Belgian Church Organizes Illegal Immigrants
From the desk of Paul Belien on Fri, 2006-05-05 22:23
While Western Europe is turning Muslim, its Christian Churches are committing suicide. A Muslim would never allow his mosque to be turned into a dormitory for non-believers. This, however, is exactly what the Belgian Catholic Church is doing. The Belgian Bishops have already opened up 20 churches and chapels to illegal immigrants – so-called “sans-papiers” or “people without papers [=staying permits]” – who by Belgian law have to be expelled.
The illegal immigrants have been told that they are safe in the churches because the authorities will refrain from entering the buildings out of respect for the Catholic Church. It is strange that the Church should insinuate that there is some type of persecution considering that the Belgian authorities never organise searches for illegal immigrants, and hardly ever expel even criminals. The number of people camping in churches so far varies from 100 to 700. More than 160 immigrants in the churches have also gone on hunger strike. The church authorities say they are offering “church asylum” to the “sans-papiers.”
Earlier this week a 31 year old illegal immigrant from Morocco, squatting in a church in Glain in the diocese of Liège, sewed his lips closed to protest the fact that (a) he has no money to travel to Morocco to attend his father’s funeral and (b) that if he does go to Morocco he will not be allowed to enter Belgium again. About 300 Africans – men, women and children – are squatting in Antwerp’s Magdalena Chapel. The place is filled with mattresses. “We ask but a small piece of paper,” Ahmed, one of the illegal immigrants in the chapel says. The occupants have the full support of Monsignor Paul Van den Berghe, the Bishop of Antwerp. Last February the latter participated in a protest demonstration in favour of the “sans-papiers.” He even called upon the Catholic schools of his diocese to have the pupils participate in the demonstration. Though Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the Belgian Primate and the Archbishop of Brussels, did not join the demonstration in person, he exhorted the faithful to participate.
Two weeks ago Monsignor André Léonard, the Bishop of Namur, who thinks that churches and chapels, as they have no sanitation or conveniences, are not suitable for accommodating lodgers, opened his episcopal residence (which is government property) to the “sans-papiers.” In today’s newspapers he says that it is “inhuman to expel people who are well integrated in our country.” Bishop Léonard demands that the law be changed.
In Ghent, the illegal immigrants staying in the Saint Anthony Church have the full support of Monsignor Luc Van Looy, the Bishop of Ghent. “Everybody is entitled to a good place in our society. Also illegal fugitives,” the Bishop said. The occupants of the Saint Curé of Ars Church in the Brussels suburb of Vorst pride themselves on the “multiculturalism” of their group. “There are Africans, Eastern Europeans, Moroccans, South Americans and Asians here,” Ntep Mauc Audrey, their spokesman, told the media. “Some have only been in Belgium for one year. Others have already been sans-papiers for 36 years. The parish priest supports us.” So does Cardinal Danneels. “Solidarity cannot be limited to one's own nation,” the Cardinal said today in an interview in the leftist trade union weekly Visie.
“We are prepared to die,” says Etienne Kabongo, a Congolese who has gone on hungerstrike in Broechem near Antwerp. Kabongo has lived in Belgium for three years. Said Mokhtar, an Algerian, agrees. “If we are not allowed to stay I will fast to the bitter end. My wife and our three children have been in Belgium for six years. Our children speak better Dutch than Arabic.”
However, many Belgians, including many Catholics, do not agree with the “church occupations.” Belgium has one of the most hospitable policies towards immigrants in Europe. Illegal immigrants are hardly ever expelled. Six years ago the government issued a collective amnesty for illegal immigrants, granting everyone who could prove they had lived in the country for five years the right to “regularise” their status and stay. Over 50,000 did so. The 2000 regularisation was a response to a previous series of church occupations, which had shocked many conservative Catholics, such as Father Herwig Arts, an Antwerp Jesuit and well-known author. “Black families entered our chapel and turned it into a dormitory,” Father Arts complained to the press (Gazet van Antwerpen, 21 November 1998). Father Arts saw men and women sharing beds and cooking in Antwerp’s Jesuit chapel. “They removed the tabernacle, installed a television set and radios, depriving us of the opportunity to pray in our own chapel and say Mass. [...]. It has upset me very much. For me the place has been desecrated,” he said. “I feel I cannot enter it anymore.” At the time Father Arts was severely criticised for his comments. Today he remains silent, as do all Catholic priests, given that the Bishops support the church occupations by the illegal immigrants.
