Pope Francis has again said stupid things about war. In his latest plane presser on the way to Poland (dear Lord, are we going to have two of these for every trip from now on?!) he has again parroted the boilerplate leftist blither we were taught to recite in the 70s in our hippie free schools.
CNA reports his comments:
“When I speak of war, I talk about it seriously, but it’s not a war of religion. It’s a war for money, for resources, for nature, for dominion. This is the war,” Pope Francis told journalists on his July 27 flight from Rome to Krakow. “Could one think of a religious war? No. All religions want peace. Others want war,” he said. “Is that clear?”
Yes, it’s the tired old Marxist cant: war is always, by nature, unjust; it is always about the “military/industrial complex” manipulating public opinion and throwing away young lives to gain power and control over economic resources. Again Francis has demonstrated the understanding and depth of knowledge of a 13 year-old “social justice warrior” on Twitter. Groovy, man. Peace out.
The pope was responding to questions about the increasing violence in Europe – attacks are daily now – that this week included the brutal murder in Normandy of a French priest in his church during Mass.
As one commentator, clearly as close to the end of his patience as the rest of us, said, “[F]or Bergoglio, two Muslims shouting ‘Allah (God) is Great!’ attacking a Catholic priest, nuns and worshipers during a Catholic church service – what would seem to be an almost paradigmatic example of religiously based conflict – is not about Islam, or Catholicism or religion but really about ‘money, for resources, for nature, for dominion.’ That’s a Marxist analysis if there ever was one.”
It is extremely important to remember that it is not only ISIS that has no interest in Christian ethics, and that ISIS and Communism share a common disdain for the moral law as Christianity has expounded it and also share a reliance on terrorism as a tool of conquest. Marx himself explicitly endorsed terrorism to promote the Communist cause. When he was pitched out of Germany in 1849 for trying to foment war, Karl Marx wrote, “We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror.” This followed his remark in November, 1848: “… there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror.”
Using this tool much more effectively than any post-Christian Marxists, ISIS has succeeded in a couple of years in nearly wiping out the 2000-year-old Christian presence in Iraq and Syria, and has prompted increasing attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt. Now, with the help of self-loathing leftist elites in Europe’s leadership, they have moved the show into Europe and have boasted that they will do in the remnants of the current Christian heartland what they have done in its ancient cradle. And this month, that promise seems well on its way to being fulfilled.
Amel Nona, Archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, came right out and said it:
“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future...
“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger.
“You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values.
“If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”
What has the pope, the head of the Christian Church on earth, had to say about it? Most recently, he has issued a warning – obviously aimed at Christians more than at the people murdering us – against “all forms of hatred.”
This week, with Poland being among the very few European countries refusing to allow unrestricted access to Islamic invaders, the pope is at it again. To the WorldYouth Day attendees, he said, “A merciful heart can welcome refugees and migrants.” and “Let us listen to those of other cultures and peoples, even those we are afraid of because we consider them a threat.”
It is hardly surprising in the face of such trite and childish – and plainly dangerous – banalities that grownup Catholics are calling more and more forcefully for a stronger – and more Catholic – stand against the deadly aggression of militant Islam. This week yet another public appeal was issued – this time by a pair of American Catholic writers at The Stream, John Zmirak and Jason Jones – demanding that the pope walk back his attacks on Christians – comparing them to Cain and Herod – who still have the intestinal fortitude to name names and demand a halt. I expect the letter will be met with the same consideration at Casa Santa Martha of all the other such appeals.
One American commentator, Oakes Spalding, has offered a list of possibilities as to why the pope talks this way about one of the most pressing issues of our times. Given Francis’ proclivities – and his manifest loathing of the Catholic religion – the list seems plausible. Spalding suggests a combination of, “hatred of the ‘old’ Catholic Church…” by which he means “the Church up until, well, himself or at least up until Vatican II”; outright “sympathy with Islam”; the modernist’s characteristic religious indifferentism and his desire to set himself up as “a world leader of religion, rather than the leader of the Catholic Church”; Bergoglio’s demonstrated “quasi-Marxism” that may or may not be conscious; lazy “pop theology” that insists that “all religions are good”; and his demonstrated narcissism that prompts his desire to say “something unexpected, new, different or profound,” and at the same time offend and insult believing Catholics at every opportunity.
Spalding adds two more possibilities that are being considered privately more and more often: demonic influence (“Given Bergoglio’s record, any faithful Catholic who hasn’t at least considered this, hasn’t been paying attention,”) and/or some form of senility or dementia.
No matter what the mindset or motives behind it, it is clear that no provocation is ever going to be sufficient to wake this man into the reality of the situation or prompt him to leave his blatantly heretical worldview and join the Catholic fight. He lives in a perfectly closed bubble of his own making. Personally I believe that the only value of these public appeals will be to make more clear the fact that we are on our own, that no help of any kind will be forthcoming from Bergoglio’s Rome.
But all this does raise the question where we are to look for guidance on exactly how to respond. Francis has recentlybeen dropping hints that the Church would at some point have to re-examine the Just War theory, that set of ethical imperatives that guide believers in the prosecution of war. Indeed, the conference held at the Vatican said exactly that.
Co-hosted by the notoriously far-left pacifist group Pax Christi and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the conference denied that there could possibly be any such thing as a “just war,” even in self defence or defence of others… Sorry Poland, but the next time someone wants your territory, I guess you’re on your own.
“We believe that there is no ‘just war,’” the conference statement said. “Too often the ‘just war theory’ has been used to endorse rather than prevent or limit war. Suggesting that a ‘just war’ is possible also undermines the moral imperative to develop tools and capacities for nonviolent transformation of conflict.”
