The following comes from a Sept. 10 posting by Nicholas Hahn III on FirstThings.com.
As the United States considers intervening militarily in Syria, it feels like déjà vu. You have a megalomaniac in the Middle East who stands accused of biological weapons-based atrocities against his own citizens and the international community considering a response. On cue, religious leaders urge governments to negotiate a peace with the dictator—anything but war.
When Pope Francis met King Abdullah II of Jordan recently, it was more of the same. The Vatican press office reported that the two men discussed peace in the region, especially concerning Syria where “it was reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation . . . is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence.”
The pontiff announced a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, declaring, “Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.” Francis argued that “a peace based on dialogue and negotiation” is the “only way.” The pope then took to Twitter on Labor Day to repeat Paul VI’s warning, “War never again! Never again war!” Francis even wrote to President Vladimir Putin urging him to convince the G20 leaders meeting in St. Petersburg to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution.”
Francis’s #prayforpeace day brought more categorical condemnations of war: “Violence and war lead only to death,” the pontiff exclaimed, “they speak of death!”
The pope must know that dialogue is not the “only” solution to the Syrian conflict. It would be a good thing if the pope would acknowledge the just war tradition while making his impassioned pleas for peace. Catholics believe in peace, but they’re not Mennonites. First Things editor R.R. Reno has consistently argued against intervening in Syria, but I believe a classical reading of the just war tradition renders robust intervention in Syria a morally desirable act of charity.
In these pages, papal biographer and theologian George Weigel rejects the notion that any thinking about just war ought to begin with a “presumption against the use of force,” as it seems Pope Francis has done. This faulty starting point “ends up conflating the ideas of ‘violence’ and ‘war.’ The net result is that warfare is stripped of its distinctive moral texture.”
Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas begin thinking about just war with a presumption that governments have a duty of charity to protect those for whose security they are responsible. Indeed, public authorities are morally obligated to defend their citizens against aggressors. Further, both theologians argued that a just cause can be “one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what it has seized unjustly.”
The U.S. government argues that Bashar al-Assad deserves to be punished for indiscriminately murdering and gassing thousands of his own people. Yet a proposed “shot across the bow,” a strike “limited in duration and scope,” as President Obama has repeatedly guaranteed, is not likely to succeed. A just cause must have probability of success and if the intent is to “deter” Assad and other rogues from using chemical weapons, lobbing a few cruise missiles won’t accomplish such a goal. Assad will probably have to be deposed in order to deter future bad actors—something Obama doesn’t dare undertake….
To read the entire posting, click here.
“Jamais plus la guerre”! The words of Pope Paul, that I remember him saying when he addressed the U.N. General Assembly. In truth, there are times when we must go to war, if it is a just war. In truth, however, the U.S. has often been too quick to go to war. In truth, we don’t know how to manage regime change. Why did we go to to so many wars that were in fact civil wars. How many of our young soldiers have died following the orders of Presidents who were wrong in their decisions, willing to take on anyone to serve their personal ambitions? We have gone to war, however, at times when we should have. Kosovo was one case. WWI and WWII were others. The Pope is correct in asking the governments to try to negotiate a peace rather than jump to war as a first alternative. We went to Iraq for no logical reason other than Wolferwits and Rumsfeld wanted to and convinced the President with made up stories. They even duped Collin Powel. To call the Pope wrong for praying for peace and asking for peace in wrong on so many levels. Perhaps the prayers of the millions of people who gathered in churches last weekend is paying off. We need to stop acting like war mongers! Listen to your Pope, he is a man of peace not war.
Bob One how little you know… Kosovo? I was there fighting with the Orthodox Serbs and they were fighting against Muslim terrorist, but I am sure you believe what Clint and Albright along with their lackeys in the media told you. The US supported the KLA (Kosovo liberation army) who proceed to destroy every Christian Church and Seminary in its path. You and the rest of stupid liberals in this country supported the Muslims against the Christians just as you do today. Obama has by default supported the destruction of the Copts in Egypt and the Catholic and Orthodox in Syria by supporting the rebels, which further proves my point that Obama is Anti-Christian as are most liberal -progressives
Are you a secret Moslem? In what way was Kosovo, a war that cleared the way for more Moslem conquest, just?
May God have mercy on your soul,
May God have mercy on an amoral USA!
