The European Church is sleeping while Islam is creeping in, says African bishop

Tapestry depicting seven new saints are seen hanging from Saint Peter's Basilica before the start of a canonization mass led by Pope Francis at the Vatican October 16, 2016.REUTERS/Tony Gentile

An African bishop in Rome for the synod on young people has said that Europe is being Islamized because the Church in the region has fallen asleep.

The Bishop of Mamfe, Cameroon, Andrew Nkea Fuanya, warned that whole dioceses in Europe could vanish unless the Church wakes from its slumber.

He also fears that if Christianity should crumble under an Islamic Europe, the ramifications will be felt at home in Africa.

'And I will dare to say that, especially with the backdrop of the Islamic invasion, if you look through history, where the Church slept, got diverted away from the Gospel, Islam took the advantage and came in,' he said

'This is what we are seeing in Europe, that the Church is sleeping, and Islam is creeping in...Europe is being Islamized, and it will affect Africa.'

The bishop went on to accuse bishops in the West of being overly sensitive about their reputation, particularly in the media.

'And in this way, they don't want to make enemies before going back home,' the bishop said.

'They want to take some very fluid positions so that they can be applauded by media. [But] we didn't come here to defend positions. We came here to look at what the truth of the Gospel is.

'So, if we have to compromise the truth, then the synod had no use, we didn't need to come here.'

He pleaded with bishops to remain faithful to the truth, saying that young people are only 'confused' when church leaders 'speak with ambiguous language'.

'The Church must not shy away from the truth. Whether it pleases the youth, or it pleases journalists, or it pleases the powers that be, the Church should never shy away from the truth. And this is my strong point,' he said.

Any compromise on the Bible, particularly when it comes to homosexuality, he added, 'won't go down in Africa.'

'Once we speak ambiguous language, the youth get confused and they go astray,' he said.

'We should make sure that it is the truth that we are handing down, otherwise the synod will produce more confused youth than youth who are getting involved in church life.'

The Pope and bishops have been meeting for the Synod on Youth since October 3. The synod concludes on Sunday.