BY MATTHEW ARCHBOLD on The National Catholic Register
ISIS executioners killed 21 Coptic Christians in a horrific video released this week. The lead executioner speaking in English, pointed his knife and vowed “We will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission.”
And the world wonders what he means by this cryptic statement.
Heck, the world can’t seem to figure out who the terrorists are or what their motive is, despite them telling anyone who will listen their goals.
So we look to our political leaders, our best and brightest to offer some clarifying answers on this perplexing mystery. The White House, commenting on the massacre, lamented the loss of “Egyptian citizens.” In its statement, it failed to mention the faith of the victims which seemed rather important to those actually doing the executing.
But the mystery deepens. This is not the first time, the radicals have mentioned this “Rome” as their target. In July of last year, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the ‘Islamic State,’ vowed to lead the conquest of Rome. “Rush O Muslims to your state. It is your state. Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis. The land is for the Muslims, all Muslims,” he said. “This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.”
Hmmmm. More cryptic statements. But I’m sensing a pattern here.
In November of last year Thursday, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whose job description seems to be threatening Rome and killing “citizens,” promised that the Islamic State will not stop its jihad until Rome is conquered. “By Allah’s permission, they [US-led coalition] will be defeated. And indeed the Muslims will be victorious,” he said. “By Allah’s promise, they will be victorious. And the march of the mujahidin will continue until they reach Rome.” Hmmm. More clues? But what could he mean? This is random violence, after all, right? Pope Francis, on the other hand, was a rare clarifying voice on the world stage. In a short statement about the murdered Christians, he said:
Today I read about the execution of those twenty-one or twenty-two Coptic Christians. Their only words were: “Jesus, help me!” They were killed simply for the fact that they were Christians. You, my brother, in your words referred to what is happening in the land of Jesus. The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ. As we recall these brothers and sisters who died only because they confessed Christ, I ask that we encourage each another to go forward with this ecumenism which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood. The martyrs belong to all Christians.
Hmmmmm. The plot thickens. It seems Pope Francis seems to think these murders might have had something with their Christianity. I guess, it’s just another way the Church is out of step with the 21st century.
You’d think that if there were a large group of people out there killing Christians by the hundreds it might make the news in a pretty prominent way. But I’ve watched the news recently and only saw reports that Governor Scott Walker may not believe in evolution and that Governor Chris Christie is anti-science. So it can’t be that, right?
If only we could figure it all out. You know, if there are killers out there who have killed many times before and vow to come to kill you, you don’t want to wait until they’re at the door to prepare.
If only we could figure out what they mean by this threat to conquer Rome. More investigation is clearly necessary.