The Popes Speak

Those of you who have been loyal readers for the past year and a half may sneer at the indolence, but I couldn’t resist reposting a passage highlighted here in the summer of 2014. This occasioned by news of an attack and mass execution at a Yemeni rest home run by Catholic missionaries. As an aside, how many elderly Christians are coddled to natural expiration by selfless Muslim caregivers? No matter, I’m wondering aloud–back to the story.

4 nuns, 12 others killed in Yemen elderly home attack

The Vatican on Saturday reported the murder of four Missionaries of Charity members plus 12 others at an elderly facility in the port city of Aden.

According to an official Vatican News report, gunmen burst into the building Friday, went room-to-room handcuffing victims, then shot all 16 in the head.

The attack — characterized by Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin as an “act of senseless and diabolical violence” — spurred a sharp rebuke from Pope Francis.

Shooting bound nuns and the infirm in the head. I imagine Merkel won’t allow this gesture to stand without fast-tracking the perpetrators to Munich. They’ve got to escape war as much as anyone else. You want them to risk drowning in a callous sea?

Though almost certainly Francis wasn’t as inclined toward charity. Let’s hear his righteous vituperation.

The Pope “prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue.”

That had to sting. As a combatant, one must realize that waking consciences are merely wrath’s prelude. A sort of great summoning for men of the faith to paint red crosses on their breasts and take up dialogue with extreme prejudice.

How our civilizational vitality has advanced from the effete mewling of supine forebears. For instance, this is how Pope Urban II discussed a very similar issue in frail antiquity:

Oh, race of Franks, race from across the mountains, race chosen and beloved by God as shines forth in very many of your works set apart from all nations by the situation of your country, as well as by your catholic faith and the honor of the holy church! To you our discourse is addressed and for you our exhortation is intended. We wish you to know what a grievous cause has led us to Your country, what peril threatening you and all the faithful has brought us.

From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians, an accursed race, a race utterly alienated from God, a generation forsooth which has not directed its heart and has not entrusted its spirit to God, has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; it has led away a part of the captives into its own country, and a part it has destroyed by cruel tortures; it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated them for the rites of its own religion. They destroy the altars, after having defiled them with their uncleanness. They circumcise the Christians, and the blood of the circumcision they either spread upon the altars or pour into the vases of the baptismal font. When they wish to torture people by a base death, they perforate their navels, and dragging forth the extremity of the intestines, bind it to a stake; then with flogging they lead the victim around until the viscera having gushed forth the victim falls prostrate upon the ground. Others they bind to a post and pierce with arrows. Others they compel to extend their necks and then, attacking them with naked swords, attempt to cut through the neck with a single blow. What shall I say of the abominable rape of the women? To speak of it is worse than to be silent. The kingdom of the Greeks is now dismembered by them and deprived of territory so vast in extent that it can not be traversed in a march of two months. On whom therefore is the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you? You, upon whom above other nations God has conferred remarkable glory in arms, great courage, bodily activity, and strength to humble the hairy scalp of those who resist you.

Let the deeds of your ancestors move you and incite your minds to manly achievements; the glory and greatness of king Charles the Great, and of his son Louis, and of your other kings, who have destroyed the kingdoms of the pagans, and have extended in these lands the territory of the holy church. Let the holy sepulchre of the Lord our Saviour, which is possessed by unclean nations, especially incite you, and the holy places which are now treated with ignominy and irreverently polluted with their filthiness. Oh, most valiant soldiers and descendants of invincible ancestors, be not degenerate, but recall the valor of your progenitors!

I would have to consult the texts to know the Franks’ response, though the chance it involved state-subsidized housing for millions of itinerant Persions seems slight. Ahh well, societies evolve. Sometimes all the way to the grave.

8 thoughts on “The Popes Speak

  1. Pingback: The Popes Speak | Reaction Times

  2. Indolence forgiven Porter.
    Thought I had gone through all your work but either I missed this or it just hit that much harder in a different day and circumstance.
    This was powerful stuff. I’m immensely understating my feelings here but I’ll leave it at that since you and Pope Urban II are the only ones in this room who could adequately describe it in words.

    So keep on doing your thing. Maybe some day you’ll grace the pages of… Wait, what can I say that wouldn’t be an insult. NYT? The Unz Reveiw? Ha. I guess WordPress it is.

  3. Notice Urban’s explicit differentiation between nation and country, as well as the acknowledgement of the former’s exclusive possession of the latter. There’s no Woody Guthrie this land is your land gobbledygook. Urban also makes no appeals to the Frankish economy, and seems wholly indifferent to whispers of xenophobia. Is he even a True Conservative?

    To read such clear and rational sentiments from antiquity is to grasp (whether with sorrow or amusement) the depths of ossified superstition to which we have plunged. If a person could disconnect themselves emotionally from the outcome, it would be fascinating to see how much further we could devolve before succumbing to the superior lucidity of house cats.

  4. “If a person could disconnect themselves emotionally”…..at 70 I believe I have. Ain’t it fun? I support Trump, maybe I will even vote for him in the land of Pa. He may fail to Cruz. Or be overwhelmed by the Hillary. I have won and lost so many times, all I can say is: Thanks for your posts and in reality: Ain’t it fun?

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