PopeWatch: Why Did the Moslems Not Sack Rome?



In an interview yesterday Pope Francis invoked one of his chief demon groups:  “Fundamentalists”:


“Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions,” Francis said, as reported by the National Catholic Reporter’s Vatican correspondent, Joshua McElwee, and similarly by other journalists on the plane.  “We Catholics have some — and not some, many — who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil.”

“They do evil,” said the pope. “I say this because it is my church.”

“We have to combat it,” he said. “Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God. It is idolatry, like the idolatry of money.”

Turning to Islam, the pope spoke of his friendship with a Muslim, adding, “You cannot cancel out a religion because there are some groups, or many groups in a certain point of history, of fundamentalists.”

“Like everything, there are religious people with values and those without,” he said. “But how many wars … have Christians made? The sacking of Rome was not done by Muslims, eh?”

Go here to read the rest.  So, I guess if you are a Catholic and you believe in absolute truth, you are on the Pope’s lump of coal list and you do evil.  Sigh.  At this point it is even hard to get worked up about this, because Pope Francis is so obviously a deeply confused man, and if the Holy Spirit had any role in his selection, the kindest interpretation is that we are living through an immense divine practical joke.  In regard to his comment about the Muslims not sacking Rome, Holy Father it was not for lack of trying.  The reason they did not do so is because generation after generation of Christians took up arms to defend the Cross.  We can expect the Pope to thank those brave men the 25th of Never.

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  1. Will the Pope change his mind when the Muslims whom he has welcomed into Rome as immigrants do sack the city?

  2. Of course, the issue is two-fold; what is fundamentalism? What is faith?

    isn’t “faith” to a Catholic, far more than just a belief? More importantly, isn’t faith that entirety which you believe in–as for Catholics–the full acceptance of an entire cosmic and spiritual reality? (Atheists practice a form of faith also–in disbelief.)
    Isn’t “fundamentalism” which he consistently calls evil, merely the required firm practice of the fundamentals of our faith? How can a Catholic who ascribes to the fundamentals of Catholicism do evil simply by doing such–that which God demands of His disciples?

    I suspect it is not much more than the “name calling” of those who seek to adhere fervently (as did the saints) to the faith as handed down by the apostles. Casual faith and unrepentant sinning seems to be far more “welcome.”
    It appears as if only God can decipher the confusion that leaves the sheep to ask, what it is that Pope Francis views as following the true faith–the constant secular concerns aside?

  3. No absolute truths. (?)

    Relevantism from the mouthpiece of…God?
    My coffee just turned to dirt.

    I’m so happy the Holy Father has cleared up the foggy notion of TRUTH. Let the party begin. He might as well preach once saved always saved doctrine. Why not? He’s on a roll.

  4. These moments with Francis, seemingly ignorable; these slings and arrows against the Faith, are wearing us down.
    Matthew 24:12 And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.
    We know people will suffer because of religious deception.
    Matthew 24:24 For false messiahs* and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

  5. The best way to deal with the words of this Roman Pontiff is to ignore them.
    Pray for him. Not because you like him or his words or deeds, but because he needs prayers.
    I don’t like him. I wish he would resign. Yet, he will not dissuade me from being Catholic.

  6. Penguins Fan.

    Your right.
    I get frustrated with his teaching and that leads to anger. Prayers for him is key.
    You are spot on…again.

  7. If the Holy Father was referring to the Sack of Rome in 1527, it was carried out by a combined force Spanish Catholic and German Lutheran troops of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, at a time when the Habsburg-Valois rivalry was being fought out in Italy. “The Habsburgs,” observed Cardinal Richelieu over a century later, “have ever been the children of the devil, enemies of God and of France.”
    The earlier Sack of Rome in 410 was carried out by Alaric and his Visigoths, who were Arian Christians. Sidonius Apollonaris says of them that they insulted the Father, denied the Son and most effectually resisted the grace of the Holy Spirit. He was also unfavourably impressed by their table manners.

