Wise As Serpents?

Catholic bishops in America and Europe may be setting themselves up for a new scandal—one of far greater proportions than the sex abuse scandals and one with potentially far more serious consequences. Like the sex scandals, this scandal also involves a cover-up, although a cover-up of a different kind. The new scandal also contains some ironies. In trying to avoid the kind of negative media attention that came with the last scandal, the bishops are inadvertently entangling themselves further in the building scandal. Another irony is that they needn’t worry about an adversary press attacking them for their handling of the new scandal because the mainstream media is thoroughly implicated in the same cover-up. Indeed, the media’s cover-up of the crisis is far more widespread and is often deliberate, whereas the “cover-up” by Catholic leaders is largely unintentional.

The scandal in regard to the bishops lies in their failure to accurately inform their flocks of the nature of Islam and, hence, of the dangers from Islam. The “cover-up” lies in minimizing the large gap that divides Islam from Christianity. Despite the massive persecution of Christians by Muslims acting in the name of Islam, the majority of the bishops seem intent on preserving the notion that Islam is our friend, a fellow religion with which we share much in common. The bishops have managed to convey the impression that our quarrels with Islam lie mostly in the past and that our minor differences can be worked out through dialogue so that we can work together for the common good.

Much of this Islam-friendly attitude can be traced back to two statements on the Church’s relationship with Muslims that were promulgated by the Second Vatican Council. Lumen Gentium states that the “plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst who are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” The statement in Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on Non-Christian Religions, is slightly longer and adds a few more similarities between Catholics and Muslims, namely that both “revere” Jesus, “honor Mary,” and “value the moral life.” The statement ends by urging all to forget the quarrels of the past and to work “for mutual understanding.”

If these documents were understood as they were intended and within the context in which they were written, there might be less of a problem today. In the 1960s when the documents were composed, the Muslim world was far more moderate than it has been before or since and more open to Western ideas, and so a gesture of friendship seemed appropriate. Moreover, the Council Fathers were not attempting to lay out a definitive explication of Islam. For example, the task that the writers of Nostra Aetate set themselves was “to consider what men have in common and what draws them to friendship.” Accordingly, the declaration lists a handful of commonalities between Muslim beliefs and Christian beliefs. To list the differences would have been contrary to the spirit of the document.

Unfortunately, many Catholics have taken this tentative gesture of engagement toward Muslims to be the Church’s final word on the subject of Islam. But when one looks deeper into the matter, it becomes apparent that the Muslim understanding of God, Abraham, Jesus, Mary, and the moral life is quite different from the Catholic understanding. For example, the Koran curses Christians both for saying that Allah is one of three in a trinity, and also for claiming that Jesus is the Son of God. It also mistakenly assumes that, in Christian belief, Mary is one of the Trinity. On inspection, it is only in the broadest sense that one can speak of commonalities. Beneath the surface similarities runs a deep fault line—or, as Robert Spencer puts it in a forthcoming book, a “great chasm.”

Spencer’s treatment at the hands of the Diocese of Worcester provides some insights into the problems that the bishops are creating for themselves by not acknowledging the substantial differences between Islam and Christianity. Spencer, a Catholic and a leading authority on Islam, was invited to speak to a Catholic men’s conference in Worcester, Massachusetts, on March 16; however, when Muslim groups protested that Spencer was a “hatemonger,” Bishop Robert McManus withdrew the invitation. Moreover, he failed to respond to Spencer’s request for a meeting to answer the charges against him.

Spencer also says he has received several reports that part of the pressure applied to the diocese came from a Boston Globe reporter, Lisa Wangsness, who, says Spencer, was working behind the scenes to engineer a cancellation. Although the bishop denies having bowed to pressure, the Boston Globe’s interest in the lecture may have weighed as heavily on his mind as the complaints from Muslim organizations. It was the Boston Globe, after all, that broke the sex abuse story in 2002. With the long shadow of that earlier scandal still looming, Catholic leaders in Massachusetts might understandably want to avoid the kind of media publicity that would ensue should they invite a “hatemonger” and “Islamophobe” to speak about Islam.

In a letter to the diocese defending his action, the bishop quotes the brief statement in Lumen Gentium which, he writes, “speaks about the special relationship that Christianity has for Islam.” He continues:

As a result of such a theologically salient statement, the Catholic Church has engaged herself in inter-religious dialogue with Muslims. This dialogue has   produced a harvest of mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation throughout the world and here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Bishop then goes on to say that his decision to disinvite Spencer was based “solely on the concern that Mr. Spencer’s talk would impact negatively on the Church’s increasingly constructive dialogue with Muslims.” So, in sum, Lumen Gentium made possible a fruitful dialogue which Spencer’s appearance might undermine. But in light of the fact that persecution of Christians by Muslims has increased dramatically in the last decade—a decade in which dialogue with Muslims has multiplied—it is difficult to imagine just what this “harvest of mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation” might consist of. The bishop doesn’t say.

