But be true shepherds, with your crooks always in your hands. Do not go to sleep, but guard on all sides the flock committed to you. For if through your carelessness or negligence a wolf carries away one of your sheep, you will surely lose the reward laid up for you with God. And after you have been bitterly scourged with remorse for your faults, you will be fiercely overwhelmed in hell, the abode of death.
Pope Urban II, Speech at Council of Clermont, 1095
The latest atrocity by ISIS brought a predictable response from the Pope:
Pope Francis, he said, “again condemns the blind violence which has caused so much suffering, and he implores God for the gift of peace, invoking upon the grieving families and on all Belgians the benefit of divine blessings.”
The Pope’s prayers come after at least 34 people were killed and 170 more injured in March 22 attacks at Brussels Zaventem international airport and a city metro station near buildings belonging to the E.U.
Go here to read the rest. Let us recall the oft repeated claim by the Pope that wars are caused by arms merchants. I can understand why the Pope believes this fable. It is easier to condemn wars if one does not have to recognize that wars are almost always the product of basic conflicts between two or more groups over land, ideology, religion, etc. Wars would be easy to stop if they were simply caused by the machinations of a handful of greedy men. Such is not the case, and as a result wars are hard to avoid and harder to stop. The Pope’s condemning the attacks as “blind violence”, couldn’t be farther from the truth. ISIS seeks to set up a caliphate in the Middle East that will ultimately encompass the globe. These type of dramatic attacks enhance their status among radical Muslims, and produces more fear of ISIS around the world. From the point of view of ISIS these attacks are certainly not blind violence, but rather an essential part of their struggle to power.
Pope Francis of course has no clue how to deal with ISIS. He has fully embraced the anti-war ethos of the contemporary West. He has faith in dialogue and a strong instinct that if the West only ramps up economic assistance to the Middle East and takes in an unlimited amount of Middle Eastern “refugees”, all will be well. The Pope truly does believe this fatuous nonsense and therefore when an event like the attacks in Belgium occur, they have to be “blind”, “irrational”, etc. Accepting that we are dealing with a cruel enemy with a carefully thought out goal that they are seeking to implement atrocity by carefully executed atrocity, would cause the Pope to be calling for the use of military force, and lots of it, to ensure that not only the victims of ISIS need to fear sudden death, and to stop ISIS in its course. Alas, the Pope would sooner eat ground glass than accept an obvious truth: Si vis pacem, para bellum.