  8. Actually, God allowed him to become our shepherd for a purpose. We cannot, we do not think as God, or know His purpose is all things such as giving us this pope. Therefore, we must seek (pray) the hidden good in all of this spiritual suffering.
    I see Francis as forcing me to delve deeper and deeper into the truths of our faith, and to learn where and why its truths and error clash–thus I grow in the faith every time he speaks. The confusion he sows, if handled right, can only be a good thing. Things spiritual are strengthened by testing them.

  9. At least this pontiff has the decency to remove any doubt about what he believes and does not believe. For instance, he clearly doesn’t believe in the great commission, unless he believes he is to make all peoples disciples of him.

  10. “Actually, God allowed him to become our shepherd for a purpose.”

    God promotes good and permits evil. In the case of Francis, I think the latter. For it can only be evil to deny that there is absolute truth (if that is actually what he said.)

    This is not to say that Francis is evil. Rather, he holds false ideas and encourages their spread (spare me the argument that he is a clever politician moving people to reassert the truths of the Faith. He is not that clever.) Pray for him even harder as others have said, particularly that he repents and leads others to Heaven instead of where I fear he is leading many.

    The curtain has been pulled and we see the man who plays Pope. It is only those who make an idol of this man who can think otherwise. But indeed, the Holy Spirit still defends the Church and its teaching. Delve deeper into the truth. Learn it and live it better. You are not a fundamentalist but one who follows the Man who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

  11. “Shortly after the siege Pope Leo IV built a strong wall on the right bank of the Tiber, in order to protect the Church of St. Peter. The encircled territory, defended by Castel Sant’Angelo, was named after the pope Leonine City, and was considered a separate town, with own administration. It joined the city in the sixteenth century, becoming the fourteenth rione of Rome, Borgo. In 849, another Arab raid against Rome’s port, Ostia, would be repelled; the city was never again attacked by an Arab fleet.”

  12. They only reason the Muslim didn’t sack Rome was because King Jan Kobieski of Poland stopped them at the Gates of Vienna on 9/11 1683.

  13. “They only reason the Muslim didn’t sack Rome was because King Jan Kobieski of Poland stopped them at the Gates of Vienna on 9/11 1683.”

    And by combined forces at the battle of Lepanto.

  14. I’m sick and tired of the way the word fundamentalist is being misused by people who should know better. It’s always used to mean that someone is some kind of extremist nutcase. Not so! In it’s original, correct usage, it simply referred to Protestants who were trying to hold on to traditional Protestant and Christian doctrines in the face of the creeping modernism that was coming into their churches and educational institutions. When they lost the battle in the mainline churches in the late 1920’s, fundamentalist became a byword for somebody who was old fashioned, out of date, against progress, and so on. The liberals and the modernists always use this word to defame their opponents who dare to question their bankrupt theology. And because of the average person’s ignorance of what the word actually means, it works like a charm in silencing and shaming opponents.

  15. As a nuclear energy professional, there are certain fundamental truths in mathematics, science and engineering to which I must absolutely adhere. If I do not so adhere, then bad things happen. You positively want me to be fundamentalist.
    Now the word fundamentalism is the noun for the adjective fundamental.
    The English adjective fundamental derives from the Latin adjective fundamentalis.
    The Latin adjective fundamentalis derives from the Latin noun fundamentum which means foundation, beginning, or basis.
    The Latin noun fundamentum derives from the Latin verb fundare which means establish, found, or begin.
    The Latin verb fundare is related to the Latin noun fundus which means bottom, farm, piece of land, estate.
    Pope Francis needs to learn the language of the Church instead of spouting off in Peronist Spanish or Mussolini Italian.
    I am sick and tired of these liberal progressive effeminate nit wit pacifist idiot clerics.

  16. My second cup of coffee is so much better than the first cup. Great comments!
    I don’t hate him nor do I think he is evil.
    He’s just anti-apostolic…

  17. I do hope the AC will soon cover the pope’s comments on the UN climate change fiasco and the “suicide” we’re all supposed to be committing with our addiction to CO2.

