YouTube makes its synod debut — clip gives rise to objections

UPDATE: Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, apologized to the synod members last night for having asked that the YouTube clip be shown.

There are no written texts of the synod’s evening discussions, but Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, the English-language press officer for the synod, said Cardinal Turkson told the assembly that he “never meant to hurt people, cause harm, scare people or to stir up things as he did and he apologized for that.”

Father Rosica said several bishops spoke about the clip again last night. “There were questions. Most of the concern was that the facts weren’t right,” Father Rosica said.


VATICAN CITY — The screening of an anonymous YouTube clip about the decline of Christian populations in Europe and North America and the growth of the continents’ Muslim community launched heated debate and some serious objections at the Synod of Bishops Saturday evening.

A cardinal who works in the Vatican asked that the 7-and-a-half-minute video be shown to bishops at the synod, according to the Vatican press office.

The video, posted on YouTube in 2009, makes claims such as, “In just 39 years, France will be an Islamic republic.”

The clip ends by telling people, “The world is changing; it’s time to wake up.”

Officials from the council of European bishops’ conferences said the film’s premise is based on faulty statistics and they would provide synod members with accurate figures on birth rates in Europe, and the religious make-up of the continent’s population.

The video was shown at the beginning of Saturday evening’s “open discussion” in the synod hall. The synod’s English-language briefing officer, Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, told reporters about the film and reaction to it, but in keeping with synod rules, he did not name any of the bishops involved.

Father Rosica said that even this morning, bishops at the synod were asking who made the film and why it was shown at the synod.

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35 Responses to YouTube makes its synod debut — clip gives rise to objections

  1. hermittalker says:

    Do they not have SNOPES.COM in Europe to check out this camel dung, or “mularkey” as a prominent Irish-American calls it!

  2. Let’s not “blame” the social media messenger, in your headline, CNS. It’s not about the use of YouTube, it’s about the *use* of an unknown source video at a synod.

  3. CNS says:

    We’ve updated the headline from “YouTube makes its synod debut — and raises objections” to “… clip gives rise to objections.”

  4. hermittalker says:

    How about incorrect You Tube data raises objections at the Synod. Fears of Islamic take-over unfounded

  5. Brian A. Cook says:

    I was afraid something could go horribly wrong at the Synod. That video has been debunked as xenophobic fear-mongering deception for years. I am glad that some participants have questioned the video. Let’s hope that this story doesn’t completely blow up in the bishops’ face.

  6. hermittalker says:

    To be fair, they know their history, if it were not for Lepanto.
    Pius V and the rosary they would have been forced with all those cruel days had to convert. The medieval equivalent of sending in over 148 thousand US and several thousands of Allies to convince them that the Christian West acts like the Great Satan and set us all back a few hundred years as we unleashed their Monster.

  7. Jim says:

    Presentations like these are somewhat over the top and yet still we should look at an underlying message. Let us be honest, what we historians have already acknowledged is that Germany and France, England, and the Low Countries have yet to recover populationwise from the ‘Great War of 1914’. Moreover, Austro-Hungaria is for all sakes and purposes nonexistent, with her archduke in diaspora in the United States along with the crownprince of France.

  8. Jim says:

    There is a seed of truth in this that has not been exposed. The real truth is that we Catholics abort and contracept ourselves to the extent that we are a diminishing population and influence in our culture. According to recent figures Catholics maintain their 23 % portion of the US population ONLY because of the immigration of hispanic Catholics to the US. 10 yrs ago when I visited my cousins in Belgium I found the Churches which were full in my mother’s youth were nearly empty. Most people attending mass most resembled my 70 yr old aunt. Not one person in 10 was under the age of 40. My cousins whined about the immigration of foriegn people of mideast origin, “Belgium isn’t Belgium any more!” The problem is not immigration or zenophobia. The problem is the abandonment of the Catholic faith for secular values including, first of all, contraception and abortion. The Church in Europe is dying and because of that it is being replaced by something else! I tell you the same is about to happen in the US unless something changes. Who among those who responded on this blog even know or care?

  9. JohnWhite says:

    The SNOPES article on the video has an awful lot of unknowns regarding the state of the issue discussed in the video. Methinks those objecting to the video would rather nitpick the issue than resolve it with facts, since the facts may re-enforce the video’s bottom line than the nitpickers would like. Demographics IS destiny, and those who ignore it are condemed without appeal to live with the results of its trends.

  10. Jason says:

    Yes there are small errors in the assumptions about birth rates but the conclusions are not camel dung. Europeans have below-replacement birth rates and Moslems have very high birth rates and are not assimilating into society. Any thinking person can see where this is leading. You can keep focusing on the fact that 39 years was a bad estimate but you cannot escape the the scenario predicted in the film will be upon us very soon.

    As far as the anonymity of the video’s creator… What do you expect? Anyone speaking these truths in public is universally denounced for racist hate speech. Sometimes the only way to be honest is to remain anonymous.