In deciding not to scandalize Muslims, however, the bishop may only end up scandalizing his own flock—or, at least, some of them. While not a member of the Worcester Diocese, Doctor Archietto Ashraf Ramelah is a member of the worldwide community of Christians and president of the Coptic human rights organization Voice of the Copts. He is familiar with Spencer’s work and he is scandalized at the cancellation. On hearing of the Worcester incident, he sent a letter to the pope voicing his concern. In his letter, he expresses his bewilderment at how often Catholic and Coptic Orthodox churches seemed “uninterested in offering us opportunities to speak out on the dangers of what lies behind the persecution of Christians and Jews.” He attributes the indifference to an unwillingness to hear any facts about Islam that conflict with the received narrative or that might jeopardize dialogue. And he pleads with the pope to take action to lift the curtain of silence that shelters Islam from honest examination.

According to a Newsweek story, about 200,000 Christian Copts were forced to flee their homes during the year of the “Arab Spring” in Egypt. For someone like Dr. Ramelah, the discrepancy between what Church leaders say about Islam and the reality in North Africa is painfully apparent. But even ordinary Catholics in ordinary places like Worcester are sooner or later going to come to the conclusion—if only from watching the streaming headlines at the bottom of their TV screens—that Islam is not a peaceful religion and that it is not at all like the Catholic faith. When the chasm that divides Islam and Christianity becomes more evident to these ordinary Catholics, the credibility of the Church may once again come into question. As I wrote in my recent book on the subject:

As the threat from a resurgent Islam becomes more apparent, Catholics may well begin to feel that they have been misled on an issue vital to their security. The complaint against the Church will shift from “Why didn’t Church officials do more to protect children?” to “Why didn’t they tell us the rest of the story about Islam?”

Scandal in the strict sense is an attitude or behavior which leads another into a grave offense. We usually think of it in terms of licentious behavior, but according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, scandal can also be provoked by “fashion or opinion.” The Catechism notes that “Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others.” In the wake of the abuse scandals in Massachusetts, many Catholics lost their faith, or, at least, stopped attending Mass. This occurred not only because of the scandalous behavior of some priests but also and primarily because these Catholics came to the conclusion that the Church was untrustworthy. The Church in Ireland experienced a similar fall-off. Eighty-two percent of Irish Catholics attended Mass weekly in 1981; by 2012 the figure was 35 percent. A good chunk of this decline had to do with the rapid secularization of Ireland in the last few decades, but the revelations of abuse cover-ups seem to have accelerated the trend.

As more Catholics become aware of the realities of Islamic teachings and practices, it will surely test their faith to hear the bishops persist in speaking of our “special relationship” with Islam. For many, this will be not merely a matter of anger but also of despair at the thought that Church leaders are enabling the spread of a system that has always subjugated Christians whenever it had the power to do so.

Indeed, the very dialogue which Bishop McManus sees as so promising may turn out to be simply one of many stepping stones that Muslim activists use to secure dominance in the West. Consider a recent series of Catholic-Muslim dialogues sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops’ dialogue partners were all prominent figures in Muslim activists groups with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and with other questionable associations. One of the bishops’ counterparts was Sayyid Syeed, the National Director for the Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)—a group that was designated in 2008 as an unindicted co-conspirator in a massive terrorist funding case. One of the two keynote speakers was Jamal Badawi, also a member of ISNA, and a defender of suicide bombers, whom he has described as “martyrs.” The co-chair with Bishop Carlos Sevilla was Muzammil Siddiqi, a member of the Fiqh Council on North America, an organization which numbers among its original trustees one Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is now serving a twenty three-year sentence for financing an assassination attempt on the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Another of the bishops’ dialogue partners was Talat Sultan of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). In October, Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal announced that it would bring war crimes charges against Ashrafuzzam Khan, a formed president and secretary general of the ICNA.

So, on the one hand, the Bishop of Worcester deems Robert Spencer to be unfit to speak to Catholic men, but on the other hand, at the USCCB plenary session in Chicago, the bishops were “sharing stories, praying, and enjoying meals together” with representatives of organizations whose ties to radical groups have been established by U.S. courts. It may be that the representatives of these political activist groups are pursuing dialogue with Catholics because they sincerely desire that “harvest of mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation” that Bishop McManus speaks of. But another possibility should be considered, namely that the Muslims are using the dialogues primarily for legitimizing themselves and Islam. In other words, the dialogues provide a sort of cover for the Islamists. Muslim activists can plausibly point to their warm relations with the bishops as proof that they cannot be the agents of subversion that others say they are. Moreover, cultivating dialogue with Catholic leaders is a handy way of keeping the majority of Catholics off their guard. As long as prominent Catholic leaders are enthusiastic about their dialogues with Muslims, the average Catholic is likely to conclude that the Church is okay with Islam and that, therefore, there really isn’t any cause for worry.

