Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The carnage of Christians in the Catholic ‘den of idolatry’

The Pope has condemned the attack by Muslim terrorists upon Baghdad’s Roman Catholic community. He said he was praying for the victims ‘of this absurd violence, made more ferocious because it was directed against unarmed people gathered in the house of God’.

The slaughter took place in the Church of Our Lady of Salvation, which the terrorists referred to as a ‘den of idolatry’.

Presumably, the Mariolatry (or Maryamolatry) is what justified the taking of life.

In 1980, Roman Catholics constituted 2.89 percent of Iraq's population; by 2008, they were merely 0.89 percent.

Extremists have systematically attacked Christians in Iraq since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime.

In this latest atrocity, terrorists from an Al-Qaeda affiliate called the ‘Islamic State of Iraq’ took more than a hundred hostages during Mass and then exploded devices packed with ball bearings. They then executed some surviving hostages before Iraqi counterterrorism troops stormed the building. The death toll among the parishioners and Iraqi forces who broke the siege stands at 58, with around 75 wounded, some seriously.

Among those killed during the attack were Fr. Wasim Sabieh and Fr. Thaier Saad Abdal. A third priest, Fr Qatin, was wounded and died later in the hospital.

According to the terrorist group’s website, they were infuriated over the alleged actions of Egyptian Copts on behalf of two women who had converted to Islam, and said it 'lit the fuse' for a campaign against Iraqi Christians.

Expressing its grief for the survivors and the families of the victims, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has issued a statement expressing its outrage at the indifference of the international community. They said: “The only thing more outrageous than the systematic slaughter of families gathered in their place of worship is the overwhelming silence at this heinous act.”

“As Jews, over the course of history we have learned what it is like to a targeted and powerless minority. In 2010, Christians in their historical communities in Iraq and throughout much of the Middle East are victims of a pattern of incitement aimed at destroying or driving them out of societies they have contributed too for centuries,” added Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Centre’s director of Interfaith Affairs. “Americans should reflect on the pathological intolerance that too often targets Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. Turning a blind eye to such attacks will only mean the deaths of more innocents, and in many cases, the disappearance of ancient communities.”

The Anglican Friends of Israel also issued a statement condemning the atrocity, highlighting the barefaced hypocrisy of the terrorists for murdering dozens of Christians in defence of two Egyptian Coptic women allegedly being held against their will by their families having converted willingly to Islam.

In fact Barnabas Fund reports frequent kidnappings of Egyptian Christian women by Egyptian Muslims. The women are then pressured or forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men.

There is an ongoing war against Middle Eastern Christians by Islamic terrorists, and the AFI say this highlights the absurdity of recent claims by Middle Eastern Catholic leaders that Israel's existence is the reason for the decline in Christian numbers across the Middle East.

And both the AFI and the Simon Wiesenthal Center called for the Pope to dissociate himself from the political and theological attacks on the Jewish state by Roman Catholic bishops, and to recall how very recently the Catholic Church apologised for its former persecution of Jews and renounced the Replacement Theology that persuaded so many Christians that hatred of Jews was acceptable.

His Grace was accused of misleading his readers when he posted on this a few days ago, allegedly attributing a higher status to the comments of Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros than they apparently merited.

One communicant responded: “Some Melekite (sic) bishop spouted off about the chosen people and you then implied that this was the Pope's position. I didn't expect this from you.”

His Grace only pointed out that this was a Vatican Synod on the Middle East.

A Vatican Synod is an authoritative meeting of bishops for the purpose of church administration in the areas of teaching (faith and morals) or governance (church discipline or law), and takes place under the ultimate authority of the Pope.

Almost two weeks on, the Pope has neither denounced Archbishop Bustros’ comments nor disassociated the Holy See from the proposition that:

“We Christians cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians... The justification of Israel ’s occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said: “This political stunt, wrapped in theological garb, not only insults every Jew but flies in the face of the statements and actions of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, both who have visited Israel and expressed solidarity with her people.”

