The Pope has said that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” so why doesn’t he go to Syria himself and initiate a “dialogue” with the Islamic State, during which he can explain to them how they are misunderstanding the Qur’an and Islam? That will fix everything: not only will the Islamic State forthwith release the bishops and the priest, but they will lay down their arms and distribute flowers to all the little children!
As he prepares for that “dialogue” trip, however, the Pope may face resistance from his own bishops. The holy and God-loving bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts two years ago summed up the prevailing view of the U.S. Catholic bishops: “Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” — Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013
So what is Pope Francis doing talking about these abducted clerics? He should keep quiet about such matters, so as to preserve the “dialogue”! Will McManus and the other American bishops call him on the carpet, and “oppose him to his face, because he stood condemned,” as St. Paul did to Francis’ first predecessor, St. Peter?
The contemporary Catholic Church, especially in the West, has confused niceness with charity. It may be nice to avoid unpleasant matters and enjoy delicious hummus and pita down at the mosque, but it is not charitable to confirm Muslims in their bullying and supremacism by kowtowing to their wishes and keeping silent about the atrocities they commit in the name of their religion and in accord with its teachings. The contemporary Catholic Church is heading its people to a disaster for which they might have been fortified and prepared had not their leaders lulled them into complacency and deliberately kept them in ignorance by silencing voices who spoke honestly about the looming threat. Ironic that the preachers of “Be Not Afraid” are the very ones cowering in fear of Islamic jihadists.
“Pope Francis calls for release of priest and bishops abducted in Syria,” by Philip Pullella, Reuters, July 26, 2015:
Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for the release of an Italian Jesuit priest and two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria two years ago, asking leaders to work for the freedom of all those abducted there.
Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, a Jesuit priest who worked in Syria for more than 30 years and who supported the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, disappeared on July 29, 2013 in the city of Raqqa, now a stronghold of militant group Islamic State.
Dall’Oglio was well known in the Middle East and Europe for his work promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue. He was restoring an ancient monastery in the desert and had refused to leave the country for his own safety after the civil war started four years ago.
Several months earlier, two Orthodox bishops were kidnapped in an area near the Turkish border where they had gone to negotiate the release of two abducted priests.
Francis, speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly prayer and message, called for a “renewed commitment” by local and international authorities “so these brothers of ours can regain their freedom soon.”…