Pope Francis Tears at History’s Ancient Walls against Islam

FrontPage Magazine

Pope Francis continues to argue for two interrelated points that, while seemingly humane, compromise Western nations and expose their citizens to danger.

He reiterated his first point earlier this month when he said, “I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges.”  Francis has made this appeal frequently, both figuratively (when imploring Western nations not to close their doors against more incoming Muslim migrants) and literally (for instance by characterizing Donald Trump’s proposal to build a U.S.-Mexico wall as “not Christian”).

Francis reiterated his second point a few days ago when he said, “Muslim terrorism does not exist.”  His logic is that, because there are Christians who engage in criminal and violent activities—and yet no one blames Christianity for their behavior—so too should Islam not be blamed when Muslims engage in criminal and violent activities.

In this, the Catholic pope appears unable or unwilling to make the pivotal distinction between violence committed in accordance with Islamic teachings, and violence committed in contradiction of Christian teachings.

But there’s another relevant and often overlooked irony: every morning Francis wakes up in the Vatican and looks out his window he sees a very large and concrete reminder that gives the lie to both his argument against walls and his argument in defense of Islam. I speak of the great walls surrounding Vatican City, more specifically the Leonine Walls.

Context: A couple of years after Islamic prophet Muhammad died in 632, his followers erupted out of Arabia and conquered surrounding non-Muslim lands in the name of Islam.  In a few decades, they had annexed two-thirds of what was in the 7th century Christendom.  They took all of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain, until they were finally stopped at Tours in central France (732).  By the late 9thcentury, jihadi incursions had transformed the Mediterranean Sea into a Muslim lake; the major islands—Sicily, Crete, Rhodes, Malta, Cyprus—were conquered, and the European coast was habitually raided for booty and slaves.

According to the most authoritative and contemporary Muslim chroniclers—al-Waqidi, al-Baladhuri, al-Tabari, al-Maqrizi, etc.—all this was done because Islam commands Muslims to subjugate and humiliate non-Muslims.

It was in this context that, in 846, Muslim fleets from North Africa landed near Rome.  Unable to breach the walls of the Eternal City, they sacked and despoiled the surrounding countryside, including—to the consternation of Christendom—the venerated and centuries-old basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul.  The Muslim invaders desecrated the tombs of the revered apostles and stripped them of all their treasures.  Pope Leo IV (847-855) responded by building large walls and fortifications along the right bank of the Tiber to protect the sacred sites from further Muslim raids.  Completed by 852, the walls were in places 40 feet high and 12 feet thick.

Further anticipating the crusades against Islam by over two centuries—and thus showing how they were a long time coming—Pope Leo decreed that any Christian who died fighting Muslim invaders would enter heaven.  After him and for the same reasons, Pope John VIII offered remission of sins for those who died fighting Islamic invaders. Such was the existential and ongoing danger Muslims caused for Christian Europe—more than two centuries before Pope Urban’s call for the First Crusade in 1095.

Today, many Muslims, not just of the ISIS-variety, continue to boast that Islam will conquer Rome, the only of five apostolic sees—the other four being Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Constantinople—never to have been subjugated by jihad.  Similarly, Muslims all throughout Europe continue exhibiting the same hostility and contempt for all things and persons non-Islamic, whether by going on church vandalizing sprees and breaking crosses, or by raping “infidel” women as theirs by right.

In short, Pope Leo’s walls prove Pope Francis wrong on both counts: yes, walls are sometimes necessary to preserve civilization; and yes, Islam does promote violence and intolerance for the other—far more than any other religion.  This fact is easily discerned by examining the past and present words and deeds of Muslims, all of which evince a remarkable and unwavering continuity of hostility against “infidels.”

Perhaps most ironic of all, had it not been for Pope Leo’s walls—and so many other Christian walls, such as Constantinople’s, which kept Islam out of Europe for centuries, and Vienna’s, which stopped a full-blown jihad as recent as 1683—there might not be a pope today to pontificate about how terrible walls are and how misunderstood Islam is.  And when Francis accuses those who build walls of not being Christian, as he did of Trump, he essentially accuses men like Pope Leo IV—who did so much to protect and preserve Christendom at a time when Islam was swallowing up the world—of being no Christians at all.

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30 Responses to Pope Francis Tears at History’s Ancient Walls against Islam

  1. toadspittle says:


    “Francis accuses those who build walls of not being Christian, as he did of Trump,”
    The [Word deleted] who wrote this seems to think Mexicans are Muslims.
    Of course Donald is a Christian.
    His wife said the Lord’s Prayer, didn’t she?
    That proves it.

