Immigration is always a contentious issue in Italy. And it has especially heated up these days, mixing with Christmas and Christian roots. Faced with the new wave of refugees arriving to the Italian shores, the Undersecretary of the Interior, Nicola Molteni, with the applause of his leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, He has stated: “We need tourist boats, not ships with immigrants.” Criticism has rained down on both, accused in some media of “false Christians.” In the case of Salvini, he is criticized for defending tooth and nail the Christian roots of Christmas, and then qualifying on Twitter the position against immigrants of his henchman in Interior with these three words: «Simply, common sense ».
The same position holds Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy, the only major party outside the government of the current Draghi cabinet of national unity. Faced with this new wave of immigrants, Giorgia Meloni, has reiterated what is his model to fight against irregular immigration: “Defense of the borders, fight against the immigration business and naval blockade to stop immigrants from leaving and avoid the dead.” It is a model that Meloni opposes to the one carried out by the current Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese: “Open borders, incentives for immigrants and immigration policies for unbridled reception”. Meloni and Salvini practically share a model and agree in their fierce criticism of Minister Lamorgese. Your matches, Brothers of Italy and the League, are practically tied in the polls, with around 20% in voting intention. Adding up the 8.5% of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, the center-right would clearly obtain the parliamentary majority, if there were elections today, with the current electoral law.
“Invasion, invasion”, It is a word that Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni often use during the electoral campaign and when the wave of landings increases. The perception of the invasion has reached very high levels at times. Even ultra-Catholic sectors have amplified those fears, raising the flag of religion and calling for the limitation of Muslim immigrants. A couple of years ago the American cardinal did it Raymond Burke, 73 years old, an anti-vaccine prelate who later was in the ICU with the Covid. A representative of the most conservative sector of the United States episcopate, Burke considered it a “prudent measure of many politicians” to restrict the entry of Muslim immigrants to nations with a strong Christian tradition.
Cardinal Raymond Burke’s thesis is not completely isolated in the Catholic world. But it is not expressed, because defending it is politically incorrect at the moment. It would go in the direction diametrically opposite to the reception line imparted by the Pope Francisco, which preaches opening doors and ports to every human being who suffers, regardless of race, sex or ethnicity. But the warnings are not lacking. Before Francisco traveled to the United Arab Emirates, in February 2019, Bishop Camillo BallinA good connoisseur of the Arab world – he was Apostolic Vicar of the Holy See in Northern Arabia for the Catholic communities of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – made this forecast: “It is conceivable that Europe in 50 years will be almost completely Muslim. I anticipate such a situation, but not so much because these countries are taking specific measures. Far from it. There is no political plan, there is no plan of conquest. Europe will end up being Muslim, but only because there is a birth problem, while Muslims have large families, and for the lack of those ideals that can motivate a decline in Christian roots.
In any case, Europe is far from fulfilling such a forecast, at least as far as Italy is concerned. The Caritas report of this country on the immigration situation this year explains: «In 2021 there was a decrease in Muslims, standing at 27.1% (2 percentage points less than the previous year), with just under 1,400,000 faithful. On the other hand, there was an increase in Christians, with around 2.9 million faithful, 56.2%, in 2021, compared to 53-54% in previous years.