  18. Unbelievable…does he really NOT understand what the word ‘fundamentalist’ means? So…….is he comparing ‘Fundamentalist Catholics’ with ‘Fundamentalist Islamics’ ??? And in his mind, these ‘Fundamentalist Islamics’ are the ones chopping heads off and burning people alive? And………….I wonder in his mind what ‘Fundamentalist Catholics’ do that can compare with this evil? First of all, it is correct that this man obviously has no idea what the word actually means. Or, if he actually thinks he does, he obviously has a huge brain problem. Fr. Lombardi needs to put some kind of a gag order when he’s on a plane going anywhere. He is a DISASTER! Yep, I will pray for him big time, but will never like what comes out of his mouth. Am actually praying for him to resign because I cannot imagine another Pope that would equal his anti Catholic sentiments.

  19. The Pope’s now serial use of the term “fundamentalism” might be interpreted as insidious, but certainly problematic. He uses the term typically in reference to Islam and as a comparator to Christian and Catholic “fundamentalists.” Thus, regardless of his ill defined use of the term, it is clear that he uses the term in a relative way, as a comparator as between Islamic terrorists, certain Catholics which he seems unwilling to identify clearly but deems as bad people, and of course certain Protestant Christians. And it’s this relativism, this fake equivalency, which is so deeply worrisome. In this context, the Pope actually undermines the fundamental truths of the Faith. At this point, I’m not even sure he grasps the fallout from his comments. Of course, we know of no Catholic fundamentalists espousing the use of terror on innocent people to advance the Faith….though we are all praying for priests and bishops who advance the Faith through Catholic fundamentals.

  20. The moslems may have not sacked Rome but they are all headed for an unpleasant place unless we Catholics go to their aid.
    Because the worst Christian is by far better that the best moslem.
    And why?
    Because every Christian accepts the saving blood of Jesus while every moslem says Jesus did not die for anybody’s sins.

  21. I just read this post about the urban/rural divide in america, and it made me think of this. Maybe America isn’t the only one suffering from the divide, it seems like the pope could spend some time closer to God’s works (the big wild) and be reminded just how unruly and dangerous the world can be before even considering our own sinful natures making it worse.

  22. Oh and I’ll point out that as shared in those videos I linked to last week (should be #3 around the 10 min mark), Nazereth was considered the fundamentalist town OF ALL fundamentalist towns in Israel. The “buckle of the bible belt” we might call the equivalent in the USA. Ultra-conservative, rigid, orthodox… all used to describe the Boss’ hometown.

    Does the Pope really know anything about the Man he is supposed to be serving?

  23. The Pope got himself into this mess because he wanted to be fair to those Muslims who do not take up arms and kill other Muslims and Christians. Yes, many Muslims are peace loving people, however they are those who ignore Sharia Law as it is found in the Koran, but others inspired by the Koran are hell bound in spreading this to the ends of the earth as ordered by Allah. So we have the killing of homosexuals, the beheading of infidels,the rape of women, the death sentence for those who convert from Islam. It is very hard to see this as fundamental in the way the Pope claimed when for fourteen hundred years it has been part of the Muslim Faith, spread by fear and the sword. They are following the teaching of Mohammed. As a Catholic fundamentalist I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament which is a command of spreading love and compassion, so my fundamentalism is quite different. The Pope is swayed by popular opinion and really needs to mature if he wants to lead the Church in the path of Christ.

  24. I wonder what the Patriarch of Constantinople thinks of the Pope’s comments. I can offer my opinion as an Armenian: those places which have not yet been captured by Islamic troops are free because of the soldiers who have died blocking their path.

  25. The Pope is scapegoating, plain and simple. Scapegoating is a practice well explained by the recently deceased Rene Girard. Someone needs to apply Girard’s insights to the Pope’s speeches.

  26. It is the seeming rejection of Absolute Truth that most troubles me. If anything more is said at all, it will be to explain that His Holiness was speaking of falsehoods, of pharisaical dogmatism.

