World

Poland's Catholics ambiguous over Pope Francis' call for parishes to take in Muslim refugees

  • Several thousand right wing nationalists wave Polish national flags and burn flares as they march through the downtown, demonstrating against EU proposed quotas for Poland to spread the human tide of refugees around the Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Several thousand right wing nationalists wave Polish national flags and burn flares as they march through the downtown, demonstrating against EU proposed quotas for Poland to spread the human tide of refugees around the Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters shout anti migrant slogans as several thousand right wing nationalists march through downtown, demonstrating against EU proposed quotas for Poland to spread the human tide of refugees around Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    Protesters shout anti migrant slogans as several thousand right wing nationalists march through downtown, demonstrating against EU proposed quotas for Poland to spread the human tide of refugees around Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters shout anti migrant slogans as several thousand right wing nationalists march through downtown, demonstrating against EU proposed quotas for Poland to spread the human tide of refugees around Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    Protesters shout anti migrant slogans as several thousand right wing nationalists march through downtown, demonstrating against EU proposed quotas for Poland to spread the human tide of refugees around Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis has called on his followers to open their hearts and parishes to refugees seeking shelter in Europe, but predominantly Catholic Poles are struggling to heed that call amid widespread fears that Muslim arrivals will threaten their security and economic status.

"On the question of taking in immigrants Pope Francis is wrong," Jaroslaw Gowin, a prominent Catholic politician, said Friday.

"In no case should we take in Muslims," he said, adding that Poland should only take those who would be ready to accept the rules of life in Poland.

The issue is divisive, as shown by opposing rallies planned in Warsaw on Saturday: one — by radical right-wingers — against hosting the refugees, one in support.