Mark Steyn on Pope Francis’s questionable claim that Jesus was “a refugee” in Bethlehem

From Mark Steyn:

But, even were Mr Duerr right and the Pope were equating refugees with the flight from King Herod, His Holiness would still have been, in the larger meaning, wrong. I don’t mean merely in the literal sense that, as the burdens of the census make plain, Joseph is not the ancient equivalent of a Syrian refugee in Malmö, but of, say, a guy with grandparents in Malmö who’s been away working in Gothenburg for a couple of years; I mean it in the sense that the Pope is wrong about an existential question for the Church and the civilization it built.

I don’t know if His Holiness ever gets into street clothes and leaves his impressively walled city-statelet to wander the streets of Rome, but, if he did, he would see, in Italy as in France as in Spain as in Germany, that Christendom is dying on his watch. In 2016 I attended (as the Pope did not) the funeral in Rouen Cathedral of Père Hamel, the eighty-five-year-old Catholic priest whose throat was slit during Mass by two Muslim men. The service, for all its protestations of unity and forgiveness, chilled me: I felt mostly the absence of faith, or at most its exhausted remnants. Père Hamel had shared, enthusiastically, his Holy Father’s illusions: In Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, he had given land next to his church to the local Muslim community to build a mosque. So no “closed” heart there. And he was repaid for his generosity with ritual decapitation. More.

Reality check: Fr. Hamel’s murderers view themselves as conquerors and they are largely right. People make their peace where they can find it, including just chucking the most basic claims of their tradition and feeling little sympathy with its servants.

At Steyn’s page, I wrote,

I say this with sorrow: The real harm in Francis’s comments is not what he claims to reveal but in what he conceals: The scriptural witness is clear that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because that is where the king promised by the prophets for the Throne of David was to be born, in David’s own city. And, due an apparently unrelated decree, his holy earthly family found their way back there at that time…

So Jesus was not born in Bethlehem as a refugee. He was born there *to claim his throne*. (Americans who believe that their president should be born in the United States should understand this, even if no one else does.)

Jesus was exactly the possibility that Herod, ruler of the day, feared: Someone with a legitimate claim to the throne. Hence the slaughter of baby boys in Bethlehem.

To twist that particular story into a saga of refugee-ship amounts to abandoning a key claim of the Christian witness, that the Messiah was born in Bethlehem, the traditional city, as the prophets had promised.

It is not Islamic terror that is destroying the Church. Terror never destroyed the Church. Almost all Christ’s apostles were martyrs.

They died. The truth lived. But what now?

Accommodation – needing to be liked, approved, rewarded, in step, Cool – that destroys the Church. It destroys not only truth but even the concept of truth. So the truth cannot live.

See also: Why doesn’t Europe resist? Their feminism will adjust; indeed, it already has. They traded everything for abortion and a bargain was sealed. Of course, they don’t enjoy being reminded of how far they have fallen. So they persecute those who remind them.


How naturalism morphed into a state religion