    Beyond a doubt, such persons exist in every religion and in every time. I humbly suggest that many of any religion’s most steady adherents dabble in such practices. It is hard not to.

    The thing is that I tire of the “what he really meant was…” explanations. Were one of my staff to engage in a fraction of such seemingly off-the-cuff remarks to stakeholders, I would terminate their employment. One of the things we should expect of public figures is deliberate speech and action. Errors, from time to time, are inevitable. We are human, not divine. But, at some point, the costs of having such a one in the public eye outweigh the benefits.

    His Holiness is far too loose with his tongue, too general in his explanations, and too utopian in his ideas. He is losing the Good Son in his efforts to gain the prodigal one.

    That is a tragedy of epic proportions and his administration cannot end soon enough for my taste.

  27. John Kearney wrote, “Yes, many Muslims are peace loving people, however they are those who ignore Sharia Law as it is found in the Koran, but others inspired by the Koran are hell bound in spreading this to the ends of the earth as ordered by Allah. “

    Well, this I imagine is what the Holy Father would regard as a “fundamentalist” interpretation, in contrast to, say, the great Persian Sufi mystic, Bayazid Bastami (804-874), known as “one of the six bright stars in the firmament of the Messenger,” whose shrine in Chittagong is still an important place of pilgrimage.
    “How, “ he was asked, “does Islam view other religions?”
    “All are vehicles and a path to God’s Divine Presence,” he replied.
    As a Sufi, he taught the unity of God (“there is no God but God”) means that He alone is being and that the self and the created world are illusions. This he regarded as the root of all religions, so all provide a path to enlightenment – Not a fundamentalist, you see.
    Then again, in 1926 some Islamic scholars in Turkey justified the abolition of sharia law and its replacement with the Swiss Civil Code, the German Commercial Code and the Italian Penal Code on the grounds that the Quran is “a record of spiritual experience and not a source of juridical norms.” Very much what Reform rabbis were saying of the Torah. Again, not fundamentalists.
    When it comes to interpreting a book, “tot homines quot sententiae,” with as many opinions as there are readers.

  28. “. . . believe in the absolute truth”
    The question no longer is rhetorical, “Is the Pope Catholic?”
    Reminds me of an old GI saying, “Don’t urinate on my shoes and tell me it’s raining.”
    Posted at Instapundit: “In moments like this, it is always wise to remember Klavan’s First Rule of Mainstream Media Reporting: Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted (as in jihadi massacres) , the incident is considered an aberration — and treating it as representative is deemed hateful.”

  29. “. . . The sacking of Rome was not done by Muslims, eh?”
    God Almighty armed the angels against Lucifer and the rebellious angels.

    As they did to Constantinople and Hagia Sophia, Muslims would have sacked Rome and remade St. Peter’s Basilica into a mosque, except they were stopped by Christians like the Knights of Malta, Robert Guiscard, Charles Martel, a couple hundred thousand Crusaders, et al.
    One of my favorite lines from the movie “My Cousin Vinny” is, “Everything that guy just said is bullshit.”
    Tragically, a portion of what this leftist in the Vatican says is spucatum tauri. It isn’t disrespect, libel or slander if it’s true.

  30. The pilots just need to decrease the cabin altitude. Pope Francis obviously suffers from hypoxia at normal pressures and says ridiculous things he would never utter at sea level.

  31. The more I hear from this Pope, the more I am convinced that the Catholic Church is the apostate church, John, describes in Revelation. The Holy Spirit and Our Father, truly do work in mysterious ways. Something we need to think about, this time of year. For we do not know the hour or the day.

  32. David – I understand the feeling, but the Pope isn’t one of your staff. Meanwhile, our ventings endanger the faith of others like George. I do think that this statement of the Pope can be explained; I think it’s a bad paraphrase of Paul’s “and have not love” passage. I’d really be happier if we didn’t have to find ways to reconcile papal statements with the truth. But we have to make sure that we’re not causing scandal.

