Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn gave the unexpected warning on Sunday during a special celebration for the Church festival “Holy Name of Mary”.
According to the Archdiocese of Vienna, the Cardinal said: “Will there be an Islamic conquest of Europe? Many Muslims want that and say: Europe is at its end.”
He asked God to have mercy on Europe and to show mercy to its people, which he said “are in danger of forfeiting our Christian heritage.”
Cardinal Schoenborn, who is also the Archbishop of Vienna, explained that people could already feel this loss, “not only economically, but above all, in human and religious matters.”
The statement by the Carnival came as many places across Austria have been commemorating the 333th anniversary of the Battle of Vienna.
During the battle in 1683, combined Christian forces defeated over 100,000 soldiers from the Ottoman Empire.
The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire against the invading Muslim Ottoman Empire.
Polish King John III Sobieski famously commanded the Christian army toward its victory.
The Ottoman soldiers had already started to take the Austrian capital Vienna which was defended by only 10,000 Habsburg soldiers when Polish horsemen attacked them from the rear and devastated the Turkish army – which was forced to retreat.
Now, the battle is often seen as a turning point in history, which led to the decline of the Ottoman Empire.