Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Church, Italian Govt. Clash Over Mass Migrants; Church Backs African Migrants, Govt. Does Not

High-ranking members of the Catholic Church in Italy have slammed politicians who peddle anti-immigrant ideas to win votes, sparking a heated row with Italy's government, the Catholic News website reports today (August 11, 2015).

"We hear talk of the 'unbearable' number of asylum seekers, an attitude that is unfortunately fed by these salesmen" who are merely pandering to voters, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, Secretary-General of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI), said yesterday in an interview on Vatican Radio.

The head of the anti-immigration Lega Norda (Northern League) party, Matteo Salvini, was quick to lash out at the Church, saying "those who defend this illegal invasion, which is ruining Italy, either don't understand or are making money" from the migrant arrivals.

Tempers have been fraying in recent weeks over the reception of a plethora of North African migrants and would-be refugees in Italy, with Pope Francis intensifying his pleas for those fleeing war or persecution to be taken in -- despite increasing anger over the large number being rescued.

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