  11. hermittalker says:

    That to me is more of the fear. I read of a billboard in FRANCE recently that said HAVE A BABY FOR FRANCE. The genocide of girl babies in many nations and China’s drastically enforced one child policy and the pressure on developing nations to abort is dangerous in the extreme. IRELAND is the only European nation that is reaching the population replacement level. Hope it holds. Praying we do not legalie abortion on demand and that Obama is beaten. i am legally allowed to vote in both and of course can pray for all of them”

  12. Teresa Rice says:

    Even if the numbers are wrong the point being made may be a legitimate one. While the Christian population is declining Islamic populations are rising. This should give the bishops pause and cause for concern regardless if the actual numbers are off a bit.

  13. Al says:

    “This is a call to action”. Riighhttt.
    The only God sanctioned response it to have more babies.
    This mess was predicted by the book, “The Death of the West”

    The bishops need to climb down from their ivory towers and wake up the sleeping pew sitters. They do have that responsibility, dont they?

    Either wake up or get fitted for a burka.

  14. Linus says:

    Why beat up on the messenger, the general trend has been there for years. The U.S. will be next.

  15. Mary Moon says:

    Let’s face it we are in a crisis. The Muslims are on the move and when they strike you are going to wonder, “Why were we not aware this was happening around us?”

  16. Thanking those that acknowledge the trend. A wake up call regarding Catholics contracepting is worthwhile for our Bishops to consider, for all of us to take to heart. Our thoughts and actions should be about saving/gaining souls for Christ via the Catholic faith. It’s not islamaphobia to want to ensure that future.

  17. Duane Muyres says:

    The left-liberal establishment is in a state of frightened denial. Islam is growing in our Christendom in alarming numbers. They want hegemony, power and sharia law. The left-liberals are afraid of them and they mask their panic with liberal platitudes about xenophobia and peace-loving muslims. They particularly cry out about the terrorists and extremists as being a ‘tiny minority.’ Hitler’s Nazis and Stalins communists started out as small minorities. Their people ignored them and then supported them. The musselman peoples support the radicals while protesting their innocence. They stand in the face of evil and do nothing and therefore are guilty of it. Islam is the enemy of civilization. Indeed, wake up; your grandchildren will be fighting them in your streets.

  18. Craig says:

    Good. While even Moslem birthrates may be lower than expected, there does appear to be influxes throughout Europe, eg, France, Italy. This is another reason to step up true evangelization and conversion. Hillaire Belloc say this coming…

  19. Joseph says:

    The growth of Islam is no accident. Oil rich middle East countries are buying their way into the USA by paying the tuition students to attend U.S. Colleges and Universities and supporting financially the building of Mosques all over the map of the U.S. My wife teaches English to foreign students from all over the world and the majority are students form Saudi Arabia who pay large sums of money to the universites for enrollment. She showed me an e-mail from one of the Saudi students who stated that since Musilm countries could not win a war with the U.S.A , Musilms would win by over populating the country and by increasing the power of the Musilm vote.

  20. ponerology says:

    A prior commenter states the video is “xenophobic and fear mongering”…I haven’t watched it but I think not. After WWII Europe and all “western” nations, began their steep decline in population and fertility. No accident –but you’d have to be aware of the agenda (as in U.N. agenda 21 and the Club of Rome dual depopulation and global warming agenda). Even the iron lady herself (Maggie Thatcher) publicly stated that the immigration flood gates had to be opened in Europe because they needed people who have children to pay some of the taxes they knew they were going to impose as the E.U. came forward out of the shadows, along with NATO’s nation building programme., etc., etc. Kuwait was a “country” made up out of whole cloth by the City of London..same with the so-called Saudi royal family–put into power by “the City”. The powers-that-be have wanted a clash between Christendom and Islam for over 100 years…it was set up to happen along with a lot of other plans; chief among them depopulation–my any means necessary–as Lord Bertrand Russell and people of his ilk openly stated.
    Go to www cutting through the matrix dot com for the education you were never meant to have.

  21. Jason Miller says:

    Kresta in the Afternoon did a feature on this issue a few months back. Muslim birthrates are NOT a threat. They did a country by country breakdown – Muslims in Europe AND in Muslim nations are having a demographic meltdown as well. Europe and all its neighboring Islamic nations are in trouble. That is why this video is flawed. Immigration is an issue. Much of that seems to stem from some sort of European guilt about having these nations as colonies a few decades back. They just won’t hold their borders. If anything, these cultures will probably just wipe each other and themselves out – almost negate each other.