Here we come back to the issue of scandal. If, because of the bishops’ stance on Islam, many Catholics are led to adopt an attitude of dangerous complacency in the face of a rising threat to their Church and their society, that would seem to qualify as a form of scandal. Other Catholics who are better informed about Islam will suffer a more immediate impact. The discrepancy between what Islam actually teaches and what some bishops seem to think it teaches will shake their confidence in the bishops and may even shake their faith. This will be particularly the case for Mid-Eastern and African Christians living in the West who are acutely aware of the persecution visited on Christians in the name of Allah. The Church’s Islamic outreach will also likely have an adverse effect on a group with which Catholics really do share much in common. Some evangelical leaders share the bishops’ penchant for endless dialogue, but on the whole, evangelical Christians are more savvy about Islam than the average Catholic. And the knowledge that some Catholic leaders are lending legitimacy to the Muslim Brotherhood is not going to sit well with them. The tendency to dismiss Catholicism as a throwback to the Middle Ages will grow rather than lessen. In other words, the bishop’s dalliance with Islam may have the unintended effect of disaffecting the very people with whom we have the best chance of forming an alliance against secularism—and, for that matter, against the spread of Islamic totalitarianism.

But what about Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate? Bishop McManus cites Lumen Gentium as justification for canceling Spencer’s talk, and the USCCB website repeatedly cites Nostra Aetate as justification for its dialogues with Muslims. As it happens, Spencer’s forthcoming book discusses both documents in detail and explains the many problems that result from an unconsidered interpretation of what they say. Take, for example, the problematic statement in Lumen Gentium affirming that “together with us they [Muslims] adore the one, merciful God.” Although there are some respects in which it can be said that we (Muslims and Catholics) worship the same God, in many other respects, as Spencer points out, the Koran’s depiction of God is fundamentally incompatible with the Christian understanding of God. Indeed, the capricious and despotic nature of God as portrayed in Islamic theology “casts the very goodness of God in doubt.” Similar problems arise when one tries to read too much into Nostra Aetate. For example, while it’s true that Muslims “revere” Jesus, it’s not at all clear that he is the same Jesus Christians revere. The Koran not only recasts Jesus as a Muslim prophet, it takes every opportunity to use him to deny the central claims of Christianity—the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Nostra Aetate goes on to say that “they [Muslims] value the moral life.” But anyone familiar with the tenets of sharia law knows that many of the values espoused by Islam are completely at odds with Christian values. Among other things, sharia (which is based in large part on the example of Muhammad) allows for polygamy, child brides, easy divorce, honor killings, amputation for thieves, and the murder of apostates.

The Vatican II documents that deal with the beliefs of Muslims can be looked upon primarily as gestures of interreligious outreach or they can be looked upon as the Church’s definitive statement on the nature of Islam. But those who opt for the second reading are setting themselves up for a fall. Robert Spencer is not the only one who thinks that it may be time for a reappraisal of our relationship with Islam. In October on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, L’Osservatore Romano published an essay by Pope Benedict XVI reflecting on the council. In his essay, he praises Nostra Aetate for its openness to non-Christian religions but he also observes that a “weakness of this otherwise extraordinary text has gradually emerged. It speaks of religion solely in a positive way, and it disregards the sick and distorted forms or religion which, from the historical and theological viewpoints, are of far-reaching importance; for this reason the Christian faith, from the outset, adopted a critical stance towards religion, both internally and externally.” Benedict doesn’t identify these “sick and distorted” forms of religion, but in the context of other remarks in the essay, it seems likely he is referring to Islam or, at least, to some manifestations of Islam. He also suggests that it’s not wise to regard religion as always a positive thing. The Church must sometimes adopt “a critical stance toward religion.”

Could the pope be calling for a more balanced and critical approach to Islam now that we have a better perspective on Islam in action? And is it now time for the “weakness” in Nostra Aetate to be rectified? Christ instructed his apostles to be as “wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.” Judging by their benign view of Islam, many Catholics have mastered the “innocent as doves” part. It may be time for them to pay more attention to the “wise as serpents” side of the equation.  As the cardinals consider their choice for a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, they should take care that he is not innocent about Islam.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    At the very least, now they can join their leftist co-religionists, as they too openly lock arms with Islamic terrorists. As is said, the proof is in the pudding, or more to the point, in those invited to speak/incite at ones church. So, take a look at the guests of honor at MANY left leaning churches, then the truth becomes very clear – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/28/the-assorted-

    Therefore, is it any wonder that the likes of Robert Spencer, one who can really tell the Sharia Law tale, is verboten?

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • harrylies

    So the Catholic Church does not declare war on Muslems? Two wrongs do not make a right. Spencer wants war.

    • Mary Sue

      Uh no. War is inevitable. That's different.

    • thomas_h

      It is not about declaring war on moslems.

      It is about acknowledging that Islam has declared war on us some 1400 years ago and, with sporadic truces, wages it in every possible way. It is about the necessity and ways to respond to islam's attack.

      "Two wrongs do not make right"?

      Absolutely! But this is not the case. There is only one wrong here. The reaction to this wrong is a good and moral thing. Not the "second wrong" as you will have us to believe..

      • John Stone

        >>with sporadic truces,… Actually there have never been any truces because during those periods that lacked active warfare there was slave taking on all the non Islamic countries that bordered in Islam. It got reduced in the nineteenth century because of European power, but it still lingered into the twentieth century. Withing the cultural framework of Islam, the terrorism we now have may be the replacement for the older slave taking.

    • Judenlieber

      It's not a question of Spencer wanting war. Islam has been at war with the rest of humanity for fourteen centuries. The question is "When will you wake up?"

