope !!! Yes, I’m Catholic !

          • Julie Kasenow

            October 29, 2017 at 11:37 am

            Yes. He would be awesome.

  4. Booker ✌🏾👦🏾

    October 26, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Looking at this guys comments, it seems this dude is very based.

    According to Sarah, Europe has forsaken its Christian heritage, creating “a state of quiet apostasy.”

    He knows what’s up. I’ve been saying this for a while. For Europe to at least regain a solid footing they should turn back to God and abandon this hypersecularisim that you see in the West today. All in an attempt to wipe away ANY traces of religion.

  5. The Abstract

    October 26, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Pope Francis is a globalist-collectivist who will bring down the RC Church from it’s earthly capstone.

  6. Wayne Martin

    October 26, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    The Pope needs to lecture the leaders of the countries that the refugees are fleeing from. He needs to tell them to stop the corruption and take care of their people better so they dont have to leave their home country.

    • anniegetyourgun

      October 27, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      I’m not convinced the Pope is the appropriate individual to tell any country what they should or should not do. That’s not his role and to confuse his role is inappropriate.

  7. MisterGoldiloxx

    October 27, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Genghis Khan (born Temüjin) was a migrant.

  8. Marie Page

    October 27, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Remember Pope John Paul I and what happened to him.

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