Pope Francis, during delivery of remarks at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome over the weekend, told a story about a Middle Eastern refugee whose wife was killed by Islamic murderers — during which he referred to refugee camps as concentration camps.
Right. Because the poor refugees are suffering as much as Jews did under Hitler?
It’s a somewhat shocking statement, whether slip-of-tongue or purposeful. And truly, it was the latter — purposeful.
“Pope Francis, no stranger to lending his moral authority to a range of causes, was meeting with some migrants at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome on Saturday, according to the BBC, and relayed a story about a Middle Eastern refugee whose wife was killed by Islamist militants for holding on to her crucifix.
“‘I don’t know if he managed to leave that concentration camp,’ the pope said. ‘Because many of them are concentration … because there is a great number of people left there inside them.’
“As the pontiff’s words rocketed around the world, the American Jewish Committee, an advocate for Jewish causes, released a statement saying it understood the pontiff’s sentiments but didn’t agree with his comparison.
“‘The conditions in which migrants are currently living in some European countries may well be difficult, and deserve still greater international attention, but concentration camps they certainly are not,’ AJC chief executive David Harris said in the statement on the group’s website.
Quite right. They’re a far cry — a very, very far cry — from concentration camps.
Again, from the Post:
“‘We respectfully urge the Pope to reconsider his regrettable choice of words,” Harris added. “Precision of language and facts is absolutely essential when making any historical reference, all the more so when coming from such a prominent and admired world figure.'”
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