    • Drakken

      War is coming reguardless of your fear of it. It is enevitable. So Harry, go ahead an lay down and let them slaughter you because your afraid of them, the rest of us won't.

      • EarlyBird

        Drakken, how many of your GI Joes have the Kung Fu grip?

        • defcon 4

          How many Djinns are in your pants?

          • EarlyBird

            Defcon 4 is the appropriate handle for you, that's for sure, you terrified little ninny.

          • defcon 4

            I'll bet the worst ten years of your life were 6th grade

        • Drakken

          Coming from you REMF, it's a compliment.

          • EarlyBird

            Rambo, by your own admission a month or more ago, you did some vague "security" in the "Middle East," back in the '80s. Somehow you've morphed into a battle hardened "Gunny Drakken," the "savage killer," the only guy here with any real knowledge of the Bearded Enemy.

            Go away you twit. Good for you for being in the Corps out of high school cuz you were macho and couldn't get a job, blah, blah, but you were as close to "combat" as Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "So the Catholic Church does not declare war on Muslems? Two wrongs do not make a right. Spencer wants war."

      The Bible exhorts all believers to fight the ideological wars for truth.

    • R_not

      No, Spencer does not want war – it is what is in the message of islam. If we do not accept the demand of islam's demand that we come to islam then they are to wage jihad against us – in all that the word means and that is all strategies of war. They wage it right now with their deception, propaganda, acting like victims, demands, threats and a growing violence against our citizens. They are infiltrating our institutions and gaining useful idiots. That is war. And when it becomes violent – you let your children deal with it because you do nothing while we can do something in the beginning stages. That is what is hoped for in islam – that we remain confused, lazy, useful idiots (or what I call chosing ignorance).

  • WhateverMan

    Robert Spencer is a huckster who is taken seriously only by people who are missing a lot of brain cells.
    This website is rife with them .
    But outside of the small circles of teabggers and staunch zionists, he has not been accepted. his reason is "they hate me because I'm beautiful"

    • Mary Sue

      Whateverman just talk out of your arse some more, it is quite entertaining LOL.

      Why do you hate Jews, whateverman?

      • WhateverMan

        Why do you hate Muslims, Arabs and Blacks, marysue? You bash them all day, everyday. Is the ultimate sin criticizing jews? I believe anti-goy bigotry more acceptable than antisemitism.I love reading your enlightened views, I recently enjoyed the one on South Africa. Like I said before, if Stormfront would lay off the jews, you guys practically agree with them on every other issue…
        You might find a second home there…

        • kaz

          anyone who cant write tea without appending bagger to it has nothing at all to say. whatever, man. you are just another leftist useful idiot.

          • Drakken

            It is a turk, so what else would you expect it to say.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "…anyone who cant write tea without appending bagger to it has nothing at all to say. whatever, man. you are just another leftist useful idiot."

            The joke is usually on them too, because it is the leftists that want to encourage "teabagging" as just another way to socialize.

        • Spider

          We don't hate anybody WhateverMan. I myself unlike you am just a realist and know from both their own statements , actions, history, and writings that Mu-slims want all non Mus-lims dead or as Dhiminis. What part of this reality don't you get ? Ypu can keep your head in the sand if you so choose but the rest of us will be watching each others backs.

        • Mary Sue

          why do you automatically think I hate Arabs, Muslims and Blacks? I most certainly do NOT. I "hate" communists and Leftists and murderers, and I hate it when anyone tries to force their narrow minded belief system on others that do not want it.

          When was the last time the Jews tried to force their religion on people? How about like, NEVER?

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "Why do you hate Muslims, Arabs and Blacks, marysue? You bash them all day, everyday."

          Speaking for myself and possibly many others, I hate ideology that uses lies to attack Western civilization. I don't hate people per se.

          "Is the ultimate sin criticizing jews?"

          No. The ultimate sin is to repeat lies that have historically been used to incite mass murder.

          "I believe anti-goy bigotry more acceptable than antisemitism."

          It's not "anti-goy." You're just extremely delusional. Right "whatever man?" Aren't you proud to be under the influence of chemicals that cause euphoria?

          Stormfront. Whoa. Haven't you been riffing off that for some time now and it falls pretty flat? Not that you'd notice.

          "You might find a second home there…"

          Conservatives live in the real world.

      • EarlyBird

        Mary Sue, a mere generation ago you'd be with your fellow bigots would be have been condemning Jews along with blacks, Hispanics, Catholics, gays, etc. You'd be calling Jews "Christ Killers" and saying they control the world.

        Now you fall all over yourself defending Jews against defamation. Because someone told you to.

        Amazing what in-roads into the right wing the Israel Firsters have made.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "Mary Sue, a mere generation ago…"

          The bird-brain prophet returns from worm-gathering.

          "Now you fall all over yourself defending Jews against defamation. Because someone told you to. "

          Oh yes. We're the ones who can't think independently. Evil conservative pigs raised us to follow orders and dogmas.

          The bird-prophet on the other hand gets his revelations directly from allah. No thinking required for him.

          "Amazing what in-roads into the right wing the Israel Firsters have made."

