See the extent of what Christians in the Middle East have had to endure, while their fellow Christians in the West largely remain silent in pursuit of a futile and chimerical “dialogue.”
This is an Orthodox church, but all Christians should have stood up and spoken out about what happened here. The Catholic Church in the West is the chief offender: its supine and pollyannish stance in the face of the advancing jihad, and active campaign to mislead Catholics about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, is a moral failure the likes of which have seldom been seen in history, and poses a severe challenge to any claim it makes to moral authority.
“We have to understand that totalitarianism based on Islamic creed is the worst among all systems of government. Yes, my friends, the very survival of Christians in the cradle of Christianity is quite in danger.” So said the patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church of Antioch, Ignatius Joseph III Younan.
Yet the Church as a whole has said almost nothing at all. Why? Why are Church leaders in the West so uniformly silent about the Muslim persecution of Christians? Jean-Clément Jeanbart, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, gave an interview to a French reporter in which he was highly critical of the mainstream media and even of his fellow bishops for ignoring the Muslim persecution of Middle Eastern Christians. “The European media,” he charged, “have not ceased to suppress the daily news of those who are suffering in Syria and they have even justified what is happening in our country by using information without taking the trouble to verify it.” And as for his brother bishops in France, “the conference of French bishops should have trusted us, it would have been better informed. Why are your bishops silent on a threat that is yours today as well? Because the bishops are like you, raised in political correctness. But Jesus was never politically correct, he was politically just!”
Archbishop Jeanbart was not the first to say this. “Why, we ask the western world, why not raise one’s voice over so much ferocity and injustice?” asked Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI). Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan himself has in the past appealed to the West “not to forget the Christians in the Middle East.” The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III has also said: “I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”
But the Patriarch should have understood, since he is a major part of the problem. After all, he himself said: “No one defends Islam like Arab Christians.” It is to defend Islam that Western clerics do not raise their voice against such acts of brutality. It is to pursue a fruitless and chimerical “dialogue” that bishops in the U.S. and Europe keep silent about Muslim persecution of Christians, and enforce that silence upon others. Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, said it on February 8, 2013 as he was suppressing a planned talk at a Catholic conference on that persecution: “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.”
Remember that Mohamed Atta, about the plane he had hijacked on September 11, 2001, told passengers over the intercom: “Stay quiet and you’ll be OK.” The Catholic Church appears to have adopted that statement as its policy regarding Muslim persecution of Christians.
“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)