“The Archbishop’s statement comes at the end of the conference wherein the so-called Palestine Kairos Document – which openly denies the right of Israel to be a Jewish state – was presented at the Vatican for the first time. These developments demand immediate action by the Pope. Hopes for peace in the Middle East will only come when both sides recognize the rights of the others. These latest moves, left unchallenged, will damage interfaith relations and embolden anti-Semites and terrorists.”

His Grace awaits His Holiness.

In the context of the appalling atrocities being committed by professing Muslims in the Middle East against both Christians and Jews, silence from the Holy See is not an option.


Anonymous LDS said...

There is a sombre theme underlying these two threads. If you are vicious, violent and bigoted enough you will be accommodated.

3 November 2010 at 11:11  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

This is an appalling tragedy but the solution will not be found by resolving these arcane, historical, religious differences but by ridding the world of religion altogether. It is the fact that you are all so certain of your “divine” rights that continues to plague this world with conflict. Promised lands, holy books, revelations and the like belong in the dark ages from whence they came and not in an enlightened 21st Century.

3 November 2010 at 11:56  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Rabbi Adlerstein of the Simon Wiesenthal Center refers to a ‘pathological intolerance’ targeting Christians, Jews, etc.

Not to mince words, the pathological intolerance is Islam, with its teaching of contempt for all other religions and its blessing of the use of violence as a means of propagating itself.

There is no question that the civil and ecclesiastical authorities here and throughout the West are running scared of Islam. Now that Islam has established itself in their minds as a religion that will use violence and will organize to defend itself, they hasten to accommodate its demands.

Islam is incompatible with the freedoms we enjoy in the West. If we wish to preserve those freedoms, we shall have to halt the advance of Islam. Those who understand that, from Geert Wilders and Nick Griffin to the English Defence League, are harassed and even threatened with imprisonment by the political élites, which rather suggests that our present élites (the Conservatives included, Your Grace) are not fit for the purpose of defending our freedom.

3 November 2010 at 12:05  
Anonymous Stuart said...

While the World Council of Churches blathers on about its wonderful International Christian-Muslim consultation in Geneva permit me to share with you some comments from an address made to the Catholic Middle East Synod by two Syrian Bishops:

….the blossoming number of Catholic-Muslim dialogue projects has not and may never lead to real understanding.


……formal Catholic-Muslim dialogues are “difficult and often ineffective,” partially because the Quran tells Muslims they belong to “the only true and complete religion.”

Muslims, he said, come “to dialogue with a sense of superiority and with the certitude of being victorious.”

In addition, the archbishop said, “The Quran allows the Muslim to hide the truth from the Christian and to speak and act contrary to how he thinks and believes.”

Islam does not recognize the equality of men and women and does not recognize the right of religious freedom.


Bishop Flavien Melki, also a member of the Syrian curia in Lebanon, said that at a time when “fundamentalism is becoming more entrenched in the region,” the idea that dialogue could lead to Muslims accepting secular democracy “seems to be in the domain of utopia.”

“Must we wait for the disappearance of Christians in the Middle East to raise our voices and speak up with force” to call for “liberty, equality and justice for these religious minorities?” Bishop Melki asked.

The bishop said Middle East Christians need the support of the international community to press for the reform of Islamic regimes in the region.

That’s a bit nearer the mark.

3 November 2010 at 12:25  
Anonymous Bleeding Heart Liberal said...

Nuke Mecca. It will save lives in the long run.

3 November 2010 at 12:33  
Blogger rick allen said...

Your Grace, I believe you continue to misunderstand. Of course the State of Israel has a right to exist, because it is a "fact on the ground," and it has been recognized by the nations of the world (including the Vatican City-State) and the United Nations. But for Catholic Christians that nationhood does not rest on the "chosenness" of the Jewish people, but on the ordinary rules of international law and the historical force of nationalism. The "chosenness" of the Jewish people is a theological belief regarding God's revelation to a nation in whom was born the incarnate Son. The opening of God's revelation to the Gentiles does not entail abandonment of the Jews; but neither does it mean that the existing social democracy of Israel is in any sense the Davidic Kingdom.