          Those evil republican promoters of liberal democracy have the temerity to support non-Muslim states. This is very difficult emotionally for jihadis. And we know that the future MUST NOT belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam by failing to comply with sharia.

          Praise allah we have the bird-brain to remind us of these fundamental truths.

          • EarlyBird

            OFM, you're intellectually dishonest, but you're not stupid.

            Which means you understand my reference to American right wingers moving from anti-Semitic bigots just a generation ago, being frothing-at-the-mouth defenders of Jews – make that Israel – today.

            Nor are you too stupid to understand that they sudden right-wing American adoration of Israel has everything to do with Israel Firsters, including neocons, co-opting Evangelical Christians and seizing the conversation about American policy in the Middle East, for the benefit Israel.

            And you're smart enough to know that not wanting the US military to be a subsidary of Tel Aviv does not make one a promoter of jihadism.

            You're just too dishonest to admit it.

    • EamonnDublin

      As you yourself say, "Whatever, man!". In case the nuance is lost on you, what I mean is: "Just carry on rambling, man, you're talking rubbish and nobody is taking any notice". Éamonn, Dublin.

    • Lan Astaslem

      a useful idiot like you isn't fit to shine Spencer's shoes – get lost you ignorant troll!

    • Drakken

      Hmmm they doth protest too much turk, the backlash against you and yours is coming for you have pushed us infidels to far. Go in peace back to the land of the turks, soon it will be too late.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Robert Spencer is a huckster who is taken seriously only by people who are missing a lot of brain cells. "

      Your missing brain cells don't make you an expert analyst. It makes you a victim of your own abuse of chemicals.

    • defcon 4

      The hundreds of death threats Spencer has received from his islamofascist fan base refute your inane babble.

  • Chezwick

    A) The canonical texts of Islam promulgate violence and intolerance

    B) Muslims display a characteristic proclivity for violence and intolerance

    A results in B. It's not about race. It's not about ethnicity. It's about religion.

    Case closed.

    • FrontPgSubscr

      Religion: The basic origin of religion is man.
      Relationship: The basic origin of relationship is our Creator (who is God).

      The former is 'a device' created and formulated by man (why?) to 'make man worthy
      and acceptable' (and, if it were possible, 'significant'). "From whence come wars
      and fightings among you?" … (James 4:1).
      The latter was created and formulated by God for man to make man acceptable unto
      Himself (God).

      • Chezwick

        I agree with you on an essential level. I reject all religion as man-made constructs. Yet, while i believe in God (as plausible an explanation for the existence of the universe as any other), I make no pretense of knowing God's will, God's expectations, God's methodologies or God's reasons. I SUSPECT that the universe is a gigantic laboratory, where the struggle between good and evil is played out daily in countless ways.

  • EamonnDublin

    I have repeatedly over the past fifteen years commented to the Irish media, Irish politicians, and leaders of the Catholic church in Ireland, asking them why none of them ever even hint at anything negative to do with Islam. I have specifically homed in on the possibility of so-called "honour" murders and beatings, and forced child brides, occurring in Ireland. The official figures in the neighbouring United Kingdom for the above crimes against humanity run into the thousands per annum, so why should we in Ireland assume that it does not happen here, and ignore the possibility? I have never, EVER, had a response to even one of my communications and it is NEVER discussed in the Irish media or from the church pulpit, or by our politicians. And then they all pontificate about equal rights, the treatment of women in Western business and society, and the abuse of children!!! SHAME on the lot of them. Éamonn Gavin, Dublin, Ireland.

    • damir

      I’m a croatian catholic from Bosnia & Herzegovina and i can tell you the answer to that is actually very simple. If they would say something against islam they might offend someone and that would be against political correctness. What makes me so frustrated is the fact that the catholic church has a long history of fighting islam and now for the most part they go with the “political correctness train”.

      • EamonnDublin

        Yes, Damir, I totally accept and agree with all that you say above.
        Kind Regards, Éamonn, Dublin.

        • Bonnie Loranger

          Me too but the worst of all they are COWARDS.

      • Joseph3

        The problem might be not so much a "political correctness train" but rather the fear not to irritate moslims in moslem countries who are militant against Christians held there as hostages.

    • socpolity

      Well said Dublin and its just the same here in Australia. john.kyne@gmail.com

    • ratonis

      Hey Eamonn,
      You are so right. It's the same here in the U.S.A.
      Have a pint at Houricans. I'll be with ya in spirit.
      RT in Lincoln, Nebraska USA.

  • Asher

    History repeats itself. The Catholics were involved with Hitler and ignored the holocaust..there is no respect for this religion that denies the One true God, and the one true God's power and word!

    • damir

      calm down, there were a lot of catholics who helped jews in my country and all around europe, and there were protestants who fought for hitler, so what's your point?

    • EamonnDublin

      Asher, I'm afraid your blatantly anti-Catholic comments fly in the face of the truth. You are so way off a logical point of discussion that I will not waste time on you. Éamonn, Dublin.

    • EarlyBird

      Unfortunately, Asher, since you weren't baptized in the Catholic Church, the one true church, you'll burn in hell for eternity.

