Christians are being massacred by jihadists in Baghdad, but the Vatican has been largely silent, writes Evelyn Gordon at Commentary magazine's Contentions blog. Instead of speaking out forcefully against the terrorists who commit these crimes against Christians, the Church has focused its indignation on Israel, blaming the Jewish State for the lack of peace in the Middle East.
For example, in mid-October the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, called for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, calling it "an evil for both Palestinians and Israelis." If it proved impossible to establish a Palestinian state next to Israel, Twal said that he would favor creation of "one, single democratic state" in Palestine. Given substantially higher Palestinian Arab birthrates, Israelis regard this as a formula for the destruction of their country.
At a Vatican synod convened by the pope that same month, bishops issued a communique telling Israel it should not use the Bible to justify "injustices" against the Palestinians. Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation church in Boston, suggested that Israel is illegitimate.
"The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands," Bustros said. He stated that "the Palestinian refugees will eventually come back" - another demographic formula for Israel's destruction.
The Catholic bishops, Gordon argues, are ignoring the real threat to embattled Christians in the Middle East: terrorist violence perpetrated by Islamist radicals. In Iraq, for example, hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled the country since the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that many fleeing Iraqi Christians "evoked the mass departure of Iraq's Jews after the establishment of Israel in 1948."
"It's exactly what happened to the Jews," said Nasser Sharhoom, who fled last month from Baghdad to the Kurdish capital Erbil. "They want us all to go."
The Vatican synod statement is evidence that the Catholic Church "isn't merely remaining silent; it's actively speaking out against the Jews - and thereby collaborating with its own enemies, the radical Islamists," Gordon writes. "It evidently hopes to thereby turn the Islamists' wrath away from Christians. But as the recent attacks show, appeasement hasn't worked."