The Pontiff’s shocking statements on “Christians” who kill

Written by Raymond Ibrahim

for FrontPage Magazine on 3rd August 2016:

At a time when Muslims all around the world are terrorizing and slaughtering non-Muslims in the name of Islam, Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, continues trying to distance Islam from violence.

Last Sunday a journalist asked him about the recent and “barbarous assassination of Fr. Jacques Hamel” in France, and how the priest was clearly “killed in the name of Islam.” To this Francis replied that he doesn’t like speaking about Islamic violence because there is plenty of Christian violence as well… [He] said that every day when he browses the newspapers, he sees violence in Italy perpetrated by Christians: “this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law… and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics!  If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.  And no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there’s everything.”

Is the Pope really that dense?  Is he incapable of distinguishing between violence committed in the name of a religion, and violence committed in contradiction of a religion?

Yes, Catholics—and people of all religions, sects, creeds—commit violence.  That is because humans are prone to violence (or, to use Christian language that some—maybe not Francis—might understand, humans are fallen creatures).  And yes, the Catholics that Francis cites do not commit crimes—murdering girlfriends and mother-in-laws—because of any teaching contained in Christianity or Catholicism; on the contrary, Christian teachings of mercy and forgiveness are meant to counter such impulses.

On the other hand, the violence that Muslims are committing around the world—the beheadings, the sex slavery, the church burnings—are indeed contained in and a product of Islam, and they have been from day one.

Francis continued offering half-truths in the interview.  After he acknowledged that there are “violent persons of this religion [Islam],” he immediately added that “in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. Fundamentalists. We have them.”

This is another sloppy generalization.  Sure, “in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists,” but that which is “fundamental” to them widely differs.  One may say that Muslim and Christian fundamentalists adhere to a literalist/strict reading of their scriptures.  While that statement may be true, left unsaid by those who think the issue is settled right there is: what do the Bible and Koran actually teach?

The long and short of it is, the Christian fundamentalist will find himself compelled to pray for his persecutors, and, depending on the situation, maybe even turning the other cheek; conversely, the Muslim fundamentalist will find himself attacking, subjugating, plundering, raping, enslaving, and slaughtering non-Muslims.  In both cases, the scriptures—Bible and Koran—say so.

Not for Francis.  Poverty is supposedly the real reason behind all the Islamic violence plaguing the world:

Terrorism grows when there are no other options, and when the center of the global economy is the god of money and not the person — men and women — this is already the first terrorism! You have cast out the wonder of creation — man and woman — and you have put money in its place. This is a basic terrorism against all of humanity! Think about it!

This has got to be one of the silliest arguments ever devised to justify terrorism.  So the Muslims screaming “Allahu Akbar!” while slaughtering a priest or driving a truck into people in France were suffering from poverty?  What about the fact that one of the richest nations in the world—Saudi Arabia—is violent to and intolerant of non-Muslims?  What about the fact that there are billions of impoverished non-Muslims—yet, strangely, they do not engage in wanton acts of terror against “infidels” in the name of their religion.  What to make of these facts?

But apparently none of these questions about scriptures and demographics matter; after all, Francis “knows how Muslims think”:

I had a long conversation with the imam, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar University, and I know how they think.  They [Muslims] seek peace, encounter.

This is just plain sad.  Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, arguably the most authoritative Islamic institution in the world, did indeed recently visit Francis and inform him of how Muslims desire peace and harmony with the world.

But back home in Egypt, the grand imam and Al Azhar promote an Islam that is virtually indistinguishable from that of ISIS.  Indeed, days before he went to take pictures hugging the pope, Tayeb said that it is a criminal offense to apostatize from Islam, and the punishment is death.

In response, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies blasted the grand imam and Al Azhar.  After accusing them of being twofaced—preaching a moderate Islam in the West and a radical one in Egypt—the statement concluded with some words that people like Francis should take to heart:

Combating terrorism and radical religious ideologies will not be accomplished by directing at the West and its international institutions religious dialogues that are open, support international peace and respect freedoms and rights, while internally promoting ideas that contribute to the dissemination of violent extremism through the media and educational curricula of Al Azhar and the mosques.

In the end, and when it comes to the question of whether Islam promotes violence against non-Muslims, Pope Francis falls within the ranks of those Western leaders who are either liars or fools, or a little bit of both.