Patrick Dewael, the Belgian minister of the Interior, has said, however, that he will not bow to the demands of the episcopacy and the activists. “Laws are voted in Parliament,” the minister explained, adding that they cannot be changed because hungerstrikers and Bishops demand this. Dewael pointed out that some of the people in the churches do not fulfill any of the criteria to be allowed to stay in Belgium. “Some of them have not even applied for asylum,” he said.
Today Luc Van der Kelen, the (agnostic) editor of Het Laatste Nieuws, Belgium’s largest newspaper, was very critical of the Bishops. The Church, he wrote, “demands that the asylum legislation be changed. This is a farreaching demand, seeing as this legislation has been approved by a large majority of the democratically elected parliament. The Church even goes beyond words. It tries to undermine the policies of minister Dewael with actions in public spaces, viz. the state financed church buildings. [...] The method used in various places is the same one that was once used by the Irish Catholic IRA terrorists: a hungerstrike. This is not very humane, because it endangers the lives of the activists, and it is unethical, because it is a form of moral blackmail of the politicians. [...] One can understand such actions from people who think they have no other alternative, but not from church leaders, who should act responsibly. They are supposed to unite people, not incite them against each other.”
For Catholic believers the situation is all the more painful as the same Bishops have never bothered to take any action to change, let alone, protest Belgium’s legislation regarding abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and gay adoption. On the contrary, when a Catholic organisation asked for permission to organize a Mass against the impending euthanasia legislation in Brussels Cathedral on 2 March 2002, the use of the Cathedral was prohibited by Cardinal Danneels because it was feared that (Catholic) politicians of the anti-immigration Vlaams Belang party would attend.
The End of Bloggers - Are they to blame?
Submitted by mlvernik on Tue, 2006-05-16 17:46.
Being blamed for Antwerp's massacre, Belgian authorities have announced zero tolerance for racism. They have found the problem and seem poised to end the source of it - Blogger/Editor/Writer Paul Belien. He writes:
Belgian television and the Brussels papers say that the Antwerp shoot-out is the result of my writings. Regular readers of The Brussels Journal know my view well enough: I have repeatedly defended the view that Muslim immigrants are not to blame for Europe's predicament. The latter is entirely of our own making. Europeans have foolishly replaced God by the State as the one on whom they rely to take care of all their needs from cradle to grave. The religious vacuum has led to a demographic vacuum, because those who lose faith in God lose faith in the future as well. A civilization that has created a religious and a demographic vacuum is bound to perish.
If he is right and the lights are about to be snuffed out in Europe we had best not ignore the signs of the same things in America. Not only the immigration issue but the replacement of God the creator in our society and placing him with the state. Already the voices have grown strong against the 'hate speech' of such extremist bloggers/talk radio. Grant more power to such elements in our society and they will come after us like the liberals went after gun makers for shooting people.
Now tie this to the Muslims taking over the Belgium Churches. The Churches and bloggers will be silenced because it would be considered 'hate' speech to denounce anything.
Mosque is joining
Submitted by Omar on Mon, 2006-05-08 08:10.
Namur: 6 people without “papers” that occupied the Saint-Joseph Church in Namur, moved to the Albanian Mosque of Namur. The mosque decided to open its doors for people without papers. The six will be joined soon by 4 other people without papers.
The mosque of the Albanian community in Namur is the first Belgian mosque to open its doors for people without papers.
Source: Belga, 19th of April 2006
How much longer?
Submitted by solitas on Mon, 2006-05-08 03:13.
How many more can the churches hold before the "refugees" start wanting to 'expand their range' a little bit (i.e. going outside)? And what provisions does Belgian law have for arresting illegal aliens in public (or, holding an individual on suspicion of illegally residing in the country until their background can be checked)?
There are only so-many doors to the buildings, and the government 'owns the sidewalks', so to speak, so it should be fairly simple to 'wait them out'...