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
One wonders what the pope would have done about WWII, would we all be speaking German now? Likewise, it seems most western countries don’t want to say anything about the Muslim countries at all – why is this so?
As for Obama, he hasn’t had a cogent nor coherent foreign policy since he has been in office. He likes to watch SEAL teams and drones do their things live from the White House, but he has nothing to say about Libya, Egypt, Central Africa, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan – anyone see a common thread? (HINT: It has nothing to do with his proclaimed “core” of his foreign policy – gay rights.)
Bob: The US did not go to war against Hitler. Remember December 11? Following Pearl Harbor, Hitler declared war on the U.S., meaning Germany went to war against us. Roosevelt’s response was defensive. Just for the record.
The Muslim jihad against the West began long before 9/11. There were many atrocities committed by Muslims starting with the massacre of the Israeli team during the Munich Opympic games. The West remained asleep. Bush was the first western statesman to stand up against the West’s hereditary enemy. Monday morning quarterbacking and slogans ( “Bush lied, people died”) do not advance our cause. Our popes pussyfooting with the “Religion of Peace” is disgraceful and a betrayal vis-a-vis all the victims of this latest holy war on Christianity. In the days of Church Militant, the Popes led the fight against the bloody Turk, instead of making nice with their imams. When I hear a single apology from a Muslim leader for the outrages their militants have perpetrated over these past thirty years, I may change my attitude, not before then.
Correction: Pearl Harbor was attacked on December SEVEN 1941.
WWII’s start date is September 1, 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Germany.
I agree that the popes (and most of the clergy) are caught up in not saying anything against other religions, especially Islam, though there is a clear and present danger (if for no other reason, 9/11) to the U.S.
As long as we believe in the Four Marks of the Church, then we need to say so, even if it “hurts” others – the Church of Nice is not really Catholic.
Anton, I find it ironic that you want Pope Francis, of all people, to take the Church back to the militancy of the crusaders.
St. Francis went to Egypt to the very battle lines of the crusades in 1219. In September of that year, he left the Christian camp to cross over to the camp of the sultan to either convert him or become a martyr for Christ. Neither happened. Instead he entered into a peaceful discourse with the sultan and the sultan’s advisers, and after the day was done he was free to go. As he left he was offered gifts to take with him.
Soon after he returned back to his own side the crusaders and Sultan engaged in battle. St Francis witnessed the inhumanity of war in general and the specific brutality of his coreligionists. According to one of his hagiographers, Francis “saw the evil and the sin which began to grow among the members of the army and this displeased him. Thus he left and went directly to Syria before returning to his own country.”
The first Pope in history to take the name of St. Francis should be the last pope to ever call for war, let alone a crusade. His call for dialogue, on the other hand, is more in keeping with his saint-name’s sake.
St. Peter, do you think we would even have a Church today if it wasn’t for the Victories are Tours and Lepanto, St. Francis would have been martyred at both battle with his constant call for peace, when war was the answer
BTW we have no business being involved in this Syrian conflict, as it will cause more destruction for the Christians there
This war is unspeakably sad for Christians. The word “Christian” was first used in Damascus, in the year 40. The world’s oldest original Christian communities are in Syria. (The original Christian communities in Jerusalem were destroyed by the Romans). You can go to active convents that trace their origins to the female disciples of Paul.
There is so much living Christian history in Syria, and it may not survive this conflict.
Let the trash take out the trash.
I suppose everyone has seen this little video?
I’ll let the editors decide if they think it is relevant. As for Pope Francis, he was doing what all good popes do…promoting peace, especially in a situation where huge stakes were involved…you know, like WWIII and the death of even more Christians. Why this country has been consistently supporting chaos and militant terrorists for the last six years or so is such a mystery! ;o)
Bob One: Kosovo was a war to benefit Islamic Albanians against Serb Orthodoxy. It was truly shameful!
Tell that to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was Albanian.
Tell that to the Catholics who were persecuted and murdered by the Orthodox Serbs.
Mother Teresa was an Albanian Christian. Mutual slaughter by Catholics and Orthodox is beside the point. Kosovo has always been sacred ground for the Serbs; it was they who stood in the way to prevent the Turk from overrunning Europe. We betrayed them for political expedience. No-one claims the Serbs were innocent altar boys, not by a long shot, but our aerial campaign was a war crime.