As to Islam, it should be kept in mind that the unspeakable massacre at the Cathedral was followed the next day by mindless carnage suffered largely by innocent Shi'ite Muslims. The Western powers did not conduct these massacres, but this state of affairs could not have come about had we not destablized Iraqi society by our invasion and occupation. We may not be primarily guilty of these crimes, but neither are we guiltless.

As to the synod, please, if you wish to criticise it, refer to what you think wrongheaded by chapter and verse. We get enough fuzzy thinking from the mainstream media without your joining in. "Drink deep, or taste not...."

3 November 2010 at 13:02  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace

The announcement by Al-Qaeda that all Christians and their churches are legitimate targets is chilling indeed.

Perhaps the statement today by Home Secretary Theresa May that there is a developing terrorist threat in the UK should be seen in this light. The UK government clearly takes the threat of a Mumbai style attack very seriously indeed.

Your Grace will recognise that there are a number of versions of utopia, depending on your point of view. There is for example the realistic position adopted by Syrian Bishop Melki. And then there is the comment made by Mr Graham Davis above.

This communicant urges Mr Davis to travel to Baghdad to meet the terrorists and remonstrate with them. If not Mr Davis, whom?

It appears that the Vatican is too frightened to speak, and one can understand their fears.

3 November 2010 at 13:16  
Blogger Caedmon's Cat said...

@Rick Allen

Well said, sir! I couldn't express it better myself.

@Graham Davis

Mr Davis - Once more we hear the tone of your one-stringed harp!
So - how are you and your fellow-believers going to rid the world of this pesky religion business? Education? - Hasn't worked so far, has it? Perhaps it's the triumph of hope over experience.. Guns? - Are there enough bullets to go round? It'll keep the undertakers busy for decades - unless most of them are religious as well, in which case the faithful atheists will have to live with the stink..

Let's have a collect from the Monty Python Book Of Common Prayer..

3 November 2010 at 13:27  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Caedmon's cat

Give it another few hundred years of education and Christianity, Islam etc will be regarded as novelties of a bygone age when mankind was still in the thrall of myth and superstition.

3 November 2010 at 14:01  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Graham Davis, your complete ignorance really is quite breathtaking. I'd laugh, but I presume you are quite serious. (I really can't believe you've goaded me into responding to you again ... I hate myself for being so weak!)

Back on topic: The problem of course, is Islam. It is a false religion - a man made cult on a par with Scientology.

3 November 2010 at 14:09  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Horrifying, but not unexpected.

Now, can we puhleeeeze dispense with the rhetoric of 'it's all our fault, we just haven't shown enough tolerance and understanding to all those poor Islamic radicals.'

OS hopes to Heaven, literally, that there is not a former Gitmo detainee amongst the murderers...

And, off topic--Katherine Birbalsingh revives her blog on The Telegraph beginning today.

3 November 2010 at 14:34  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I see the Muslimes are still struggling to get a convincing grip on that elusive religion of peace initiative...

3 November 2010 at 15:22  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Rebel Saint (goaded) said

Back on topic: The problem of course, is Islam. It is a false religion - a man made cult on a par with Scientology.

Can you not see the irony of your statement? Only yours is “true” but that is what you all think so why should any of you be believed (a rhetorical question)?

3 November 2010 at 15:39  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Graham Davis has a point. His Grace is simply pouring petrol on the flames. It is no secret that His Grace uses every excuse and conflation of circumstances in order to take a pop at the Pope.

The problem is not so much Islam on it's own but those who have inflated it over the last decade or two. Islam should have been left where it was, in the third world. But no, we had accommodate it and appease every backward and moronic aspect of it didn't we, don't we still?

