The Catholic Church should discourage Christian women from marrying Muslim men as such unions can create “serious crises” and contribute to the “demographic invasion” of Europe, an Egyptian priest has said.
Addressing the ongoing Synod on the Family at the Vatican, Fr Garas Boulos Garas Bishay, who serves as a Coptic Catholic priest in Sharm el Sheikh, said that mixed marriages between Christian women from Russia and Europe and Muslim men are “a profound and worrying concern”.
The problem not only applies to majority Muslim countries, Fr Garas said, but also to European nations where Muslims are settling.
He asked why Christians seem more willing to give up their culture and faith to take part in “without realizing it and with tremendous superficiality, the realisation of the Islamic plan of ‘demographic invasion.’”
Women who enter into these relationships, he added, are often “deceived and abused”, while their children can be “disoriented and disturbed” by the radically different cultures of their parents.
Catholic website Zenit quotes Fr Garas as saying: “It should not be forgotten that Islamic law permits polygamy and the Koran obliges the parents to provide an Islamic education for the children.
“There is a profoundly different cultural and religious anthropology that may easily give rise to serious crises within the couple, even leading to irreparable fractures and grave consequences for the children.”
The Catholic News Service says Fr Garas was invited to the Synod on the Family as one of several “observers” allowed to give brief presentations to Catholic bishops. He is pastor of the Our Lady of Peace Parish that deals with a large number of Christian refugees fleeing Islamists in Libya.
There are growing concerns the Synod could leave the Church more divided than before, with ultra-liberal bishops wanting to allow remarried divorcees to receive communion, something conservatives say violates Church teaching.
However, according to Church law, no matter what the bishops conclude, only the Pope can alter Church practice.