The Popes against Islam
Up until 30 years ago, the Popes have been the most consistent, most implacable and most effective enemies of Islam in history. The ancient Zoroastrian Persian emperors who had ruled most of the world until the advent of Islam folded under the onslaught of Islamic armies. The Byzantine emperors fought valiantly but failed. The Emperors of the western Holy Roman Empire, particularly the Hapsburg emperors, were consistently anti-Islam and led several successful struggles against Islamic armies—but they too were too often distracted with rivalries with other European powers to play a central role in the defeat of Islamic aggression against Europe. The Mongols battered Islam but they were weak ideologically and spiritually and so were ultimately either converted to Islam and just faded away into the mists of history. The Confucian Emperors of China were consistently anti-Islam but they were less threatened by Islamic armies than the rest of the world so they never had to confront Islam ideologically as did the rest of the world. The Hindu and Buddhist emperors in India have for centuries fought Islam but were too divided to prevent conquest and forced conversions of population in the North of India.
The only enemies Islam has never defeated are the Popes…at least until now.
Papal enmity against Islam began with the birth of Islam. They right at the beginning branded Islam a heresy and that has been the church’s position ever since. Gregory III (731-741) convinced Charles Martel to fight against invading Muslims at Tours (732). Without that victory Islam may have conquered France. Leo IV (847-855) himself fought at the battle of Ostia, saving Italy from Islam. Alexander II (1061-1073) funded the beginning of the reconquest of Spain. Urban II called for the crusade for the Holy Land at Clermont in 1095. Two hundred years of crusades would follow with many conquests by the West in the Holy Land but ultimate defeat due to internal divisions among European powers. There followed, from the 1300s to the 1800s, 500 years of repeated assaults of Islamic armies against Christendom. The climax of Islamic destruction of Christianity came with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Popes had worked feverishly to awaken Europe to come to the defense of the Byzantines –all to no avail. Nevertheless, the Popes began again to chalk up victories against Islam. Pius V (1566-1577) organized the resistance at the great naval battle of Lepanto and Innocent XI both funded and organized resistance at the great siege of Vienna (1683) and Innocent XIII did the same for the battle of Malta (1726-24). These 3 battles, Lepanto, Vienna and Malta literally saved Europe from becoming Muslim as the Ottomans finally began to decline militarily and ideologically.
The post Vatican II Popes have attempted to emphasize the good things about Islam (they venerate Mary for example) and to cultivate cordial relations with Islam. I think this is a terrible mistake. We all need to awaken to the mortal threat to Christianity that is Islam
The latest savagery by muslim fanatics beggers belief. The deliberate murder with nail bombs of kids at a concert and then a few days later taking a knife and walking up to a random girl on London bridge and stabbing her 15 times. But that was not enough blood; then the animals went and did the same to several others. When will Europe wake up?
London has been hit yet again it seems by another group of adherents to “the religion of peace”…
I cringe when I see my new neighbor’s CO*EXIST bumpersticker. How evil. How insidious of the Left!
I WOULD decisively send any number of these bastards to meet Allah if they ever threatened me or mine… and I’d eat their hearts on a plate, piece by piece – with onions and garlic, washed down with a good red wine. I’m serious. Europe, WAKE UP!!!
May our Lord Jesus have mercy on the souls that departed this blessed earth from England this night at the hands of these evil cowards!
A reading from Matthew 28:16-20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”[d]
This is a wonderful Gospel reading because it provides us with the “Mission” of the Church.
- What are we supposed to do? “Go therefore and make disciples”
- Who are we supposed to make disciples? “of all nations”
- How? “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”
It’s a great idea and quite a challenge, since it indicates that we, who have embraced discipleship, are actually being asked to do something to bring others into communion with the Church. The challenge, of course, is that circling the wagons to commiserate with only those who adhere to our personal opinions of Catholicism is rank with passivity, yet forcing others to embrace our brand of Catholicism has not had a remarkable success rate. In spite of the difficulties, we have been asked by Christ to do something, which means there is a way to do it.
- There is a way to make disciples of all nations.
- God has a plan
- We are part of that plan.
I believe there are a few ways to walk this road.
- First of all, our live’s must attract others to Christ.
- Second, we must each commit to an active ministry with the goal of bringing others to the Church.
- Third, and most importantly, we must make the decision to turn our life over to Jesus and let Him lead the way. This is the basis of the prayer “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I put all my trust in You”. This step is most difficult since it requires us to commit to cooperation with God’s plan, even when it is not what we really want to do (think of the book of Jonah).
Peace and Blessings!