    “Pope Leo decreed that any Christian who died fighting Muslim invaders would enter heaven. “
    Muslims think it works exactly the other way round.
    …Well they would, wouldn’t they?

  2. Bergoglio the Merciful is endangering the Faith and the Church in every possible way, internally and externally. When will this wretched pontificate end?

  3. kathleen says:

    Who but a self-hating suicidal, an ignorant fool, or a secretively Islamic-sympathiser, would not want to build a massive big wall to keep out hordes of potential criminals and terrorists? Is it not common sense to want to safeguard your family, your country, your livelihood and your culture?

    Look at the terrible state of affairs in Sweden* right now after its crazy open-door policy allowing hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants to pour in; Sweden, a country that once had one of the lowest crime rates in the world! Swedish hiking friends of mine have told me that in just a few years their country has become a living nightmare with daily rioting, violations of women, soaring crime rates. Many Swedes have packed their bags and left, never wanting to return!
    * Swedish politicians: Trump is right, Sweden’s embrace of Muslim migrants isn’t working!

    With his kowtowing to Islam, Pope Francis has become a laughing stock for many Islamics! See here:

    “In the most recent issue of Dabiq, the propaganda magazine of the Islamic State, ISIS criticizes Pope Francis for his naïveté in clinging to the conviction that Muslims want peace and that acts of Islamic terror are economically motivated.

    “This is a divinely-warranted war between the Muslim nation and the nations of disbelief,” the authors state in an article titled “By the Sword.”

    The Islamic State directly attacks Francis for claiming that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence,” saying that by doing this, “Francis continues to hide behind a deceptive veil of ‘good will,’ covering his actual intentions of pacifying the Muslim nation.”

    Pope Francis “has struggled against reality” in his efforts to portray Islam as a religion of peace, the article insists, before going on to urge all Muslims to take up the sword of jihad, the “greatest obligation” of a true Muslim.

    Despite the obviously religious nature of their attacks, the article states, “many people in Crusader countries express shock and even disgust that Islamic State leadership ‘uses religion to justify violence.’”

    “Indeed, waging jihad – spreading the rule of Allah by the sword – is an obligation found in the Quran, the word of our Lord,” it reads.

    “The blood of the disbelievers is obligatory to spill by default. The command is clear. Kill the disbelievers, as Allah said, ‘Then kill the polytheists wherever you find them.’”

  4. johnhenrycn says:

    “The Wall” is a joke. It will never be built. The best wall we (Canadians) have is our border with the USA, which means most undesirables never get here. I tried to go the Nashville once (1968) and got turned away at the border as an undesirable. Thanks be (also and btw) to God for our severe weather. I have no problem with borders.

  5. toadspittle says:

    “When will this wretched pontificate ( of Mr Bergoglio) end?”
    That’s up to God, really – isn’t it?…Maybe He’s enjoying it hugely.

    “Who but a self-hating suicidal, an ignorant fool, or a secretively Islamic-sympathiser, would not want to build a massive big wall to keep out hordes of potential criminals and terrorists?”
    Kathleen, you also seem to think Mexicans are Muslims.
    I suspect most of them are nominally Catholics, probably only Liberal ones – but still.
    And I doubt that many of them are criminals and rapists. But I don’t know.
    …You appear to know.

  6. Tom Fisher says:

    “The Wall” is a joke. It will never be built.

    The wall has existed for a long time. Thousands of people are killed trying to cross the heavily militarized US border with Mexico every year.

    The Catholic Church in the United States relies on first and second generation (legal and illegal) immigrants from Latin America. Without Hispanic immigration the Catholic Church in the United States would be smaller, more liberal, and have less prospects.

    Trump has announced plans to make an already dire situation worse. Why any Catholic would support his plans for the border with Catholic Mexico is beyond me.

  7. johnhenrycn says:

    ” Thousands of people are killed trying to cross the heavily militarized US border with Mexico every year.”

    Bull.

  8. johnhenrycn says:

    Without Hispanic immigration the Catholic Church in the United States would be smaller, more liberal, and have less prospects.”

    More bull, albeit at least arguable bull.

  9. johnhenrycn says:

    “Trump has announced plans to make an already dire situation worse.”

    Yes, just yesterday I heard him announce that he intends to make an already dire situation worse. I heard him announce that on CNN.