 

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007).
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37 Responses to The Pontiff’s shocking statements on “Christians” who kill

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    POPE FRANCIS: A FOOL OR LIAR FOR ISLAM? THE PONTIFF’S SHOCKING STATEMENTS ON “CHRISTIANS” WHO KILL
    What anyone who allows a headline like that to appear seems intent on forgetting is that he was chosen by the Sacred College of Cardinals with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. My favourite popes are Pius XII, JPII and Benedict XVI, but so what? Pope Francis is the only Pope as of today – August 5th, 2016 – and to use language like that is very un-Catholic. Pope Francis is not immune from objective criticism by faithful Catholics, but personal attacks and insults like that are not right. Is Robert John Bennett the new owner of this blog? I would much prefer Mundabor.

  2. mmvc says:

    Thank you for pointing this out, Johnhenry. Headline amended.
    God bless you!

  3. johnhenrycn says:

    Oh heck, it’s still August 4th – not 5th – unless you’re in Japan😉

  4. toadspittle says:

    If the abominable Toad – rather than JH – had objected (which he did) to the original appalling headline – presenting two highly un-Christian and unsavoury motives for our only active Pontiff – he would have either been shut down toot sweet or “Moderated” until Heaven froze over. (which he probably will, anyway.)

    A smattering of even-handedness might help. But such a prospect seems increasingly unlikely – as the poor old blog grows daily shriller, hysterical, and more paranoid.

    “Thank you for pointing this out, Johnhenry. Headline amended. God bless you!”
    Thanks, and “God bless you,” indeed, JH.
    We appreciate your unfailing interest on CP&S’s behalf..

  5. JH: why am I not surprised that you dont know what day it is? Sometimes, only some times, to reach the people on the street you have to speak in the language they understand

  6. mmvc says:

    Johnhenry @ 19.27, a couple of points I didn’t have time to address earlier:
    ‘I would much prefer Mundabor’ …. and headlines like this one?
    https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/reading-francis-through-satan-extraordinary-deaconettes/
    Give over!😉

    As for ‘the inspiration of the Holy Spirit’ at the election of a pope, here’s a quick reminder of Pope Benedict’s teaching on that:
    “I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope…I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.”
    Then the German theologian got to the heart of the matter: “There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!”

  7. johnhenrycn says:

    mmvc (or mmve according to the New Jerusalem Bible favoured by Toad and our dearly departed John Kehoe) I do think Mundabor is a nut, but I can’t help loving him. More seriously, can you give a link to that quote from Pope Benedict? You are always honest, but I’d like to see the speech in full.

  8. johnhenrycn says:

    Geoff K: why am I not surprised that you don’t know what day it is in Perth?

  9. johnhenrycn says:

    “If the abominable Toad – rather than JH – had objected (which he did) to the original appalling headline…”

    Did you really? Your comments are not usually deleted in full – just the silly bits. Can you show us an accurate copy of your comment where your motive was strictly to defend the Pope from calumny, and nothing else, like I did? Oh, sorry, you don’t save your comments because…why?

  10. mmvc says:

    ‘You are always honest…’

    I wish I were; ‘work in progress’, I’m afraid. You’re very kind though, JH🙂

    ‘…I’d like to see the speech in full’

    Well it wasn’t a speech as such. It was the response the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gave when asked on Bavarian television in 1997 about the collaboration of the Holy Spirit in the election of a pope. I believe that John Allen first referred to it in this article and it was then picked up by many others in the run up to the last conclave:

    https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/quick-course-conclave-101

    And here’s a transcript of the entire interview in German:
    http://www.freeforumzone.com/discussione.aspx?idd=354925

  11. johnhenrycn says:

    Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz
    German is such a lovely language. I plan on learning it someday.

  12. toadspittle says:

    You misunderstand, JH – and that’s my fault for being unclear. What I meant was – when, like you, I read the headline – I was somewhat dismayed.
    I didn’t write anything, because you seemed to have summed it up already.

  13. mmvc says:

    Toad, I’m surprised you didn’t get in as much of a tizzy over the contents of the article as you did over the headline. For the Pope to equate the disgusting public displays of Islamic barbarism with some strange notion of Christian fundamentalism (murderous fiancés or in-laws!), is what is really appalling and shocking. The headline may have been over the top but let’s not get distracted from the real issue.

  14. Tom Fisher says:

    If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence

    Pope Francis really isn’t doing well on this matter. To be fair, he is in a position of global influence, and effective diplomacy is part of his role. The first people to suffer if he inflamed tensions even further would be Christians in the middle east. I’m sure he is aware of that fact when he makes his statements. But I agree that he has failed to get to grips with this issue.

