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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Responses From the Christian West in the Face of Annihilation

So, the Chaldean Christians of Iraq are on the verge of destruction.  A legitimate branch of the Catholic Church is about to be eradicated, and we haven't heard a peep from any significant Western leadership.

 Once upon a time, when there was a threat against the Christians in the Levant, a Crusade was called. This was a military reaction to a political and military threat.

After the death of Umayyad caliph Umar II in 720, a resident tax for the Christians in Jerusalem was heavily increased. His reforms favored the common people, but these reforms annoyed Umayyad nobility to the point that they conspired to poison the caliph. New harsh measures were taken up particularly against Christians. Followers of Christ were not allowed to mount a horse or bear a weapon, they were forced to wear a leather girdle that showed their subjection, and they were not allowed to speak Arabic or even utter their Patriarch’s name without permission.


In 637, the Muslim hordes attacked Caesarea, beheading all males
and parading their hearts through the streets to
terrify the women.  
In 1009, Caliph Hakim proceeded to destroy all churches and monasteries in Palestine.  The Caliph is even said to have forced Christians to wear ten-pound copper crosses around their necks, and the Jews had to carry a calf’s head made of wood. Christians of Jerusalem were virtual slaves, and the path to the Holy City was filled with swindlers, bandits, and Bedouins; few pilgrims survived the pilgrimage journey, and many of those who did return were starved, cut, and mutilated. 

And so, what was the response to this on-going persecution that the Christians suffered under Islamic rule? One of the best responses from the West can be found in the words of St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

Oh, ye who listen to me, hasten then to appease the anger of Heaven, but no longer implore His goodness by vain complaints; clothe not yourselves in sackcloth, but cover yourselves with your impenetrable bucklers; the din of arms, the dangers, the labors, the fatigues of war are the penances that God now imposes upon you. Hasten then to expiate your sins by victories over the infidels, and let the deliverance of holy places be the reward of your repentance.



Now, let's compare this powerful masculine call to action from an abbot to our current "Bishop of Rome:"

http://news.yahoo.com/please-stop-pope-francis-makes-plea-peace-111358582.html

'Please stop!', Pope Francis makes plea for peace

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis made an emotional plea for peace on Sunday in an impromptu addition to comments delivered at his weekly Angelus address in Saint Peter's Square.

As the Argentinian-born pontiff wrapped up his regular address to the faithful, he spoke of the upcoming centenary of the outbreak of World War One and said his thoughts were on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine in particular.

With his voice appearing to crack with emotion, the pope broke off from his scripted remarks to make a direct appeal for fighting to end.

"Please stop!, I ask you with all my heart, it's time to stop. Stop, please!"

While he made no direct reference to the situation in the Gaza Strip, the comments came after a humanitarian truce broke down on Sunday with the resumption of fighting in which more than 1,000 people, mostly civilians including dozens of children, have been killed.

"Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! I am thinking above all of children, who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future," he said.

"Dead children, injured children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who can't smile any more," he said.



The current pontiff's recent plea does not assure me much.

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