  22. Jim says:

    What we ought to be more concerned about is living our lives fully as Catholics. We need to return to the foundational teachings of our Church. Many of us are suffering from what some of our bishops call 50 yrs of poor Catechesis”. The problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know. We need to study our Catechism, confess our sins and amend our lives to conform ourselves to who we say we are. Then we need to teach our children to do the same. We ought to be much less concerned about Muslims who attempt to follow their faith than Catholics who do not. While we make up 23 % of the population we account for about 31 % or 370,000 of the 1.3 million abortions in the US each yr. There is no doubt that our religious freedom is under attack but that attack in the US comes more from secularized Americans including “Catholics” who reject Church teaching then it does from any religious faith including Muslims at home or abroad.

  23. John Fisher says:

    These statistics are correct. Wikipedia has an article on birth rates that backs this up.

  24. Rene says:

    JP2 was of the same opinion…this is news… good or bad!

  25. Josh M says:

    Synod should stand for wisdom. Remember your mission starts with love. Playing scary movies about one group taking over another is not a good way to start. This movie is not telling you anything you may already not know or have heard. Next topic please.

  26. hermittalker says:

    There was a front page story on a newspaper from Dublin, Ireland last Sunday. It told of a £euro 65 million, about $90 million US planned for a Mosque and a complete complex including recreation and educational facilities in Dublin. As Joseph noted, that cash is not coming from Moslems who are not that plentiful or wealthy in Ireland. Sad to say, because of how they do Stewardship in Ireland, the 1.5 million population archdiocese is broke as is the Government. I offered suggestions to the archbishop based on the development of Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure in the US Catholic model, and never received a promised acknowledgement letter.

  27. Peter says:

    The point is, the ship is on the rocks and these fellows better wake up and smell the roses. If the demographic projections of that video are wrong by 50 years, who cares, the point is exactly the same.

  28. Sam says:

    Whether these precise statistics are accurate or not, the current demographic trends are undeniable. Our delusional liberals refuse to acknowledge the unpleasant reality, and anyone who tries to talk sense into them and get them to look at the long-term picture is mindlessly dismissed as an evil, xenophobic bigot. What on Earth do these people really think is going to happen if the current trends continue indefinitely? In nearly every country where there are large numbers of muslims living side by side with members of another religion, there is internecine violence and large-scale attempts to impose sharia. If we hit the demographic threshold, and we can no longer have consensus government with a large Islamic minority, that is when the shooting will start. And when that happens, the liberal multi-culturalists are going to have blood on their hands.

  29. hermittalker says:

    We know they wiped out all of St Paul’s labors, which were demolished by the Byzantine schism that was childish and seemed to be based more on jealousy than doctrine. There is not much of the solid Christian bedrock of Europe left now either, even if the religious and ethnic rows of the past are gone with the EU and its expansion. Next step might be finding its “soul” again after its monetary-political unity is solidified. It happened before, perhaps we must look to Africa and Asia for growth as the pendulum swings back and forth.

  30. It seems the pastors have not done their work well if the catholic population is not soaring over the muslims More homilies on birth control is needed. Our catholilc population is ho humming when a priest speaks. He needs to get their attention by telling them not to come to communion if they use a contraception, get their tubes tied or get a vasectomy. Be blunt!!! Otherwise they won’t listen and heed.

  31. lwestin says:

    Per haps the film clip has served a purpose to provoke discussion and revelation of facts. Hopefully the bishops will be able to obtain actual facts. These days it is hard to know what a reliable source might be. Regardless, The bishops should be discussing how they have done at their jobs, and how to improve their results… because the results in Europe and Canada at least, are abysmal. Fr. Rosica should be up to date on that.

  32. Duane Muyres says:

    I daresay you are wrong Mr. Miller, and that report is completely at odds with every other study done in recent decades. Islam is growing within our gates and is malign. Many of them also are not counted in the studies because of their closed communities and illegal immigration. Here in Canada they are exploding. Their growth rate (the highest on earth) has been one method, along with the cruelest of conquest, on enslaving numerous Christian countries in the past. They are not only of a radically different religious bent, a false one, they are of an ideology that defies co-existence once they attain some power. They terrify me just as they do the timid, cowardly and hypocritical left liberal establishment and media. The western world must halt all of their immigration and impose a practical level of assimilation if we are to save our nations and heritage from the cruelty and atrophy they have imposed on all their own nations.

  33. I am shocked to my marrow with the statistics from the video.
    I am scared

  34. hermittalker says:

    phyllis and duane: Your suggestions are so unreal. That Phylllis includes those who had their organs reversed and may or not have confessed that. Jesus judges the heart, we stick with the outside. Halting immigration is already taken care of by each nations’ laws, the EU for Europe, UK for UK and Canada for Canada and USA for USA. The Colonial policies of the past are bearing their fruit and all nations must deal with that today without intentional discrimination..

  35. Ciprous says:

    Cardinal Turkson, continue to tell them the plain truth. They say “Veritas liberat” – the truth will set you free. Our bishops need to ponder on this video and strategise, rather than chastise the poor Cardinal. I cannot wait for that counter statistics. I thought the synod was an opportunity to re-examine your stratergy in the ministry of evangelization.

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