Pacifism is the face of fanatics intent on killing all who don’t follow Allah is suicide. Self-preservation trumps some vague definition of a “just war”.
Western culture has been feminized to the point of no return. We need a return to a robust “Church Militant” – what we have today is “Church Milquetoast”.
What do you expect the Holy Father to say? Something like “bomb them back to the stone age?”
This is not Alexander VI we’re talking about here.
Too, in this particular civil war, Syria is a mess on both sides, with a corrupt dictator in charge, and bloodthirsty Islamic rebels on the other side who would love to wipe all sign of Christianity off the map.
This is why every single Christian patriarch and bishop in the Middle East is against bombing, even though the Syrian government is corrupt — the other guys are no saints, and when they take over, things might get much, much worse, especially for minorities like the Christians. Who were in that part of the world LONG before Islam was even invented.
Michael, I am in full agreement with you. But I DO wish the popes were more forceful with their Muslim counterparts in the area of Islamist persecution of Christians in THEIR countries, where THOUSANDS are being slaughtered, their churches burned down. In Egypt, Coptic women are being raped wholesale. I hear nary a peep out of Rome. It’s about time to stop playing kissy-face with these bearded hypocrites. All the initiatives projected from Rome into the Islamic world have born ZERO fruit.
I think we need to make an important distinction against 1) Just War and 2) Intervention in the wars and conflicts of other nations. The just war theory deals with a nation that has suffered an unjust aggression. WWII and Pearl Harbor would fall under that category.
But using Pearl Harbor as a rationale for bombing Syria is simply bizarre and without connecting dots to logic. No one has appointed us the grandmasters of the universe who get to decide to go and violate the sovereignty of other nations and bomb them for not complying with our red lines. That is not just war. That is meddling, intervening, sticking our nose into, and being the superpower buttinski of the planet.
Hitler killed millions of people in Europe. Japan declared war on the U.S. when it bombed Pearl Harbor. If we hadn’t gone to war against both Germany and Japan we would be speaking German and/or Japanese. How can any one say that we should not have gone to war at that time? Our participation in WW II was a just war. Does Pope Francis have any compassion for the victims of Hitler and the Japanese?
Sarah, the analogy with Hitler and WWII does not hold up.
The civil war in Syria does not have a good guy and a bad guy. Assad is a secular dictator protecting the large minority of Christians, Druze and Alawites from Sunni Muslim fanatics – but he is also the sort of dictator who suppress the freedom of the press, tortures civilians, and clearly feels comfortable killing innocents – including children – with chemical warfare.
On the other side you have rebels who oppose tyranny and support liberty and free elections who have found themselves fighting alongside with, and sometimes attacked by, rebels who support an Al-Qaida theocratic state willing to kill any minority who do not conform to their nihilistic visions.
If Assad should win this war, it would be a victory for brutal secular dictatorship and it would set an example to other states (Iran, North Korea) that brutality and cruelty is accepted by the international community. Should he loose it, it would be – at best – a continued civil war between the rebels with almost certain ethnic based violence, and at worst, the ascendency of an Al-Qaida state in possession of chemical weapons.
Exactly what side should the United States fight on?
The pope begging for peace is the pope begging for compassion.
Read a well written book about our civil war. You will find that it was pretty grusome too. Keep in mind that this is a civil war. It is also a war in which the government has killed thousands of its own people in very cruel ways. With the use of gas on its people it has stepped over the bounds of civility and international law. So, what to do. Our shelling the country with no end-point in sight could easily start WWIII. It would be the mother of all wars because it would pit religion against religion, nations against nations, etc. The truth is that if we let Isreal do in Syria what it did in Entebi, this would be over in a day or two. Its an Arab war, not ours.
Why are you so willing to accept the claims that Assad gas bombed those civilians when there is also evidence that it was the Moslem Rebels that did so? Do you actually trust our corrupt Main Stream Media?
May God have mercy on an amoral USA!
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
War is hell.
The Holy Father is telling us we shouldn’t START one, like a World War Three, just because the crazy Syrians are engaged in their OWN civil war.
Exactly. And when Assad goes, then the world will see what genocide really is. The U.S. idea that any of these countries can ever be democratic is absurd. They are theocratic states comprised of tribes and it takes a dictator to keep them in relative control speaking the only language that the crazies understand.
