The cardinal also said Europe was undergoing a 'quiet apostasy' by rejecting its Christian roots

Every nation has a right to distinguish between genuine refugees and economic migrants who do not share that nation’s culture, Cardinal Robert Sarah has said.

Speaking at the Europa Christi conference in Poland on Sunday, the African cardinal noted that the country refuses to accept the “logic” of migrant redistribution that “some people want to impose”.

In comments reported by Polish magazine Gosc, Cardinal Sarah added that while every migrant is a human being who must be respected, the situation becomes more complex if they are of another culture or another religion, and imperil the common good of the nation.

World leaders cannot question the “right of every nation to distinguish between a political or religious refugee” who is forced to flee their own land, and “the economic migrant who wants to change his place of residence” without adapting to the new culture in which he lives.

“The ideology of liberal individualism promotes a mixing that is designed to erode the natural borders of homelands and cultures, and leads to a post-national and one-dimensional world where the only things that matter are consumption and production,” Cardinal Sarah said.

Echoing Pope Francis, the cardinal said European nations must take part of the responsibility if they have destabilised the countries that migrants are travelling from, however that does not mean changing themselves through mass immigration.

Cardinal Sarah also lamented the secularisation of Europe, saying the continent has been in an unprecedented civilisation crisis for the last two centuries, beginning with Friedrich Nietzsche’s words “God is dead, and we have killed him”.

“Europe has since then been in an ongoing crisis caused by, among others, atheistic ideologies, and is now plunging into nihilism,” he said.

Cardinal Sarah said that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when many nations regained their freedom and democracy, it seemed that a new, positive period had begun for Europe.

However, the European Union decided not to revert to the continent’s Christian roots, but instead began to build its institutions on abstractions such as the free market, equality of individuals, and individualist human rights.

The was a mistake, Cardinal Sarah said, because all laws should be based on the concept of human dignity, which can only come from God.

“Europe, built on faith in Christ, cut off from its Christian roots, is not in period of quiet apostasy,” the cardinal added.