  33. “The more I hear from this Pope, the more I am convinced that the Catholic Church is the apostate church”

    Nope, it is the Bride of Christ. Unfortunately sometimes we are saddled with a lemon of a Vicar and that is what is happening now.

  34. “Lemon of a Vicar” is putting it mildly, but charitably. He is the product of his time, his order and his nation, none of which makes him qualified to be a street sweeper, let alone a bishop in the Catholic Church.

    The Catholic Church is NOT the Roman Pontiff. Never has been. Not with great popes and not with the Left Wing Latin Loonybird we must all pray for. He can be mean and nasty with the Curia or the FFI or Cardinal Burke, but he has zero ability to do anything like that to me.

    The Church survived the Roman persecutions, the barbarians, the Great Schism, Moorish and Ottoman invasions, Henry Tudor, Martin Luther, Karl Marx, Masons, the French Revolution, Nazis and Communists. It will survive Jorge Maria Bergoglio, who compared to these examples is just another MSNBC loudmouth. At times, he reminds me of a couple of quotes from the Transformers cartoons of the 1980s.

    “I am the new Decepticon leader!”
    “You couln’t lead a pack of rats to a garbage can.”

    “You’re either lying – or you’re stupid.”
    “I’m stupid! I’m stupid!”

  35. Thank you for the reminder, Pinky. It is a danger that I should keep more at the forefront of my mind.

    I struggle with whether it is better to remain silent on such matters. The clearest argument for silence is that speaking seems to do no good. Those who agree need no convincing and my complaints have brought no one closer to God that I am aware of.

    His Holiness has good, wise, smart folks about him that he does not seem to be listening to. If not them, why me?

    So, my gripes are doing no good and may do harm and that is a clear argument for keeping my gripes to myself so I aplreciate the reminder.

  36. J.M.J.

    Will someone in the hierarchy PLEASE openly entertain the possibility that Francis is not Pope! Benedict still lives in the Vatican, wears the papal whites, has his papal coat-of-arms, is addressed as His Holiness, etc., which sure looks like he hasn’t really resigned. (What resigning pope of the past had ever maintained this arrangement after he resigned?) There can’t be two popes at the same time!
    ‘Nuff said!

    Our Lady of Akita, ora pro nobis!

  37. The question of absolute truth in religion was one that lay behind the Greek Fathers’ use of the term “economy,” as Bl John Henry Newman explains: “And since this everlasting and unchangeable quiescence is the simplest and truest notion we can obtain of the Deity, it seems to follow, that strictly speaking, all those so-called Economies or dispensations, which display His character in action, are but condescensions to the infirmity and peculiarity of our minds, shadowy representations of realities which are incomprehensible to creatures such as ourselves, who estimate everything by the rule of association and arrangement, by the notion of a purpose and plan, object and means, parts and whole. What, for instance, is the revelation of general moral laws, their infringement, their tedious victory, the endurance of the wicked, and the “winking at the times of ignorance,” but an “Economia” of greater truths untold, the best practical communication of them which our minds in their present state will admit? … And though on the mind’s first mastering this general principle, it seems to itself at the moment to have cut all the ties which bind it to the universe, and to be floated off upon the ocean of interminable scepticism; yet a true sense of its own weakness brings it back, the instinctive persuasion that it must be intended to rely on something, and therefore that the information given, though philosophically inaccurate, must be practically certain; a sure confidence in the love of Him who cannot deceive, and who has impressed the image and thought of Himself and of His will upon our original nature. Here then we may lay down with certainty as a consolatory truth, what was but a rule of duty when we were reviewing the Economies of man; viz. that whatever is told us from heaven, is true in so full and substantial a sense, that no possible mistake can arise practically from following it.”

  38. Given that this answer was given as part of a response to a question on Islamic terror, how is it any different in substance from Obama’s dig at Christians about the Crusades and the Inquisition?

  39. I wonder if Pope Francis considers Jesus a fundamentalist? And all the saints and martyrs?
    Has Pope Francis lost his mind, his faith? It sure seems that way.

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