(also: maybe a small correction - shouldn't the article's first sentence use the word 'catholic' instead of 'christian' - since it seems to be the denomination causing the situation; not the Church as a whole?)
Pray for him
Submitted by Benedikt on Sun, 2006-05-07 18:09.
Archbishop Danneels has many duties which are defined by Canon Law. Supporting immigrants is not one of them but defending the Catholic faith and caring for the eternal life of his flock. He has a long record of neglecting these duties.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Submitted by Chris Gillibrand on Sun, 2006-05-07 14:31.
said in the notoriously liberal Catholic Tablet last week, "In welcoming the stranger we should not distinguish between "legal" and "illegal" migrants." And this is his sermon last week on May 1st which expresses similar sentiments. At the centre of the May 1st Mass (pictures and report here) was a strange body called London Citizens (a front organisation if there ever was one) which is dominated by Catholics but quotes the Koran and Pope Paul VI together in its promotional material. I arrived last week at the Cathedral in time for the open air preaching after the Mass; a leading Muslim cleric, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, who had attended the Mass was saying that the sunshine was the will of Allah. Amazing that Sir Iqbal can attend a Church so full of images!
When I questioned the quote from the Koran at the information desk, I was told that I was a crank; strange for someone whose family suffered taxation, imprisonment and exile because of their Catholic Faith.
If they would only grow a pair
Submitted by Defender on Sun, 2006-05-07 08:58.
It would be so nice to see politicians grow a pair, and then tell the police to round up the illegal immigrants in the churches and kick them out of the country, and then incarcerate the priests, bishops, clerics or whatever they call themselves for harbouring fugitives, but that will probably never happen as most politicians are spineless with it comes down to anything dealing with religion and/or immigrants. Maybe all kinds of criminals should take refuge in churches and stay there until they are pardoned, if it’s OK for immigrants then why not for other types of criminals.
I dream of the day where a western country have the balls to intensively hunt down and kick out all illegal and/or criminal immigrants, people whose application for asylum has been turned down, Muslims preaching hatred against democracy etc… etc…, and then when the UN and the human rights activists comes running with their complaints the answer to them is: F… You, we enforce our laws and protect our way of life
Many more pictures
Submitted by Chris Gillibrand on Sat, 2006-05-06 23:36.
Church becomes tent city
Church of the Minimes
and also Muslim Group transforms chapel
The Bishop of Namur is meant to be the most conservative of Belgian bishops, probably the only one who enjoys any favour in Rome!
I should add that the IRA was an avowedly Marxist organisation that escaped the previous condemnations of Fenianism by the Catholic Church probably because of the secret pact of Metz. Many Catholics supported the IRA because they were not condemned, crucially in America.
By what standard?
Submitted by Earl g on Sat, 2006-05-06 13:27.
'... it is “inhuman to expel people who are well integrated in our country.” Bishop Léonard demands that the law be changed.
My gawd… if ‘well integrated’ is hailed as segregation, ghetto’s…no homes, no jobs, little or no money or food - there remain depths to the depravity which looms.
For me its quite
Submitted by Brigands on Sat, 2006-05-06 13:06.
For me its quite simple.
Harboring illegal immigrants should be a crime, regardless of what organisation , except for the State. Illegal immigrants who use blackmail-methods such as a hungerstrike should be denied their papers at once & returned to sender. End of Story.
Submitted by Pat Patterson on Sat, 2006-05-06 11:44.
Is there any point to these little factlets that the Doppelganger group(Canaanite, LighteningStriker etc.) post here? What argument is trying to be advanced other than having to read tedious, irrelevant and highly suspect links? Come on guys I'm sure with a little research on the web I can find "real" news stories that prove belief in Islam causes acne and earthquakes. But what is the point aside from being trivial and insulting? Declare a mortorium on obscure newspaper articles and argue your ideas with logic not trivia.
Qu'ran and Bible
Submitted by abc on Sat, 2006-05-06 05:34.
Submitted by Pat Patterson on Sat, 2006-05-06 01:01.
I know it's a fanciful notion but I miss the warrior priests. The crazed or drunk at the head of Christian armies. Gripping tightly to reliquary, sword or club. Now the only ones required to wear the hair shirt are the taxpayers or parishoners.