A reader writes:
You’ve spoken eloquently on the Church’s opposition to racism.
One thing I’m curious about is your opinion on what’s happening in Eastern Europe. From what I can tell, countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech and Slovakian republics are restricting immigration to maintain themselves as “ethno nationalist states.” Some of this is concern over Islam, but is the concept of an ethno state something that the Church opposes?
The bulk of European states have been nothing but ethnic states for most of their history. America stuck out as odd by being a nation founded, not on an ethnos, but on a creed. I don’t think the Church much cares about a state being founded on an ethnos. I think she cares greatly about how a state treats the stranger–one who is not part of the ethnos–in their midst. And when the ethnos becomes infected with the sin of pride, as though one’s blood makes one superior to all other people, that is where the Church sounds the alarm. Patriotism is to a people what healthy self-love is to a person. Nationalism is to a people what the diabolical sin of pride is to a person. The former can be a vehicle for divine grace to enter one’s life. The latter is an especially quick ticket to hell on earth.
Hope that helps!