Off-Beat, I’m afraid you are quite right.
When we’re dealing with a dictator, we always leap to the conclusion that his ouster will make things just fine and dandy.
Well, when the country is crazy, when the revolutionary forces are Muslim extremists out to destroy Christians (and any Muslims not of their own sect!), then things will NOT be just fine and dandy.
Also, as an American, I’m tired of seeing our young men and women sent to fight and die in some God-forsaken place they’ve never heard of, as if they were police officers maintaining “the peace” in their own district.
The other side of the world is NOT our district, and we can’t force crazy people to become sane. They must work this out themselves.
This could have been a teaching moment forPF1.All this activity istaking place in the Islamic world. If this guy is using poisnopn gas on his fellow
f0ll0wers of Islam,why isn’t Islamists from all the Islamic couintries
condemning him? Is this OK with the KORAN,the Mullers,the followers of Allah???
The next step will be for PFI to sit down with Nobel nitwit we have in the White House.
Islamists and Muslims ARE condemning him. Islamist like Al Qaida are actively fighting and engaging Assad’s troops in battle. The more mainstream Arab league which represents 21 Islamic countries has expelled Syria from the league and is urging international action against Syrian government to deter what it calls the ‘ugly crime’ of using chemical weapon.
Islamists and Muslims ARE condemning him
They condenm hiim for allegedly killing fellowIslamists with poison gas.but it’s OK to kill Coptic christians and infidels anyway they can?????????
As strange and bizarre as it sounds, both World Wars could have been prevented. They caused Europe to become un-Christian, and helped communism gain a foothold in many nations. The Korean and Vietnam wars really did not stop communism, as now all of Vietnam is communist. The latest Middle East wars are killing the Catholics, while the Moslems are becoming stronger, especially the Sunnis. Pope John Paul II pleaded with President Bush not to rage war against Iraq, but he was ignored. When the United States invades a nation to establish democracy, it is the Christians in that nation who are killed. Under The old regimes, in Iraq, Egypt and other nations, how many Christians were killed and churches bombed? It was not until we sided with the terrorists that the killing of Christians became an almost daily event. His Beatitude, the Patriarch of Antioch recently spoke and said that the United States is indirectly killing the Catholics in the Middle East and North Africa, by aiding the Sunni terrorists who hate all non-Moslems. Saint Francis of Assisi prayed that he become an instrument of peace, something that all Catholics should also pray for. To go to war against a nation that has not attacked us is immoral. Peace must also be the goal of all leaders, because in today’s world, total war would bring about total destruction. The world should be prudent and listen to the wisdom of Pope Francis.
At certain points the World Wars could have been prevented, but certainly not after the invasion of Belgium and Pearl Harbor. To prevent WWII might have involved a Western invasion of the Rhineland during the 1930s that no one wanted. The Korean War established a strong democracy soon to be the second Christian state in Asia. Sometimes hitting an advancing enemy before he hits you is a wise idea. So thought St. Pius V, who organized a little pre-emptive strike called Lepanto.
Lepanto was not a pre-emptive strike! It was the Catholic (not generic Christian) fleet meeting the Islamic far superior in numbers and ships. The Catholic Fleet did not defeat the Moslems at Lepanto, Our Blessed Mother did!
May God have mercy on an amoral USA!
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
No Lepanto was not a pre-emptive strike. The Muslims were going to attack Christian lands.
There remains one nagging question: Which side initiated this latest war? By any objective standards it was Islam, not the West. The US reaction was in direct response to the slaughter of 3000+ innocent civilians by Islamic suicide pilots. There has never been even a smidgen of regret on the other side for the horrendous cruelties their militants have inflicted on innocent people, both Christians and Jews. When clips of the twin towers collapsing were shown on Islamic TV, depicting people jump to their certain deaths, the followers of the “Religion of Peace” danced in jubilation. Meanwhile, Islamic poobahs continued to enjoy invitations to Rome as our president Bush was severely censored by the peacenik faction in the Vatican. I found this most appalling. The ultimate goal of Islam is a world-wide caliphate, make no mistake about that. To achieve this goal, violence against non-Muslims will continue unabated. We may be lulled into thinking that the war is over, for the other side, jihad against infidels is a holy commandment. Mohammed’s first mission was to eradicate the Jewish population of Medina. Mohammedanism is not and never has been a “Religion of Peace”.
