The Vatican’s Relations with Islam

Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of a group of refugees in Rome, in March 2016. (Image source: CatholicTV Network video screenshot)

 

  • “They are driving us out of the Middle East,” declared Pope Francis on returning from Turkey.
  • “[I]t would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this because this would help the majority of Muslim people.” — Pope Francis, counseling Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • While this welcoming stance is in keeping with the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic faith, the Pope as the “Good Shepherd” has an obligation to protect his flock from the militants among the refugees.
  • Within the Catholic Church, there also exists a sub-dominant counter-melody that warns about Islamic hostility to the values of Judeo-Christian civilization.
  • Cardinal Sarah targets what he refers to as “Islam’s pseudo-family values which legitimize polygamy, female subservience, sexual slavery, and child marriage.”
  • At some point, the Catholic Church might raise the issue of persecution of Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries at international fora such as the United Nations. The Church also could publicly ask Muslims of good will to express their solidarity with the persecuted and request international organizations to intervene to protect Christians.
  • Given the centuries of hostility between Christendom and dar-al-Islam (the World of Islam), the Vatican’s caution may be understandable, but is ill-advised and no longer tenable.

Perhaps, in the light of the harm dhimmitude can do to both civic life and faith, the Catholic Church might re-assess its stance toward Islam from one of friendly engagement to cautionary disengagement. As radical jihadists continue to martyr Christians throughout the world, such a re-evaluation of Islam by the Vatican seems appropriate. Continue reading

US Asks Spain to Allow US Soldiers From Ebola-Hit Africa to Stay in Its Military Bases

MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – US authorities have asked the government of Spain to allow over 3,000 American soldiers returning from Ebola-stricken West Africa to stay in the Spanish military bases, a spokesperson for the Spanish Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti.

According to the spokesperson, the motion has already been sent to the authorities of Spain, who have not yet confirmed whether or not the offer will be accepted. Continue reading