Papal reference to ‘concentration camps’ for Europe’s refugees draws criticism
April 24, 2017
Pope Francis drew new controversy on April 22 when he compared the transit centers for European migrants to “concentration camps.”
During a ceremony at St. Bartholomew’s basilica, which was devoted to honoring present-day Christan martyrs (see today’s separate CWN headline story), the Pope spoke about the refugee camps, and said that “many of them are like concentration camps, because they are so crowded.”
That remark drew a mild rebuke from the American Jewish Committee (AJC). “There is no comparison” between refugee camps and the Nazi concentration camps, said David Harris, the head of the AJC. “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.”
The Vatican noted that Pope Francis was speaking without a text, implicitly acknowledging that his chioce of words was unfortunate.
For all current news, visit our News home page.
- Jews Criticize Pope Francis For ‘Concentration Camp’ Remark (Reuters)
- Pope likens refugee centers to 'concentration camps' (CNN)
- Pope Francis sparks outrage among Jews after comparing European refugee detention centres to Nazi concentration camps (Daily Mail)
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: jackbene3651 -
Apr. 25, 2017 8:39 AM ET USA
His choice of words is too often 'unfortunate.'
Posted by: Bveritas2322 -
Apr. 24, 2017 11:54 PM ET USA
Given half a century of downplaying the idea of the sin of pride, it's not surprising to witness a pope who gives the impression, at least, that he wakes up every morning searching for a new way to prove his moral superiority to the rest of the world, or at least the rest of the Church, including every Catholic of the last 2000 years.
Posted by: [email protected] -
Apr. 24, 2017 9:17 PM ET USA
Another off the cuff remark that is so wrong. There is no comparison. Nazi concentration camps were death camps. Refugees are lucky to go the camps they have. Make safe havens for them and send them home not all over Europe and the U.S.
Posted by: jalsardl5053 -
Apr. 24, 2017 8:51 PM ET USA
Uhh, I don't think so and I think if the Pope visited and/or was up on his history, this histrionic wouldn't have occurred. And overcrowding does not a concentration camp make.
Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 -
Apr. 24, 2017 8:08 PM ET USA
In another place the Pope said “Since we are saved by Jesus, and the prince of the world does not want that, he hates us and encourages persecution, ... ”. Maybe Satan also tempts the Pope to speak without considering how his words can be twisted or misconstrued.