Vatican Representative Supports Church Squatters

Monsignor Karl-Josef Rauber, the Papal Nuncio (i.e. the Vatican’s Ambassador) to Belgium, supports the occupations of Belgian churches by illegal immigrants. “The Church has always sided with the weak,” the Nuncio says in today’s issue of the leftist newspaper De Morgen. With his statement the Nuncio comes out in support of the embattled Belgian Catholic Bishops. Hans Geybels, the spokesman of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the Primate of Belgium, said the Nuncio’s support is “a positive signal.”

During the past weeks the Belgian Bishops have allowed hundreds of squatters – so-called “sans-papiers” or “people without papers [=staying permits]” – to occupy over 20 Belgian churches and turn them into dormitories and Muslim places of prayer. The immigrants demand that they be allowed to stay in Belgium permanently.

Since the late 1990’s individual Belgian Catholic priests have been opening their churches and chapels to immigrants who by Belgian law are subject to expulsion. From the beginning the church occupation (or “church asylum”) movement shocked many conservative Catholics, who complained about the desecration of churches by men and women sharing beds in church, lighting fires and cooking on the floors, installing radios and televisions, removing altars and tabernacles, covering images of Saints and displaying banners with the name of Allah (see pictures here).

Nevertheless, the movement was succesful. In 2000 the Belgian government decided to “regularise” every illegal immigrant who could prove that he or she had lived in the country for five years. The 2000 regularisation allowed 50,000 illegal immigrants to become permanent residents of Belgium (that has 10 million inhabitants).

Five years later, in 2005, Belgian priests again began to offer “church asylum” to sans-papiers. This time the Belgian government refused to budge. Last March, however, when a group of 118 squatters in the Saint Boniface church in the Brussels suburb of Elsene threatened to go on hunger strike, the Home Secretary, Patrick Dewael, granted them residence permits. There was an ensuing rush on various churches. “The minister himself is to blame for this massive response,” says Father Didier Vanderslycke, one of the priests offering “church asylum.” According to Vanderslycke, “thousands” are looking for “asylum” in churches.

Last week several Belgian Bishops, including Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the Archbishop of Brussels, spoke out in favour of the “church asylum” movement. According to Monsignor Luc Van Looy, the Bishop of Ghent, the Bishops do not want to get involved in politics, but are supporting “social actions.”

The position taken by the Bishops is being criticised by several groups of conservative Catholics, who have started petitions against the desecration of the churches. The church is also being criticised from other quarters. Today Luc Van der Kelen, the (agnostic) editor of Het Laatste Nieuws, Belgium’s largest newspaper, asked the Church what it wants: “Free entry to the country for everyone? Will the Church pay the bill when the social security system collapses?”

An op-ed article in today’s Gazet van Antwerpen, Antwerp’s main (Catholic) newspaper, by Prof. Robert Senelle, one of Belgium’s leading constitutionalists, states that Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is obliged to call the Nuncio to account because “church asylum” is a violation of article 268 of the Belgian Penal Code which forbids priests to put pressure on the government in order to have the law altered. “Belgium simply cannot regularise 40,000 illegals without papers. This wild immigration will be a disaster for the country,” Senelle writes.

One of the illegal immigrants squatting in an Antwerp chapel said last week: “We ask but a small piece of paper.” However, that “small piece of paper” gives entitlements to Belgium’s generous welfare benefits. Illegal immigrants are already entitled to “urgent medical care” at the expense of the Belgian taxpayers. The amount spent on healthcare for sans-papiers rose from 4.6 million euros in 2000 to 23.4 million euros in 2004.

Marco Laenens, an Antwerp politician for the governing Liberal Party of PM Verhofstadt and Minister Dewael, demanded yesterday that the town of Antwerp stop subsidizing the Saint Egidius Community, a Catholic group which organizes the “church asylum” in Antwerp. Last year the group received 50,000 euro in subsidies. Laenens said the group is “a Catholic club or sect which allows itself to be used by the Far Left to subvert the state.” Baron Jan De Volder, the spokesman of the Catholic group, said the threat to take away its subsidies is “blackmail.” The decision to grant the group subsidies was supported last year by the Vlaams Belang, the largest political party in Antwerp. The party announced today that it will lodge judicial complaints against any priest offering “church asylum.”