Did the American Revolution have the probability of success when it began?
Gas was used in Iraq by Sadam Hussain against the Kurds – his own people in his own Country.
The US went to war, and got rid of an evil man, but we made things even worse. There is no peace within Iraq; and Christians are killed, not permitted to work, etc.
There is no guarantee that we would make things “better’ within Syria. In fact Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood who want Shira Law – is very concerning. And more innocent people including children would be killed.
JUST WAR DOCTRINE –
CCC: ” 2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy.
At one and the same time:
– – the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
– – all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
– – there must be serious prospects of success;
– – the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.
The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. ”
These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.
The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.
Replacing the current leader is Syria with the Muslim Brotherhood does not make things better.
Therefore was is not permitted in this instance. It does not meet all the requirements of the “JUST WAR DOCTRINE”.
The Muslim Brotherhood is currently bombing Christian Churches and killing innocent Christian civilians within Syria. When having to make a decision between two bad choices – Christians citizens of Syria would prefer the current regime.
In addition Obama personally voted against saving the Kurds (including Children) in Iraq from poison gas. Now he wants to support the Muslim Brotherhood – Let’s think about his true reasons for his current actions.
In addition, the rest of the world is not with him.
The Just War Doctrine is based on conditions that are excessively elastic and open to interpretation. It is utterly useless. Nations do what is in their interest and guided by principles of self=preservation. In other words, its based on airy idealism rather than on real-world conditions.
I appreciate the article very much. In the dialogue that MAY be upcoming and MAY be true, my desire is that Pope Francis push on Moslems everywhere to clarify in both word and deed what they mean by “peace” and “religious freedom.” If they respond they lack a central authority to voice a response, Francis must push for a world-wide internet round table for them. Then Muslims in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa (North & subSahara) & the Mideast can tell the world their meanings for the words.
Meanwhile, the world is instructed by Islam’s actions that are crying out
to heaven. Is the Lord’s work/love in its various expressions to be ours?
Augustine and Thomas, pray that the Lord prosper the work of our hands.
Ok, lets be prudent and have Pope Francis be the man of peace you say he is and send him to Iran immediately and have a long talk with their religious leaders. The world problems are due to religion, always have been and will be until all religions wake up, sit down to talk and stop all this religious madness. This will be true leadership on all sides. Words will not do it but action will.
One thing about dictators, they don’t give a damn about their people, they’re just in it for themselves. War is hell, but turning away form the people of Syria, most of whom want Assad out would be a fatal error by boosting Iran and Russia’s footprint in the Middle East. There can be no long term peace unless all parties run constitutional democracies, and Syria is anything but that.
Funny how Assad has suddenly “found” all those chemical weapons he denied he had once he learned that there may be no military action if he gets rid of them. Typical dictator, those are the real troublemakers in our world.
I am tired of all the “peace” talk. Holy Father wants peace? Let him convene the Bishops as Our Lady directed at Fatima, and consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Then, and only then will there be real peace. I know some pope will obey Her because Our Lady said he would, but it would be late. Right now, the hour is VERY late.
I participated in Pope Francis’ call to fast and pray for peace. I also oppose the US launching an attack on Syria. All that aside, I cringed when my parish priest quoted Pope Francis saying,“NEVER has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.”, and “a peace based on dialogue and negotiation” is the “only way.” This is simply not true, nor does it support Catholic teaching nor world history. So many Catholics I know regurgitate this stuff, thinking it is Catholic dogma. It is one thing for a secular humanist to rewrite history and Catholic doctrine, but for the Pope to do it? Wow!
Our Lady of Fatima said that “war is a punishment for sin”. I wish that Pope Francis had asked us to fast and pray for an end to contraception, abortion, un-chaste lifestyles, divorce, and the like, which Catholics are as involved in almost as much as pagans are. This would bring peace to our world faster and more effectively than any so called “peace-negotiations” ever could.