  15. toadspittle says:

    I think the real issue, Mmvc, is how to deal with a small but murderous element in a big, generally reasonably-behaved, religion. It’s only very recently Islam in any form has been causing trouble like this. Yes we can go back to Lepanto and Spain, but Islam and Christianity back then were equally horrible, (in my opinion)
    Not do I have any clue as to deal with Isis, except to kill them all somehow.
    But that’s very difficult – for all sorts of physical and political reasons. Still, it seems the only way. Particularly as we will send the swine (as Kathleen aptly puts it) all to Paradise by doing so – so it’s doing them a real kindness, really.
    The headline irked me because it was a veiled accusation, a sneaky concealed judgement.(also n my opinion) If the article had had the honest, if ham-fisted, nerve to state outright “The Pope is either a fool or a liar,” I might well have commented on that.
    But it didn’t. So I didn’t.
    At the risk of re-igniting a weary old firestorm, I do see some similarities between Francis on Islam, and Puis Xll’s pussy-footing about with Hitler over the Jewish slaughter. Both vainly trying to temper and weigh their words, by not saying outright what they really think – in an attempt to prevent a ghastly situation getting even worse. History will judge them both.
    Nobody else on here will agree with this. Oh, well.

  16. toadspittle says:

    if the story had said, “Pope Francis is either a liar or a fool,”. I would likely have got into a “tizzy” about it, Mmvc. But it did not, So neither did I.
    Strikes me there are similarities between the way he’s “handling” this and the way Pius Xll publicly soft-gloved Hitler over the Jews. Diplomacy, as Tom rightly says. But it t can look suspiciously like cowardice – or folly, at times..

  17. Brother Burrito says:

    I agree with you Toad.

    Sometimes I think that Catholicism Pure & Simple is becoming Catholicism Bitter & Twisted, but I keep such thoughts to myself for fear of upsetting people.

    Oh dear….

  18. Tom Fisher says:

    But it can look suspiciously like cowardice – or folly, at times

    Toad, we can say whatever we like on this blog. If our blood is up, we can make very robust statements. Then we carry on with our lives. The Pope does not have that luxury. He is a significant figure in global politics. If he makes intemperate remarks, it can directly lead to the killing of Christians in certain parts of the globe. He perhaps isn’t doing well, but we should at least keep in mind how stunningly hard his job is

  19. Tom Fisher says:

    So the Muslims screaming “Allahu Akbar!” while slaughtering a priest or driving a truck into people in France were suffering from poverty? What about the fact that one of the richest nations in the world—Saudi Arabia—is violent to and intolerant of non-Muslims? What about the fact that there are billions of impoverished non-Muslims—yet, strangely, they do not engage in wanton acts of terror against “infidels” in the name of their religion. What to make of these facts?

    I agree with the writer in many respects. Purely economic explanations of the current wave of Islamic terrorism don’t suffice. However purely religious explanations don’t do much better. Islam (like any cultural construct) does not exist in isolation, it subsists in actual societies, and actually lived lives. To reduce the problem to being simply about “Islam” is to ignore the fact that Islam has subsisted in radically different societies, for nearly 1500 years. Anyone who seeks to explain the rise of radical Sunni Islam since WWII has to do much better than simply blaming the religion

  20. JabbaPapa says:

    It’s only very recently Islam in any form has been causing trouble like this

    Organised Jihadi violence only really stopped with the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 20th Century, and after it had finished its genocide of the Armenians.

    Really, it just paused for 60-75 years or so as the West became unassailably dominant in that period.

  21. JabbaPapa says:

    Turkey had slave markets as recently as 100 years ago …

  22. toadspittle says:

    “Anyone who seeks to explain the rise of radical Sunni Islam since WWII …”

    In a portmanteau (in this particular case) word, Tom – I suggest Israel. That is to say what is perceived as malign Western interference – and it “started” seriously some years later than 1945 – probably with the 6-Day war in ’67. (My theory, anyway.)

  23. Tom Fisher says:

    Slavery is a rather ecumenical phenomenon. Just under one in five Americans were chattel property just 170 years ago. The Spanish empire relied on slave labour to work its mines. Bristol was the headquarters a human trafficking operation for two centuries. Slavery is terrible, but Muslims and Christians were able to come together quite happily to buy and sell people.

