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One of the things the Internet does is to encourage mankind’s natural tendency towards conspiracy theories. It allows people to cherry-pick quotations from the past and stitch them into a quilt of their own devising. But even by the already impressive standards set here by Bosco, one of the latest from Rorate Caeli deserves some sort of award.

The current waves of immigration into the West are the immediate result of several disastrous decisions by Western policy makers: the decision to invade Iraq; the decision to intervene in Libya; and the decision not to intervene in Syria. However, this is too simple for some – and perhaps might also involve too much questioning of the foreign policies endorsed by Republicans and Democrats alike. Much easier to blame it all on the novelist Umberto Eco and his ilk.

What, you might, ask, did the author of the Name of the Rose have to do with refugees leaving Syria? Well, he, like Cardinal Martini, thought that migration from the south to the north might lead to ethnic readjustments. From these musing the author of the piece tells us ‘The plan was, and remains, that of destroying the National States and their Christian roots’. What plan? Where is this plan to be found? It is to be found in Alberto Carosa and Giudo Vignelli’s book The Silent Invasion. “Immigration”: resource or conspiracy?  (Rome 2002) Really, so, what the American government launched on the world in its invasion of Iraq, and what it also launched by its inability to control what it had unleashed was actually part of someone else’s long-laid plan? Those familiar with this sort of sorry stuff will not be surprised at the real authors. They are:

naturally the ‘68er-post-Communist ruling class who have taken over the reins of European politics; there are the intellectuals who have elaborated deformed theories in the field of physics, biology, sociology and politics; and there are the lobbies, the masonries, the powerful financiers, who at times act in darkness, at times in broad daylight.

I am unaware that any of these were in power in Washington when the Iraq War was unleashed, or, indeed, had any great influence of the course of Western foreign policy across the last decade. But of course, that’s not the point, these are the ‘usual suspects’ of right-wing conspiracy theorists; I was mildly disappointed that there was no mention of “Jews” – who are the usually whipping boys. But never fear, we do get George Soros, and we get a conspiracy he is in with Pope Francis.

Where is the evidence? Well, there have been leaks from hackers showing Soros is funding all sorts of ‘progressive’ campaigns (yes, I know, what a shock, who’d a thunk it?) And, since it appears he supports Pope Francis, that clinches it, especially as the Pope talks about bridges rather than walls.

I do wish I were making this up. Of course there is a crisis, and no doubt those who wish us ill will try to exploit it, but the notion it has more to do with Masons and ex-communists than with the failings of Western foreign policy is as risible as is the notion that in talking about building bridges rather than walls, the Pope is somehow not being faithful to the words of the founder of the Church.

For a long time, conservatives enrolled the Church under their political banner, natural enough when the enemies of the Church were communists. The left took on that habit after 1968. The fact remains that true religion is to care for the orphan and the widow, as St James told us. Christianity is there to comfort the afflicted and perhaps to afflict the comfortable – not to peddle ludicrous conspiracy theories which owe more to a fevered imagination than to reality.