And then His Grace, and the wonderfully influential Anglican Church smugly sit back and pontificate and point fingers in every direction except their own, while they busy themselves with sorting out gayness and women bishops. And you have the cheek to demand action from the Pope. Don't hold your breath matey.

3 November 2010 at 16:26  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

How fortunate for the rest of us that Islam is "a religion of peace". It's just a pity that it is only on their terms - when everyone is a Muslim.

3 November 2010 at 17:10  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Islam is both the 'enemy within' and the enemy without. We can't do much against the latter, but we sure as damn can make a start on the former!

3 November 2010 at 17:37  
Anonymous Huldah said...

His Grace rightly points out the irony of Catholic Bishops blaming the Jewish State's for the decline of Christianity in the Middle East as Islamist terrorists demonstrate yet again the REAL reason for the flight of Christians from the region.

@ Rick Allen points out accurately the position of the Church of Rome vis a vis the Church as the New Israel. That Catholics embrace Replacement Theology does not make it any less erroneous or unpleasant.

Replacement Theology underpinned centuries of Catholic persecution of Jews and it's about time Catholic leaders - or even some Catholic lay people admitted it.

3 November 2010 at 21:32  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Graham Davis

Do we really have to have this conversation over and over and over again? Apparently so.

To you my statement is ironic because you don't believe in the divine or the supernatural. Your one dimensional world consists of only things you can see or touch or measure. So anyone who makes a truth claim about something you don't believe in must be being ironic. You are like the blind man joining in a blog examining opto-aural experiences and any time anything to do with vision is mentioned simply saying, "Don't you realise light doesn't exist so how can you claim that the sun is orange".

Various religions make mutually contradictory truth claims. They are either all false (as you have decided) or only one of them is. Get that into your thick skull. Your constant inane interjection of "it's all silly coz it isn't true" is neither original, or insightful, or challenging, or anything except monotonous.

On a blog looking at the interaction of religious (of the Christian persuasion) & political (of the Conservative persuasion) objectives, if you dismiss 50% of what the blog is about then really, what is the point?

Please try and add some other stings to your bow, or otherwise abstain from the "Religious" aspects of this "Religio-political" blog.

[I'm going to save this reply in a text file so I can simply cut & paste it rather than having to type it out ad naueseum every other post]

3 November 2010 at 21:34  
Anonymous not a machine said...

The flaw in Graham Davies argument is that he assumes all religions will be consigned to novelties in history , little realising one has a humitarian aim , the other has theological world dominance aim.
How interesting it will be when Graham Davies rejoices at the fall of Christianity only to assume he will win with the same compelling agnosticism with Islam .

you can be secular in a christian society and live under the law , it would seem Graham Davies assumes Islam is as modern reasoned as christianity

4 November 2010 at 02:21  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

not a machine said

you can be secular in a christian society and live under the law , it would seem Graham Davies assumes Islam is as modern reasoned as christianity

We live in a largely secular (not Christian) society where your right to worship any god is guaranteed. When a belief system seeks to attack the fundamental values of the State it must be challenged and that situation is not far off as far as Islam is concerned.

Rebel Saint

Yours true, others false!

What kind of argument is that? No answer anticipated.

4 November 2010 at 09:30  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@ Graham Davis ... same way you come to a conclusion about one thing being true and another being false - on the strength of the evidence.

4 November 2010 at 10:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will all be coming to a town or city near you well before the present century is over thanks to decades of liberal and Marxist governments that, in their headlong rush to destroy the nation states and Christian peoples of Europe to create a new world order, are most treacherously nurturing our genocide by countless millions of followers of the ‘religion of peace’. Even now Cameron is desperately trying to win support for Turkey’s entry into the EU. The Gates of Vienna will then have been well and truly breached.

4 November 2010 at 11:43  
Anonymous len said...

When will people wake up and realise what Islam is about?

4 November 2010 at 18:48  
Blogger alina said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7 November 2010 at 05:56  

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