Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NPR had a story this morning on immigration in Italy. Apparently there is a backlash against the immigrants, especially against immigrants from Africa. Because the native Italian population is aging (low birth rate) Italy needs the immigrants as workers, yet they resist the dilution of their culture.

The mayor of Citadella says:

"We're very frightened by what we see around us. We write the rules here, we want to safeguard our culture," he says. "Yes, we're raising the drawbridge, and we're on the battlements to defend ourselves from external attacks."

Yet isn't it the Italians themselves who have diluted their own culture in many ways (not just by creating the need for immigrant workers) by ignoring Church teachings, especially those of sexual morality?

History repeats itself.

Of course America is its own melting pot. Yet even here, I see resistance from even first and second generation immigrants against the new immigration from Latin America.

I don't know how things will play out in Europe, but here, it seems (and before I stick my neck out, let me say that many paragraphs-even books could be devoted to the following assertion and to clarifications thereof) that most immigration waves haven't had a lasting effect on the culture. Perhaps it is because immigration to America from various parts of the world has been a constant happening from the beginning. Certainly the culture has been changing from predominantly Protestant to the now evolving secular.

I note well that the predominantly Catholic immigration of past centuries had a temporary effect, but more Catholics were assimilated to the Protestant culture (even if they remain Catholic in name) than the American culture becoming more Catholic. This is evidenced by the transition to Secularism (or it is Modernism).

Europe, having already tossing its Christian roots to a great extent and embracing the secular culture may have a different path ahead. But what is it?

Oremus pro invicem!

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