  10. Tom Fisher says:

    Working from the bottom up:

    Trump has announced plans to make an already dire situation worse

    Well yes, badly phrased: Trump’s plans would make an already dire situation worse

    Without Hispanic immigration the Catholic Church in the United States would be smaller, more liberal, and have less prospects

    I’m afraid so.

    Thousands of people are killed trying to cross the heavily militarized US border with Mexico every year

    I really should have said hundreds. In the last 20 years it’s been between about 200 – 600 per year. Thousands was incorrect. Am irritated with myself for being sloppy there

  11. johnhenrycn says:

    You say “200 – 600 per year” are “killed”. What’s the margin of error in that guesstimate (I flunked Grade 2 arithmetic, so I don’t know how to show how silly that range is) and who “killed” them? Are you saying the U.S. Border Patrol has killed up to 600 illegals per year “in the last 20 years”? You are nuts.

  12. Tom Fisher says:

    People are killed during attempts at border crossings for a variety of reasons. Hypothermia, for example. (A common cause for those crossing at rivers)

    The best source JH, if you’re interested, is the figures collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection They are in the best position for collecting such information.

    Here, for example, is a table showing deaths in just the south-west (not the whole border), between 1998 and last year:

    https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2016-Oct/BP%20Southwest%20Border%20Sector%20Deaths%20FY1998%20-%20FY2016.pdf

    No, I’m not nuts

  13. toadspittle says:

    We are going off the point here, re: deaths.
    Surely we are agreed that Trump wants to build a wall across Mexico to keep out people who are largely nominally Catholic, and have been grossly offensively labelled, and libelled, rapists and criminals.
    A plan which some people, who shall be nameless, ( like Kathleen, for example ) strongly approve of.
    I don’t get it, myself. But then, I’m thick.

  14. johnhenrycn says:

    Tut, tut. To die of hypothermia is not the same thing as being killed. I don’t need to look at your link to know that you’re spreading fake news.

  15. Pingback: Solutio Problematis Omnes (aka "The Catholic Linker")

  16. katusablog says:

    End goal of Islam is ‘Caliph…one world-order…100%Islamic…No Infidels Sill Living….Law, One, i.e., Sharria…Bergolio knows Islam goal; Bergolio an inerloper @ Poniface! “K” above grasps purpose/plan! & Good Morning!

  17. katusablog says:

    Reblogged this on katusablog and commented:
    Bergolio an Inlerloper @ Ponliface!!!

  18. johnhenrycn says:

    katusa, you remind me so much of Shakespeare.

  19. kathleen says:

    Poor Toad, yes you are a little “thick”, that’s true….. or perhaps you’re just pretending to be in order to stir things up, or perhaps thinking (ahem) that you’re being witty.
    But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and blame myself for not spelling it out a little better for your benefit. 🙄

    If you’ve read the article above (something I get the impression that you often don’t bother to do – simply scanning the text to find something with which to nitpick) you will see it is talking about the Leonine Wall; this was built in its day to keep the hordes of Muslim terrorists out so that they could not butcher the inhabitants of Rome and destroy their homes and churches.
    These were the “terrorists” I was first referring to at 23:24 yesterday. I then went on to give the example of Sweden to describe the dangers a modern day Muslim invasion could be to the USA., to Europe, or to any other nation for that matter.

    I mentioned “potential criminals” too in the same sentence, implying, naturally, that the wall Trump wants to build is to keep these thugs out of the U.S. These potential criminals are illegal immigrants from all of Central and South America (N.B., not just from Mexico) and many (not all of course) are dangerous drug dealers, petty thieves, and members of knife-wielding Latin gangs.
    Yes Toad (sigh) I do happen to know that “Mexicans are not Muslim”!! (What daft things you say!)

    There are numerous law-abiding Hispanics living and working in the U.S. who welcome the building of this wall. The constant bad news coming from the border with Mexico is getting them unfairly tarred with the same brush as the criminals, and they also want to put an end to this once and for all.

    Besides, the U.S. has welcomed millions of legal Hispanic migrants into their country, needing this constant supply of a useful workforce. But no country is obliged to let thousands of illegals into their land and threatening the safety of its own inhabitants.

    These are facts known by everyone except Tom Fisher and Toadspittle it would seem!

  20. kathleen says:

    katusablog @ 14:31

    You are in all likelihood right, Kat, and Pope Francis is not in any way ignorant of Islam’s real “goal”! This makes his continual pandering to Islam, together with his callous indifference to the terrible plight of Christians in Islamic countries all the more outrageous and reprehensible!