More on this topic:

Allah Takes Over Catholic Church, 7 May 2006

Belgian Church Organizes Illegal Immigrants, 5 May 2006

Illegal occupation of churches..

This sets a sad and bad precedence, to put it mildly. Tomorrow, they might flood in every church on the earth, start thier cooking, love-making, and all their indecent activities.

Let us nip this evil in the bud.

Other beliefs in the house of God

It should be the duty of the priests in the churches where the squatters has entered to start turning the people into the Catholic Church. It seems this is not the case, and to allow other religions to be worshiped in the House of God? I find that strange and would assume that the Vatican would object to this. I hope that this will not become a widely spread arrangement in Europe, as the consequences would be devastating.

The secret to happiness is not in doing what one likes to do, but in liking what one has to do.

There is hope regarding the church.

Prime Minister John Howard is standing by Australia's top Catholic, as Islamic and other groups question Cardinal George Pell's remarks about the intolerance of the Muslim faith and the Koran's "invocations to violence".

Dr Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, defended comments he made in an address to US Catholic business leaders in Florida in February, which were published this week.

In his speech, Cardinal Pell questioned the tolerance of Islam.

"Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited," Dr Pell said in the address.

He also said there were "so many" invocations to violence in the religion's holy text that he gave up counting after about 70 pages.


Read the story ....

From "Erga migrantes caritas

From "Erga migrantes caritas Christi" (2004, see point 61):
"61. To avoid misunderstandingsand confusion, and considering the religious diversity that we mutually recognise, and out of respect for sacred places and the religion of the other too, we do not consider it opportune for Christian churches, chapels, places of worship or other places reserved for evangelisation and pastoral work to be made available for members of non-Christian religions. Still less should they be used to obtain recognition of demands made on the public authorities."

Churches and Mosque

What the church has done is made it extremely easy for Muslims to occupy church buildings and turn them into mosques. If one just looks at most countries that Muslims occupy in great enough numbers you will find a country that holds it's past natives in contempt. If the church has plans of helping the folks of Islam and looking for converts, they have made a very terrible mistake. I feel that what Islam will do is push out the church and establish a Islam (church) mosque. We are being breached and can not see the growing forest for a few trees that appear to need help. Infidels will have no place in this rapidly approaching forest. They will not assimilate, just annihilate!!

God Bless Us!

Belgian Bishops

The battle for the Church continues. The conflict of good versus evil seems to have another home in our Churches in Belgium. Since when did we as Catholics have to invite the devil into our homes and feel obligated as Catholics to do so? Seems very obvious that what is going on here has nothing to do with the down trodden. Give me a break. What are the Bishops thinking? Amazing to see the photos of Islamists pitching tents in a Catholic Church with banners celebrating Allah????

The Shepherd and His Flock

Last Sunday's sermon was about the Shepherd tending his flock. The priest stressed that the true shepherd will lay down his life rather than abandon his flock. It looks like the shepherd has abandoned his flock in order to tend to the wolves that prey on what used to be his flock.

Weak, eh?

Maybe if the (my) Church stood by the weak during the child molestation scandal I could believe that line.

What did Jesus say about

What did Jesus say about 'Caesar'? Give 'Caesar' what is his! Only when 'Caesar' ask a person something that is moraly wrong, you cannot be loyal to 'Caesar'. But in this case, Belgian law is not moraly wrong.
For many decades, Belgian bisshops support (at least they do not act against) priests who are not loyal to the teachings and laws of the Churchs. Today they support people who are not loyal to Belgian law. I have to conclude: some Belgian bisshops do have a problem with 'law'.

If the Church has always

If the Church has always sided with the weak, why don't they side with the real weak (the people dying of hunger) in stead of the self-proclaimed weak? If they are so weak, how did they get here in the first place? But I guess this is a racist/neo-nazi/fish-smelling-right-armpit type of question to ask. One is not supposed to think anymore.

The Church can sell off its own property, art etc to pay for their philantropy in stead of forcing the Belgian taxpaper to pick up the bill of the wishes of the Church.