      • Snorbak

        Rubbish, the Roman Catholic Church has no means of providing salvation. That role is exclusively reserved for Jesus Christ.

        • EarlyBird

          You're going to hell too, Snorbak. If you've tried to be a good person, however, you may be allowed into Purgatory where we Catholics can pray the rosary in hopes that God will release you.

          Good luck to you, but I've already got mine. I'll keep you in my prayers.

          • Snorbak

            I'm going to Hell, how can you be sure when you know nothing of me or my beliefs. Jesus Christ has taken my sin upon himself & my salvation is assured.

            Purgatory is a Catholic creation & does not exist just as your prayers to a dead woman (Mary) will not help you? Why would you pray to a woman that cannot hear your prayers let alone do anything about them, when you should be praying to the Son? Idolatry sound familiar?

            Trying to be a good person has no bearing on salvation, we are saved by grace through faith. No amount of good works will save you, me or anyone else. Again, another false teaching introduced by the Roman Catholic Church.

            I would urge you to have a closer look at Christs teachings without the Catholic bias & I pray that God opens your eyes.

    • Snorbak

      Like you, I am very critical of the Catholic Church & I agree that the Vatican stood by whilst Hitler massacred millions however, that is not to say that all or even most Catholic's are "tarred with the same brush". There are many within the Catholic community who are followers of Christ .

      That being said, the Vatican has long held the position that the Jew's are "Christ killers" & the Roman Catholic Church has supplanted them in that the Jew's the people "formally chosen by God" (2nd Vatican Council). Whilst at the same time embracing the Muslims as brothers who also follow the one true God, on both counts, this this false.

      • EarlyBird

        Snorbak, the Catholic Church officially reversed that terrible blood libel during the Second Vatican Council. And they, in a Christ-like manner, "embrace" decent people of all faiths, or even lack of faith. That includes decent human beings who are Muslim.

        • defcon 4

          "Decent human beings who are Muslim" has all the appeal of writing decent human beings who are Nazi.

    • defcon 4

      Louie Mal directed a movie (based on his own life experience) about a Catholic school in France which provided safe haven for Jewish school kids until they were treacherously exposed. The Catholic priest who ran the school died in a Nazi concentration camp for his efforts.

      • EarlyBird

        There's even a statue in Israel of a Catholic priest who risked, and ultimately gave, his life to protect Jews from the Nazis during the Holocaust.

        Good is good, bad is bad. Its not the label, it's the actions.

        • defcon 4

          And islam and nazism are all bad. If you don't think so then shag your arse off to the nearest islamofascist pigsty…

          • EarlyBird

            So, is the Muslim sheep herder in Somalia who never harmed, or desired to harm, a flea bad and Nazi-like? Are you incapable of drawing distinctions between beheaders who want to take over the world, vs. shepherds who want to get through the day?

          • defcon 4

            You could always move to Somalia, one of the fine islamofascist states of the OIC, and find out for yourself.

          • Snorbak

            Hamas is Islam, Al Qaeda is Islam, The Taliban is Islam, Hezbollah is Islam, Islamic Jihad is Islam etc etc….
            Islam is a violent, blood lusting totalitarian ideology driven by & consumed by, hatred.
            There is no such thing as a righteous Muslim, show me a moderate Muslim & I will show you an apostate!

  • Steven

    Irrespective of whether people here dis/agree with this blog and its tone, incitement is a growing problem, not least in places such as Palestine, Pakistan and Egypt. Here are videos from a recent conference at the UN, it's a good place to start getting informed http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1uUSrjSnB0

    • PAthena

      You mention "Palestine". There is no such country and never has been. The name "Palestina" was given to Judea when the Roman Emperor Hadrian, in 135 A.D., after defeating the last Jewish rebellion under Bar Kochba, changed the name of Judea to "Palestina" to forever eradicate all memory of Judea. He also outlawed Judaism and renamed Jerusalem "Aelia Capitolina, his gens name being "Aelius."
      The name "Palestine" then became synonymous with "land of the Jews," and "Palestinian" with "Jew," which is why, after World War I, Great Britain was awarded the "Palestine Mandate" to be "the homeland of the Jews."
      Calling Arabs "Palestinians," and a non-country "Palestine" is the effect of the invention of the "Palestine Liberation Organization" by Gamal Nasser of Egypt and the Soviet Union in Cairo in 1964. The "P.L.O." came to fame when it massacred the Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.

      • EarlyBird

        *sigh* Okay, whatever that stretch of land, which doesn't exist, and which is inhabited by non-humans, with a non-country. That's what he's calling "Palestine," okay?

        Oh, and let's all pretend it was empty land, and that Israel was born from a Virgin Birth. Like a Lassie movie, no Arabs were hurt in the creation of this nation, Israel.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "*sigh* Okay, whatever that stretch of land, which doesn't exist, and which is inhabited by non-humans, with a non-country. That's what he's calling "Palestine," okay? "

          No. There is no sovereign by that name. There is no land known by that name and when there was it was not associated with the people who lie about it and dream about a future jihadi state.

          Not whatever, man.

          "Oh, and let's all pretend it was empty land, and that Israel was born from a Virgin Birth. Like a Lassie movie, no Arabs were hurt in the creation of this nation, Israel."

