WASHINGTON, October 13, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is appealing to the U.S. government to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, along with an additional 100,000 from other countries. The population of Syrian refugees is overwhelmingly Muslim.
In a message distributed via email, the USCCB is encouraging Catholics to submit a letter to their congressional representatives as well as to President Obama urging the government to "protect the lives and dignity of people in Syria, Iraq and in other countries suffering war, persecution and poverty." According to the pre-transcribed letter this is to be accomplished by accepting "more Syrian refugees — especially the most vulnerable — and ensur[ing] their safe resettlement" while providing "generous aid to nations in the Middle East that are hosting millions of refugees."
The appeal follows on the heels of a statement released early last month by Abp. Joseph Kurtz, president of the USCCB. In the letter the archbishop expresses his "solidarity with the Holy Father, the bishops of Syria, the Middle East, and Europe, and all people who have responded to this humanitarian crisis with charity and compassion." He also encourages "the U.S. government to assist more robustly the nations of Europe and the Middle East in protecting and supporting these refugees and in helping to end this horrific conflict."
This blanket acceptance of émigrés is raising concerns for many, particularly on account of the Islamic State's boasting on several occasions that ISIS jihadis have infiltrated refugee camps and are using the mass migration to enter Europe: Lebanese officials claimed last month that around 20,000 "bloodthirsty jihadis have infiltrated Syrian refugee camps" in Lebanon. This is in addition to threats from the terrorist state that they would send more than half a million migrants to Europe simultaneously to act as a "psychological weapon."
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch writes:
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling for the U.S. to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees this year alone, with no regard for the fact that the Islamic State said last February that it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees, or for the fact that an Islamic State operative recently boasted that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had entered Europe, or for the fact that the Lebanese Education Minister said that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country, or for the fact that 80 percent of the migrants who claim to be fleeing the war in Syria aren't actually from Syria at all, or for the fact that German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that the Islamic State was sneaking into the country with the refugees and was active in the refugee camps.
Even the five Muslim countries surrounding Syria — Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain — are refusing to take in Syrian refugees because of concerns that terrorists would be given entry into their lands.
Some have noted the absence of any reference to Christian persecution in the USCCB petition, despite the fact that the Christian populations in Syria have been targeted specifically and en masse for professing their faith and refusing to convert to Islam.
The USCCB received nearly $80 million last year for its Migration Fund, which covers the USCCB's efforts with regard to refugees and immigration in general. The U.S. bishops have come under criticism by faithful Catholics for what is seen as an overemphasis on immigration policy over issues like contraception or abortion, with a tendency by bishops to push more liberal immigration policies while writing off critics of amnesty as xenophobic, as Boston's Cdl. Sean O'Malley once said. The fact that 97 percent of the USCCB's federal funding consists of money for its Migration Fund may help explain why the bishops focus so heavily on immigration policy over other social justice concerns.