It is obvious that by abolish the Just War Theory, this pope and his fellow travelers mean to abolish any notion that a war can be justly prosecuted by Christian men. His toddler’s understanding, apparently, is that, “war is bad” and “violence is mean,” so we can’t do it, EVAHR!
Being a bit of a hawk, my own first reaction to this suggestion was a joyous whoop: “So, ‘first strike’ is totally back on the table then. Awesome!” Unfortunately, so are a great many other things. Without the Just War Theory, in fact, we are back to the brutal, Hobbesian world of might making right, rule by whichever bully is strongest.
The existence of an ethical “theory” by which Christians can engage justly in war is taken by those with Bergoglio’s mindset as evidence prima facie that Catholics are warmongering villains of history, probably ready at any moment to return to the rack and burning people at the stake for witchcraft. (Perhaps the most depressing aspect of this pope is his eagerness to believe and disseminate the “black legends” of anti-Catholic mythology.)
But the reality of the Just War Theory has a lot more to do with the strict limitations on what Christian princes can and can’t do in war; primary among which is the presumption that war is only ever justified in defence against a deadly threat.
What are the basic principles of the Just War Theory?
The two main divisions are what reasons justify going to war (jus ad bellum), and how that war may be conducted (jus in bello). In short, a nation may go to war for the same reasons a man may use deadly force to defend his family.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, the jus ad bellum requires
“1) just cause: an actual or imminent wrong against the state, usually a violation of rights, but sometimes provided by the need to protect innocents, defend human rights, or safeguard the way of life of one’s own or other peoples.
2) Competent authority: limiting the undertaking of war to a state’s legitimate rulers.
3) Right intention: aiming only at peace and the ends of the just cause (and not war’s attendant suffering, death, and destruction).
4) Proportionality: ensuring that the anticipated good not be outweighed by bad.
5) Last resort: exhausting peaceful alternatives before going to war.
6) Probability of success: a reasonable prospect that war will succeed.”
Jus in bello requires
"1) proportionality: ensuring that the means used in war befit the ends of the just cause and that their resultant good and bad, when individuated, be proportionate… and
2) discrimination: prohibiting the killing of noncombatants and/or innocents.”
All of this presupposes that the aggressors are the ones to make the first move, though there are those who have taken the theory to allow for “just offensive wars”.
Evidently this pope is not bothered in the slightest by the mortal threat to innocents posed by an aggressor such as ISIS. We have seen this in his limpwristed response to the wholesale slaughter, rape and enslavement of his Christian flock in the Near East. And we have heard nothing from him about the appalling, thoughsadly predictable, consequences of his ludicrous insistence that Catholics actually take these savages into their private homes. This, not even after ISIS had publicly declared that they were smuggling their terrorist operatives in with the great crowds coming over the Mediterranean.
The next time someone tells you that “the pope doesn’t believe in the Just War Theory” you can respond that the news is showing us every day now what the world will look like if he gets his wish that it be abolished. ISIS is perhaps the best demonstration of warfare without justice or moral principles the modern world has yet seen. Even the Nazi savageries were to some degree restrained by the Christian moral background of Europe. Hitler at least had to hide the camps and pretend to offer a justification for his aggressions. National Socialism – as with all forms of post-Christian, atheistic western ideologies – started from the context of Christianized thought, no matter how far they diverge from their origins.
But in ISIS and militant Islam we have seen what humanity is capable of when it is truly unfettered by any vestiges of Christian morality. Western secularist elites have been taken by surprise by these displays of animalistic savagery – something their unconsciously Christianized assumptions were not prepared to deal with. In these Islamic men, the post-Christian world is finally seeing the reality of their relativistic notion of a “different morality.” If you want to know how Muslims think of war, simply invert every item on the list above and you will see what is permissible and even mandated by “Allah”.
Without a concept of the “Just War” we are back to the total barbarism, the savage brutality and indifference to human life and freedom that was warfare in the pre-Christian, ancient world. What did warfare look like before Christianity started holding back the baser instincts? It was aggressive campaigns of conquest; genocidal slaughter of entire populations; total and permanent destruction (“sowing with salt”) of human habitations; routine torture and mass rapes; subjugation, enslavement and deportation of peoples. It was, in short, exactly what Islam has been doing for 1400 years.
Perhaps someone should sit Pope Francis down and show him the photos of what an unjust war looks like. The photos, gleefully uploaded to Twitter and Instagram, of the Christian peoples of the Near East being beheaded, crucified, burnt alive and chopped to bits and the survivors herded as slaves, right now.
As for why the pope talks the way he does – including his logical contradictions, his insults against believers, his persistent misquoting of Scripture and misrepresentation of Catholic teaching – I return to the perspicacious Mr. Spalding who suggests we consider what the devil wants.
“The devil or his demons do not simply lie. They mix lies with truths, half-truths and claims which are simply incoherent. The object is to cause confusion and despair. Hopefully (to them) people will not only come to doubt revealed Christian truth but also the notion that there is any truth. A large part of this demonic rope-a-dope strategy is the spouting of literal non-sense.”
I ask readers to consider carefully what kind of being would mandate that its followers either ignore or “abolish” the Just War Theory.
For further reading on the Just War Theory, one does not have to go far back.
Pacem in terris, Pope John XXIII
Catholic Encyclopedia on “War”
Thomas Aquinas on war, from the Summa
Catechism of the Catholic Church: “On safeguarding peace”
NCR conference at Vatican
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