Minnesota Priest Apologizes For Calling Muslims A ‘Threat’


LONSDALE, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota Roman Catholic priest apologized Wednesday for saying in a sermon that Islam was “the greatest threat in the world” to the United States and Christianity.

The Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke apologized in a statement issued by the St. Paul-Minnesota Catholic archdiocese. He had made the comments in a Jan. 5 sermon at the Lonsdale, Minnesota, church where he serves as pastor.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, had called earlier Wednesday on Minnesota’s Roman Catholic church leaders to repudiate the sermon. CAIR’s request came after the newspaper City Pages published an article Wednesday about the sermon.

In his statement Wednesday, VanDenBroeke said his homily “contained words that were hurtful to Muslims. I’m sorry for this. I realize that my comments were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Islam.”

In the statement from the archdiocese, Archbishop Bernard Hebda said that the church’s teaching is clear, and he quoted Pope Benedict XVI as saying that the church looks with esteem to Muslims, who worship God through prayer, fasting and the giving of alms.

“If all of us who believe in God desire to promote reconciliation, justice and peace, we must work together to banish every form of discrimination, intolerance and religious fundamentalism,” Hebda said. He added that Pope Francis also has stressed the importance of dialogue between Catholics and Muslims and has urged all Christians and Muslims to be “true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular through education.”

The homily was recorded and posted on the church’s website. In it, VanDenBroeke said parishioners must remember that immigrants are humans deserving of compassion. But he added that sovereign nations have the right and responsibility to control their borders to protect their citizens and lands.

“Both as Americans and as Christians, we do not need to pretend that everyone who seeks to enter America needs to be treated the same,” he said. “I believe it is essential to consider the religion and worldview of the immigrants or refugees.

“More specifically, we should not be allowing large numbers of Muslims (seeking) asylum or immigration into our country. Islam is the greatest threat in the world both to Christianity and to America,” he said.

VanDenBroeke urged his parishioners to oppose Muslim immigration.

He also said he believes that young immigrants known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States as children, should have a path to citizenship. And he said that he thinks the country’s immigration system could be easily fixed if a wall were built to close the southern border to curb future illegal immigration and “at the same time provide a path to legal citizenship for those who have been living here, who can prove they’re not criminals, they’re living good and peaceful lives, they’re willing to work and pay taxes and be responsible.”

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  1. I personally don’t care a bit about someone’s country of origin. It is simply responsible to reject those who wish to enter for the purpose of sitting on their behind and milking the entitlement programs in America. They should be refused entry. If they get here illegally, it is a double whammy, having broken our law on entering and on stealing our entitlement programs meant for our own citizens.

    Religion is also not an issue for immigration. We are, after all, founded on freedoms, including that of religion. There are a few problems, though. One is that Islam is not a religion at all. It is an ideology. The religious identity it adopted is not based on theology. It is a lifestyle that uses Allah as a cover to justify and permit its thirst for blood. Study of Islam’s history proves this. Buying and accepting that Islam is somehow theological is accepting a delusion that has been thrust on the world. And today’s PC climate renders that virtuous, while it is more likely psychotic and disconnected from reality.

    Islam is the only “religion” that considers violence, murder, dishonesty, and terror as positive things. It needs to be shunned and impeded world over. Meanwhile, we are all little lemmings, drinking the liberal koolaid that terrorists are victims and entitled to their rage, and that their evils must be excused and respected. NO! NEVER!

    • Islam is quite diverse – we shouldn’t have problems with Muslims who just want to pray 5 times a day and eat halal food etc. Fights against peaceful Muslims will only put we religious Jews in danger. Most American Muslims came here to escape the terrorists, not to bring the terrorism here. That is not to say some individuals are not dangerous, but for the most part American Muslims tend to be moderate. This type of hate mongering will only help the radicals recruit more adherents.

      • No problem with Muslims praying. I take issue with your proclamation that most American Muslims came here to escape terrorists. I concur that the majority of them are not in active pursuit of a Jewish target.

        However, they do support terror, sometimes financially, sometimes by other activities they pursue. They have managed to bring their evil ideas into our Congress, with several who denounce Israel at every opportunity, and are verbally and politically supporting terror. They are as deserving of the wrath of G-d as the terrorists actually engaging in the planning and implementing of terror activity.

        I do not have a problem with immigration. The reality is that anyone seeking to relocate to our country should be vetted. I don’t differentiate if they are coming from Mexico, Israel, Afghanistan, or Egypt. If there is a history of involvement with crime or terror, they should be sent back to their country of origin. We have no right to accept risks to our citizens. The recent history has also taught us a few facts. Some of the most vicious gangs are entering from the southern border. Some of the supporters of terror and terrorists are coming from Muslim countries. Trump’s bans are correct, spot-on.

  2. Islam has nothing to do with terrorism they say. However, why 100% recruited as member of Alqaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS are those with muslim background? Where are the Christian, Buddhist, etc ? Is there a media cover up or this is the real fact?
    They say ISIS is not Islam, it tarnishes Islam’s name. However, why tens of thousands muslims from all over the world join it and none (aside from those neighboring countries directly impacted) comes to fight it?
    Why when Saudi, the custodian of the holy sites, carrying out backward and barbaric policy against its people based on religious interpretation, no significant backlash from billions of muslims around the world?


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