Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, received on Monday an extraordinary rebuff from the top Catholic leader in southern Hungary, Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, who said the pontiff was wrong in saying that Catholics had a moral duty to help the hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern refugees streaming into Europe.
"They're not refugees. This is an invasion," said Kiss-Rigo. "They come here with cries of 'Allahu Akbar.' They want to take over."
Europe is being overwhelmed by non-believers posing as refugees who pose a serious threat to the continent's "Christian, universal values," he said.
The bishop is not alone in his doubts and fears on the wave of Arabic-speaking foreigners crossing into European borders. Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban also sees the flow of migrants as a threat to predominantly Christian Europe.
At the risk of drawing global scorn, Orban has taken steps to try and halt the exodus of refugees mostly coming from Syria. He has restricted the flow of refugees, even throwing some of them into prison.
"I'm in total agreement with the prime minister," Kiss-Rigo said in an interview by the Washington Post on Monday.
The bishop said the many of the so-called refugees do not deserve assistance because they "have money."
They leave garbage along their path and refuse the food offered them by humanitarian workers, said Kiss-Rigo, who has been serving for nine years as bishop for southern Hungary, a region where some 800,000 Catholics live.
"Most of them behave in a way that is very arrogant and cynical," he said.
Kiss-Rigo said Pope Francis is greatly misinformed about what is really happening. He "doesn't know the situation," he said.
Earlier, the pope spoke before pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square, appealing to parishes, convents and monasteries across Europe to be "neighbours" to the refugees.
"Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death by war and by hunger, and who are on a path toward a hope for life, the Gospel calls us to be neighbours to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope," Pope Francis said.
"It's not enough to say 'Have courage, hang in there'," he added.
The Pope cited the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who was born in Albania in Europe, but went to India to take care of the poorest of the poor.
"May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe host a family, starting with my diocese of Rome," Francis said.
He added that two parishes in Vatican will also shelter two families of refugees. A Vatican spokesman, Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the Vatican is now in the process of deciding which families of refugees will be hosted.