  21. toadspittle says:

    “Love thy neighbour,” seems particularly meaningless these days.
    Probably always did.
    Surely Christians have never been obliged to love Muslims?

  22. Tom Fisher says:

    Don’t be silly Toad. “Love thy neighbour” only refers to Christians of the right kind, who also look like us. Muslims often have names that are tricky to pronounce, and are even harder to spell. And so they must be kept out, as Jesus would have wanted. Simple, innit?

  23. kathleen says:

    Toad & Tom,

    A pouring out of cynical malevolence will only lead you to shoot yourselves in the foot!

    All true Christians today are fighting to protect Christendom from those determined to destroy it. Secular Atheism is the greatest spiritual threat, and Islam the greatest current physical threat.

    However Christians, in our ongoing charity towards all men, have never backed down on Christ’s mandate to “love thy neighbour as thyself” – yes, even loving the followers/imitators of the murderer, Mohammad, who have waged war against Christians from the beginning. (Are you unaware of the totally opposite savage treatment dished out to Cristians in Muslim countries?) Muslims continue to pour into the West nonetheless; some are true refugees fleeing from war zones, but many are using this name as a pretext. Thousands of bloodthirsty jihadists are already within Europe’s gates… but what do you liberals care?

    Christians have always paid a very heavy price for such love of neighbour; billions of martyrs surround the throne of God in Heaven. Such generous love has been “the seed of the Church”, inspiring many to wish to join Her ranks (as we are seeing particularly in parts of Africa today)…. but much less in Europe and other Western nations where general laxity and indifference has taken over! We no longer have the solid Christian foundation to safeguard us against such ruthless, formidable “enemies” as Satanical Islam and Secularism.

    And don’t be fooled; even so-called “peaceful” Muslims can turn at any time into cutthroat jihadists.

  24. geoffkiernan says:

    Again we are confronted by the two faces of Tom. On the one hand pretending to be a knowledgeable Catholic of good standing and on the other displaying an ignorance of the faith that is breathtaking in its ignorance. The bride of Christ urges us to charity towards all our Brothers and Sisters. That includes those of all faiths and lifestyles. Just as we are urged to pray for our fellow pilgrims through life we are called to abhor all misguided behaviour and inclinations and anything else that would endanger the achievement of our salvation. As salt of the earth and properly formed Catholics we are continually made aware of the Church’ distinction between the sin and the sinner. This side of death we are all Brothers and Sisters engaged in a battle for our survival. Its tough enough as it is without those of us who have a taste of the truth and elect to engage in doublespeak and half truths and spruik the nonsense you do at 0806. The toad I understand but you should know better.
    Again, choose to lie down with the family pet and you will inevitably wake up with fleas.

  25. toadspittle says:

    “The toad I understand but you should know better.
    Again, choose to lie down with the family pet and you will inevitably wake up with fleas.”

    Toad forgives the unChristian attitude, Geoff – as he must.
    But aren’t you being a tiny bit pompous?

  26. johnhenrycn says:

    Wish I’d written that, Geoff. He’s a bit of a tomcat isn’t he? Purely in the ecumenical sense, mind. Not the sexual one. As far as I know.

  27. toadspittle says:

    “Not the sexual one. As far as I know.”
    Alas, sadly true – JH.
    The spirit is willing, etc…

    “Wish I’d written that, Geoff.”
    You will, JH, you will..

  28. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad, this isn’t all about you. I was referring to Tom Cat. A little play on words.

  29. Tom Fisher says:

    And don’t be fooled; even so-called “peaceful” Muslims can turn at any time into cutthroat jihadists.

    I was about to say my last comment was too flippant, and perhaps unfair. And then I saw what I’ve just quoted from Kathleen.

    You’re talking about people Kathleen. Not killer zombies. People. If you really think that all of the nearly one billion Muslims in the world are one second away from turning into killers, then you are living in a nightmare fantasy of your own making.

  30. kathleen says:

    If you really think that all of the nearly one billion Muslims in the world are one second away from turning into killers, then you are living in a nightmare fantasy of your own making.

    That’s NOT what I said, Tom. I was pointing out how the essence of Islamic fundamentalism is either death to the ‘infidel’ (a righteous act according to the Koran), or the imposition of its creed on men by force.
    Now take a look at the evidence in the history, past and present, of Islam and you will see that this is so. Like it or not.

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