  24. GC says:

    To be fair, from the start it was obvious that the strong words in mmvc’s title were not her own words, but those of Raymond Ibrahim, whom she mentioned by name immediately and whose article she clearly linked to and presented. I suggest Raymond Ibrahim’s thoughts on the matter are worth reading, perhaps as much as are Austen Ivereigh’s contrary thoughts published two days later.

    Anyway, I was a little struck by Bishop Francis’s seeming equation of jihadi murderers with “Catholic fundamentalists” (Traditional Catholics? Conservatives? – and this is not the first time he has done this). I am just trying to remember when any of those murdered anyone sort of recently. I don’t think the IRA qualify.

    By the way, whatever the case may be, Bishop Francis is in distinguished company, according to Raymond Ibrahim.

    When It Comes to Islam, Western Leaders Are Liars or Idiots

  25. toadspittle says:

    Sorry to have said the same thing twice, above. But living under constant “moderation,” I’m never quite sure if my comment has been simply killed or just put on one side to cool down for a bit.
    Woe to you, Bro B, Agreeing with Toad is foul heresy.

  26. Maggie says:

    Check out this excellent response by Fr. George Rutler: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/tolerating-terror

  27. GC says:

    Thank you, Maggie. Nail, head, hit.Well worth reading. And quite a few giggles.

    During his flight back from Poland, Pope Francis said, “when I go through the newspapers, I see violence: this man kills his girlfriend, another who kills his mother-in-law. And these are baptized Catholics. If I speak of Islamic violence I must speak of Catholic violence.” The problem here is the lame equation of Jihad and domestic violence. A soldier knows the difference between genocide and shouting across the breakfast table. The Holy Father is moved by the sentiments of a generous heart, but informal and unsystematic streams of consciousness on airplanes, however well intentioned, are not made altruistic by being spoken at a high altitude..

  28. toadspittle says:

    “..informal and unsystematic streams of consciousness on airplanes, however well intentioned, are not made altruistic by being spoken at a high altitude..”
    Then wherefore pulpits?
    (as Unamuno might have said.)

  29. GC says:

    Oh yes, Toad, very droll, to be sure.

  30. toadspittle says:

    “It’s no secret: Muslims from all around the world and from all walks of life—not just “terrorists” or “ISIS”—unequivocally and unapologetically proclaim that Islam commands them to hate, subjugate or kill all who resist it, including all non-Muslim “infidels.”
    …This above from Mr, Ibrahim.
    Here’s the dilemma for some of us: If you are a pious believer in God, born and raised in the true religion, (whatever that might be) and He orders you to do something, no matter how awful (like killing your own son) you just do it, don’t you? You don’t get into a nice, soppy, CP&S argument about it.
    If God commanded us to hate our parents we’d have to do it, wouldn’t we? No point in arguing.
    Same as if He said, “Sell all you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me.” Not that He ever would say such a thing.

  31. Tom Fisher says:

    Anyway, I was a little struck by Bishop Francis’s seeming equation of jihadi murderers with “Catholic fundamentalists”

    GC, you can of course refer to him however you see fit. But the choice of Bishop (which is of course entirely accurate) rather than Pope (which would be the more common term in this context) is interesting. Can you explain your thinking? By saying ‘Bishop’ rather than ‘Pope’ are you intending a polemical point? If so, what is it?

  32. Tom Fisher says:

    Here’s the dilemma for some of us: If you are a pious believer in God, born and raised in the true religion, (whatever that might be) and He orders you to do something, no matter how awful (like killing your own son) you just do it, don’t you?

    The image of Toad, dogs at his side, wine within reach, reading Kierkegaard in the late afternoon quiet of a Spanish summer is quite soothing. Here in NZ, a freezing rain is driving against the window, and I can’t imagine working up the energy to discuss existentialist Danes, great or not.

  33. mmvc says:

    Tom Fisher @ 02.28
    I may be wrong, of course, but perhaps GC is simply complying with the BOR’s wishes:
    https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/pope-francis-officially-de-emphasizes-papal-titles

  34. Tom Fisher says:

    Thanks mmvc, that’s interesting context!

  35. GC says:

    Yes, Mr Fisher, mmvc has got it pretty right. Sorry for late response. Although Sandro Magister has pointed out that he is willing to outpope most other recent popes when he so chooses.

    Francis, Pope. More Infallible Than He There Is None

  36. katusablog says:

    Excellent and accurate post. Referring to Francis and his take on Islam, “just plain sad”; and sad is the tip of the iceberg! Recommend author/article and provided links! My thanks to Mr. Ibrahim

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