VIENNA (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Austrian cardinal is warning of an "Islamic conquest" of Europe.
In a speech Sunday at the Festival of the Holy Name of Mary in Vienna, Cdl. Christoph Schönborn cautioned that "[m]any Muslims" long for a "third attempt at an Islamic conquest of Europe," asserting that the people of Europe are in danger of "forfeiting [their] Christian heritage."
"And I think that we should ask for Europe what Moses does ... and what God the Merciful does for the younger son," the cardinal continued. "Lord, give us another chance! Do not forget that we are your people just like Moses reminds Him: They are your people, You led them out, You sanctified them, they are your people."
The remarks came on the 333rd anniversary of the Battle of Vienna, often regarded by historians as being a turning point in history, resulting in the Ottoman Empire ceasing "to be a menace to the Christian world." The battle, noted for having the largest cavalry charge in known history, pitted the Holy Roman Empire, under the leadership of King John III Sobieski, against the Ottoman Turks following a two-month siege of Vienna.
"The defeat of the Ottoman Army outside the gates of Vienna 300 years ago is usually regarded as the beginning of the decline of the Ottoman Empire," writes historian Walter Leitsch, noting the battle halted the most recent Muslim "advance on Christian territories" that had plagued Europe for nearly 300 years.
The victory resulted in Pope Innocent XI declaring Sobieski to be "savior of Vienna and Western European civilization," and, owing to the Polish king having commended his kingdom to the Blessed Virgin prior to battle, the Pope extended the feast of the Holy Name of Mary to honor the victory.
"On this day, 333 years ago, Vienna was saved," Schönborn noted, before warning of a similar siege to come because the people of Europe have "squandered and wasted" its Christian legacy. "What will become of Europe?" the cardinal asked. "Will there now be a third attempt at an Islamic conquest of Europe? Many Muslims think so and long for it and say: This Europe is at an end."
The cardinal concluded his speech with a prayer, imploring divine intervention:
Lord, remember, it is Your people. And if we have strayed and if we have squandered the inheritance, Lord, do not abandon us! Do not abandon this Europe, which has produced so many saints. Do not abandon us, because we have become lukewarm in our faith. … Have mercy on Your inheritance, have mercy on your people, with Europe, which is about to forfeit your Christian inheritance! Have mercy on us and raise us up again, for the glory of Your name and as a blessing to the world.
The cardinal's warning echoes those made by other prelates, including Cdl. Bechara Boutros Rai of Lebanon, who cautioned in 2015 of an Islamic invasion of the West. "I've heard several times by Muslims that their goal is to conquer Europe with two weapons: faith and the birthrate," Rai remarked.
The Lebanese prelate noted that the West faces a diluted population as Europeans "hardly get married and do not have a lot of children."
Similarly, Cdl. Raymond Burke has spoken up against Islam in reference to its history of attacking Europe. Referencing the battles of Lepanto and Vienna, the former head of the Vatican Supreme Court asserted,"These historical events relate directly with the situation of today."
"There's no question that Islam wants to govern the world," the cardinal claimed. "I think the appropriate response is to be firm about the Christian origin of our own nation, and certainly in Europe, and the Christian foundations of the government, and to fortify those ... We have to say no, our country is not free to become a Muslim state."