Excellent post,Tracy! I too agree with the pope’s stance on Syria but one simply cannot condemn all wars or there would never be peace, ironically. I’ve been cringing a lot lately from off the cuff remarks that have been zinging from Rome and wacking street lights, hapless pedestrians and unsuspecting pigeons. Someone might have to shut down a rogue twitter tweeter’s account over there before he starts a war. Between that and Putin lecturing us in a NYT’s op Ed and N Korea entertaining Dennis Rodman and whoever Miley Cyrus is, she’s definitely ready for Exorcist II.. The whole world is going mad!
good cause: Syria has been for many years a staunch ally and collaborator with Russia and Iran, so if President Assad wins his civil war things pretty much return to the status quo as far as Russia and Iran’s foothold there. But if we intervene and help to topple Assad by giving the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and the Free Syrian army the upper hand, there is no saying who will all of a sudden have a better “foothold.”
“St. Peter at 5:40am” post above hit the nail on the head. There is no good side here. You have a brutal and ruthless dictator fighting Islamist Jihadi rebels who will certainly wipe out the Christian population if they take power. If we go in and help the rebels, besides having happy feelings for toppling Assad, there will be no benefit whatsoever as we Americans will promptly be told to get out, butt out, and then the rebels will do only God knows what to the Christian and Muslim sects they hate.
Fr. Angel is right. All we have to do is remember what happened when we helped remove Muammar Quaddafi and Hosni Mubarak. In each case the winners were Islamic fundamentalists. That is why we should stay out of Syria.
So many Christians have been martyred at the hands for the Islamists. I haven’t heard the Pope speak of this. Given the choice, as so many of our Christian Brothers and Sisters have been given, would the Pope choose to convert to Islam, or be beheaded? Who is he to judge? As for me, I’ll take the Biblical path Luke 22: 35-38.
There is a time to stand and fight, and protect those in danger. We have abandoned our fellow Christians. Where are you Pope Francis? Where do you stand?
I really do not think Pope Francis is the pacifist he is protrayed to be. I think he just knows from Putin and Christians in Syria and other places that it will only get worse for Christians if Assad is removed, and the Muslim Brotherhood takes over.
What I mean is that the Holy Father certainly does believe in self defense, but this strike against Syria would not be self defense.
As Sarah Palin most aptly put it, “So we should bomb Syrians because Syrians are bombing Syrians? And I am the idiot?
I agree with you Anne. My point is the Muslims are slaughtering Christians and burning Churches all over the middle east and Africa… and NO ONE is even speaking about it. As the leader of Christ’s church on earth one would assume that the Pope would demand that innocent Christians be defended and protected. Ah, but then his words keep echoing in my head… “Who am I to judge?” If he doesn’t know the answer to that question, he has no business holding the title of Pope. He needs to resign immediately!
Anne T: All of our recent popes have been pacifists. Church Militant no longer exists. My own quarrel with the new Church Pacifist is the lengths to which she goes to pacify even those who have openly declared war on us. Why do our popes continue to “dialogue” with Muslim clerics in view of the fact that these men do little to contain the most violent of their followers who continue to slaughter Christians in their countries? How many times are we required to turn the other cheek? A previous commentator asked the question: “What do you want the pope to do? Bomb them back into the stone age?” Since the Vatican has no air force, this is obviously a facetious question. In the absence of more forceful means, the Vatican should discontinue any diplomatic relations with countries whose leader refuse to provide protection for their Christian minorities. Is that so unreasonable?
I hear you Anton.
Anton, I agree that we should be the Church militant but in this case, where we’re trying to depose yet another dictator, the end result will be terrorist rebels taking over as that is who obama is supporting. He has no interest in protecting Christians because he sees Catholics as terrorists. You want him to make decisions about bombing Syria and affecting policy in the Middle East? At least Pope Francis wasn’t supporting that! Everyone says how child-like Pope Francis is and that is the quality we see in his responses to the press and in making decisions. Sometimes saints don’t make the best decision makers, but it does leave room for God to act, don’t you think? I have to confess I have no opinions on this.
“To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.” LUKE 6:29
Well, I’m sorry you folks feel that Jesus should be preaching crusades and bombing and retaliation — why don’t you all send him a nice knee-mail and inform the Risen and Glorified Lord that his words were so terribly off base?
And while you’re at it, tell Pope Francis to arm Vatican City with nuclear war heads so he can strike out against Muslims, heretics, and — oh, why not? — the Falkland Islands.