          Nobody says that. The bottom line is that you defend lying murderers while implying that those who do tell the truth don't..

          You are an f-ing liar or even more dim than I previously suspected.

          • EarlyBird

            I defend reality and truth, also known as objective facts.

            Like I mentioned, you're not actually stupid, you're dishonest. The irony of your handle is hilarious, given that you spend most of your time on this board denying, twisting or ignoring facts which you object to.

            Just because I acknowlege how Israel came about, and want some changes to its current-day policy, hardly means I am anti-Israel or pro-Islamist enemies. Try to keep those two thoughts in your head at the same time.

          • Drakken

            Your reality and truth are far removed from reality and truth, it would be rather amusing if your line of thinking wasn't so dangerous.

        • defcon 4

          No self governing nation of Palestine ever existed until quite recently. Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Israel were all created from the remnants of the Ottoman empire, which didn't recognize the sovereignty of anyone in the Mid-East.

          • EarlyBird

            So, as long as a given territory doesn't run the way Westerners run their country, it's open game for Westerners to move in and take their land away, install puppet dictators and plunder the natural resources? Gotcha.

            And there is no country called "Palestine" today, your drooling, racist idiot.

          • defcon 4

            What do you call what Arabic muslimes have done to Assyrian Christians, Coptic Christians and the Jews of the Mid-East and N. Africa artard? Or the Sikhs and Hindus of Bangladsh and Pakistain? Religious outreach programs?

          • defcon 4

            What do you call what Arabic muslimes have done to Assyrian Christians, Coptic Christians and the Jews of the Mid-East and N. Africa artard? Or the Sikhs and Hindus of Bangladsh and Pakistain? Religious outreach programs?

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst who are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God…"

    The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator in truth, in the last amongst who are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham but lie constantly about him, and quite apart from all others they adore the contrived moon god allah,

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "As a result of such a theologically salient statement, the Catholic Church has engaged herself in inter-religious dialogue with Muslims. This dialogue has produced a harvest of mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation throughout the world and here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

    Here comes the boom, ready or not.

    • kaz

      your post looks like satire. if any reasonable person wrote it, it would be satire. when a leftist stooge writes what looks like satire, he really means it.

    • Drakken

      Reality is going to be a nasty wakeup call to the CC, as a Catholic myself I find their silence in reguards to the muslims slaughtering christians in muslim lands astounding and disgusting.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "Reality is going to be a nasty wakeup call to the CC, as a Catholic myself I find their silence in reguards to the muslims slaughtering christians in muslim lands astounding and disgusting."

        I fear the wake up call might come at any moment…again.

        • WilliamJamesWard

          The Catholic Church has had centuries of practice at turning a blind eye rather
          that the other cheek. The scriptures abjure all to avoid evil and that is all that
          Islam is, evil personified, Jesus would have nothing to do with Islam and on
          Judgement day He will let those false leaders know just what it has cost them,
          probably a berth in the outer darkness with the followers of evil…………William

          • EarlyBird

            It's not about labels, its about actions. I was messing with some idiot on this thread saying that as a baptized Catholic I'm automatically going to heaven, while he's going to hell, or if he's lucky, purgatory, because that's what I was taught as a child.

            We're not children. If we have genuinely attempted to understand God, we know He's not going to sort people out by the accident of which religion they were born into, but how they treated other human beings.

          • defcon 4

            Gee it seems muslimes all over the world aren't having many problems w/sorting "people out" by religion, as evidenced by the treatment of non-muslims in EVERY, LAST, ISLAMOFASCIST PIGSTY on the face of this earth in the here and now.

          • EarlyBird

            Yeah, let's kill every 1.5 billion Muslims! Hurray!

          • defcon 4

            Ever heard of a strawman argument?

            It's nice to see you don't have any moral or ethical problem w/the fact your fellow muslimes are busily persecuting, raping and murdering people of other faiths all over the world — incl. Turkey.

          • defcon 4

            Ever heard of a strawman argument?

            It's nice to see you don't have any moral or ethical problem w/the fact your fellow muslimes are busily persecuting, raping and murdering people of other faiths all over the world — incl. Turkey.

        • Drakken

          I fear that war is on the horizon and turning a blind eye to muslim atrocities only encourages them to to do more.

          • EarlyBird

            You "fear" a war is on the horizon? Drakken, you get wood dreaming of war, one you missed because, like me, you served in peace time. You're a grown man dreaming of glory.

          • defcon 4

            Served whom? Ankara?

  • regularron

    Shocking, a anti-Catholic website posts a anti-Catholic article on the first day of the Conclave.

    • Drakken

      It is not a question of being anti-Catolic, it is a question of why the CC is being led to the slaughter by the muslims and none is saying a word?

      • EarlyBird

        Christians in general, and Catholics in particular, are being slaughtered in the Horn of Africa, and the CC's silence is also astonishing to me. If they don't want to condemn Islam, they could at least condemn the crimes.

        Sadly, as an organization of men, it's probably never been as dysfunctional or corrupt as it now, as since the Dark Ages.

