US Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burk, the former chief judge at the Vatican's highest court, said that resisting large-scale Muslim immigration is "the responsible exercise of one's patriotism".
Speaking at the Roman Life Forum, Burk emphasised that those who are immigrating should remember that the church's teaching is clear that Catholics can help “individuals that are not able to find a way of living in their own country", which, he claims, is not the case of immigrants who come who are "opportunists", in particular, Muslims.
"Islam by its definition believes itself to be destined to rule the world… coming in large numbers to countries; you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see what's happened, for instance in Europe", the cardinal said, citing immigration tides in France, Germany, and Italy.
Burk then said that the same is happening in the United States and made a reference to the book, "No-Go Zones", by former Breitbart News reporter Raheem Kassam that "records places in the United States where, in fact, Muslim immigrants have set up their own legal order — in other words, they resist the authority, the legitimate authority of the state".
His remarks have been condemned by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which said, "It is sad that Cardinal Burke is using his platform and position as a religious leader not to promote interfaith peace and understanding but to smear Islam and promote debunked conspiracy theories".
Since 2015, Europe has been experiencing its worst migration crisis in recent history, struggling to accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing hostilities in Middle Eastern and North African countries.
In a bid to find a way out of the crisis and stop illegal migrants at the external borders of Europe instead of struggling to distribute refugees within the EU, the bloc’s members had agreed in June to seek cooperation in North Africa to establish so-called "regional disembarkation platforms in close cooperation with relevant third countries" and controlled centers in the EU member states to process asylum applications.