By: Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom—
As his five-day visit to the United States comes to an end, Pope Francis continues to receive the undivided attention of audiences as major in number as in stature.
It is not clear whether the head of the Holy See is worried about the danger of succumbing to the sin of pride from having his ring kissed so readily by so many illustrious figures.
Something for which the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church ought to hang his head in shame, however, is his repeated sins of omission.
While Christians across the Middle East are being terrorized, tortured, sold into slavery and slaughtered, the pope spoke before the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, at Ground Zero and other venues about peace and justice.
One did not need to read between the lines to see the communist message in each of his addresses. Indeed, he basically recommended redistributing the world’s wealth (“pool our resources,” is how he put it) as a solution to many of the world’s problems. And though this normally would not matter so much — because he is a member of the clergy, not running for office or teaching economics — it is worse than appalling in the current context.
Radical Islamists are not only killing Jews and Christians; they are killing other Muslims, which is why Europe is being flooded with migrants fleeing the Middle East for safer shores. Talking about this massive humanitarian crisis and so many others without naming their perpetrators is not merely disingenuous; it is equivalent to disseminating a bald-faced lie.
In his address to the U.N. on Friday morning, for example, the pope praised the Iran deal and used it to exemplify the kind of unity that is needed to confront all challenges.
“The recent agreement reached on the nuclear question in a sensitive region of Asia and the Middle East is proof of the potential of political good will and of law, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy,” he said, adding that “hard evidence is not lacking of the negative effects of military and political interventions which are not coordinated between members of the international community.”
And this is how he described the Islamist campaign to rid the planet of “infidels”: “While regretting to have to do so, I must renew my repeated appeals regarding the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement.
“These realities should serve as a grave summons to an examination of conscience on the part of those charged with the conduct of international affairs. Not only in cases of religious or cultural persecution, but in every situation of conflict, as in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan and the Great Lakes region, real human beings take precedence over partisan interests, however legitimate the latter may be.”
It is worth noting, as Claudia Rosett did in Forbes on Friday, “Today, the U.N. is increasingly becoming a clubhouse for a rising new axis of dictators. In its menu of privileges for member states, the U.N. does not distinguish between democracies and dictatorships.”
Clearly, neither does the pope.
Following his blessing of this body of despots and apologists, which is marking 70 years since its establishment, the pontiff went to the site of the World Trade Center, where — 14 years ago this month — thousands of people met horrific deaths at the hands of radical Muslim murderers. There Pope Francis joined religious leaders from all faiths to commemorate the anniversary.
At Ground Zero, he attributed the “wrongful and senseless loss of innocent lives” to “injustice” and “the failure to settle conflicts through dialogue.”
He also said, “For all our differences and disagreements, we can live in a world of peace. … Peace in all those places where war never seems to end.”
That Pope Francis advocated pacifism is neither new nor surprising. But he is educated enough to know that war only ends when the enemy is defeated; it never stops as a result of “dialogue.”
The only possible excuse for his misguided views is that he is a man of the cloth, beholden to a higher authority and bound by moral, not political, considerations. This is nonsense, of course, given his many previous words and deeds that would make him worthy of a prominent place in the Democratic Party or Palestinian Authority parliament.
But even if one were to ignore the latter, the pontiff’s address to Congress on Thursday put all doubt about the former to rest.
“We must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind,” he said. “But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners.”
This sums up perfectly what Pope Francis and those who share his stance are overlooking. As heaven knows, good cannot overcome evil unless both are acknowledged and only one fought for.
Ruthie Blum is a Tel Aviv-based author and journalist.