        • defcon 4

          "Condemn Islam", those are hardly words I'd ever expect you to be writing.

          • EarlyBird

            Because you don't pay attention too well. Because I am to the left of you on my things (who isn't?) I'm perceived as WAAAAAAAAAAAAAyyyy to the left of you.

            Try to see what is real, dude.

          • defcon 4

            Nah, I'm used to you condemning everyone and anyone for being a waaaaycist for criticising islam.

          • EarlyBird

            Try to pay attention: not for "criticising Islam," but for condemning every single 1.5 billion of the earth's Muslims as terrorists or would-be terrorists, and wallowing in such hysteria and hatred such as this hate speech club, that people are literally demanding the annihilation of ALL Muslims.

            You yourself refuse to draw any distinctions, you infant.

          • defcon 4

            Artard, these muslimes embrace islam by definition, that is reason enough for me to despise them and you. After all, what's a muslime w/o islam? And what's islam w/o rabid Jew hatred?

    • EarlyBird

      "WHY DO WE BIBLICAL CHRISTIANS NEED YOUR POPE????"

      You don't, and the Pope doesn't need you.

      • defcon 4

        Yes because all they really need to do is revert to Islam eh?

  • g_jochnowitz

    Speaking of scandal, Ahmadinejad hugged a woman.
    Hugging Chavez's mother at a funeral doesn't stop it from being improper contact with a [shudder] woman. http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/iran-cler

    • John Stone

      I wonder how it would turn out if you dealt with Islam by harassing these nut case clerics. Use the kind of vigilante justice their followers get involved in. Beat them up on the street when you see them, that sort of thing. The methods should be primitive and deliberately disrespectful. Islam is permanently at war with the non Islamic population anyway, and so it would only be a change in style. A more pro active war, instead of passively waiting for them to hit you first.

      • g_jochnowitz

        Think of what they do to each other in their own countries. Once or twice a week a bomb goes off in a marketplace or a mosque in Iraq or Pakistan, killing dozens of people.
        Now that everyone in Iran knows that Ahmadinejad has hugged a woman, maybe they'll blow him up. Then they can replace him with somebody even worse.

  • Questions

    Why not bring your concerns to the priest and the bishop? And if they refuse to discuss the matter, why bother remaining in the Church? There's no point in seething during Mass. You might as well find yourself a new church.

    • EarlyBird

      Why bother remaining in "the Church," as in, the Roman Catholic Church? Maybe your tradition is different, but Catholics don't just switch churches that easily. It's not just another "congregation.

      If he's a serious Catholic, he belongs there, and should, as you say, bring his concerns up to the priests. But if he's genuinely as obsessed and terrified of Muslims as he pretends to be, he needs to seek out a psychiatrist, not a priest.

  • EarlyBird

    And I'm sure He's Sooo proud of you, and so happy that you represent Him on earth.

  • EarlyBird

    "Every time I go to Mass I want to charge up to the podium and let the members know the real evil of Islam."

    Yeah, sure you do. Because you can't sleep at night knowing about all the evil Muslims out there! You're literally haunted, obsessed by it. You can't help but grab passerbys on the street to shake them about the fact of Muslims on the March!

    "Political correctness is going to kill the West and the rest of the non-Muslim world. At least I have the solice of knowing that I will take down some of those dogs with me."

    How do you propose to do that, tough guy? Plotting something the FBI should know about? You and Drakken gonna go on a raid and swing a "mailed fist" or something?

  • John Stone

    I take it as hubris. Like western civilization generally, they are living in the past, the era when Europeans were in a position to dictate outcomes to other groups and could afford to be moderate. Now that those other people are becoming more successful and powerful, we are either going to have to get more aggressive — or more submissive as they come to ascendency at our expense.

  • avantibev

    Thank you for this article Mr. Kirkpatrick. As a Roman Catholic I know that my Church is made up of people, clergy and laity, and none immune to the pressures of the age nor can any of us conscientiously object to the raging Culture War. It has taken its toll on many of our parishes and seminaries just as it has raged in secular institutiions. There are those so blind they will not see. They bend the knee, appease and call it "peacemaking" but this human frailty was lamented as far back as the prophet Jeremiah.

    Like my Italian ancestors, who saved 80% of the Jews within Italy during the Nazi occupation, there are Catholics who will not submit to the tyranny of Islamic jihad and as for our Church, the Gates of Hell will not prevail against Her.

  • Mary

    Unfortunately, this article is being used in anti-Catholic bigotry. Divided we fall. The Ecumenical Movement, started with Vatican II, embraced this insidious Masonic doctrine of equality of religions which is NOT the doctrine of the Catholic faith.

  • Ranchman

    Excellent article, it gets right to the truth. Islam is a totalitarian, supremacist, idolatrous ideology. It worships a pedophile (muhammed) as its prophet, of all things. It continually slaughters Jews, Christians, any non-muslim, and even each other when belonging to another denomination. Joel Richardson’s “The Islamic Anti-Christ” is an excellent book on islam, its intentions, and its place in Biblical Eschatology. It can be purchased at World Net Daily, http://www.wnd.com. Go to the WND store. It will really open your eyes into God’s prophecies in Scripture.