The Council of American-Islamic Relations Minnesota (CAIR-MN) is calling on Catholic leaders to repudiate comments made about Muslims by a priest during a recent service.
Father Nick VanDenBroecke, a priest at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Lonsdale, Minnesota, reportedly made the controversial comments during a message for Immigration Sunday, which have since been picked up by CityPages after being transcribed by blogger Mary Hirsch.
During the course of the service, VanDenBroeke, who has been pastor at the church since July 2017, told the congregation that not everyone who wishes to come to the United States "should be treated the same."
"I believe it is essential to consider the religion and worldview of the immigrants or refugees," he said. "More specifically, we should not be allowing large numbers of Muslims asylum or immigration into our country."
He then goes to say he doesn't "hate Muslims," but argues that "as people we must oppose their religion and world view."
"I’m not a hater for saying this. I’m not saying something anti-christian because their religion is anti-christian. I’m simply a realist to acknowledge that fact they are the greatest threat to Christianity and to America and we need to recognize that and our laws of immigration need to reflect that."
Father VanDenBroeke's comments are somewhat at odds with the mission statement on the church's website, which states: "Whether you live in Lonsdale or are visiting from out of town, we welcome you to our community."
On Wednesday, CAIR-MN issued a statement calling on Catholic leaders in Minnesota to denounce and repudiate VanDenBroeke's comments.
"We urge leaders of the Catholic Church in Minnesota to repudiate these hate-filled and un-Christian remarks as unrepresentative of the faith they hold dear," said CAIR-MN executive director Jaylani Hussein.
"Silence on this issue would send the troubling message that the church holds a negative view of Minnesota’s Muslim community."
VanDenBroeke's comments can be heard here.