Apparently it seems that the Church has broken its silence over what Sandro Magister calls “the Islam of Ayatollahs.” The reality however is totally different. The Church simply didn’t leave an opportunity pass by to vent its hatred towards Islam.
Of course, there are many versions of Muslims but there is just one Islam. Vatican just finds it convenient at such occasions to introduce differences among Muslims and vomit its hatred against Islam in the name of “Islam of Ayatollahs” and “Islam of the Taliban.”
One may compare the outbursts of the Church against Iran for its president’s comments with its total silence over what the US is doing in Iraq. The evidence has just surfaced that the US used weapons of mass destruction against civilian population in Fallujah and other cities. However, despite the Italian TV and BBC’s reporting the war crime, neither the Church nor the US media called Bush and his company’s Christian faith into question.
Italian TV just aired a documentary showing evidence of the the US using chemical weapons against civilians in Fallujah. It showed how Giuliana Sgregna, the Italian Journalist who was kidnapped, then nearly assassinated by US troops following her release, had been reporting on that very story along with one other journalist who was killed by US troops at the time. The British Press picked up the story. The rest of the world picked up the story. But the Church and the US media act as if they are not living on this planet.
No one from the Church, sitting in Rome, watching Italian TV documentary about the irrefutable evidence of the US war crimes, dared to condemn Bush or directly target his Christian faith over the use of White Phosphorus against civilian population in Fallujah. Nevertheless, the Church was quick to jump and start criticizing “Islam of Ayatollahs” for the words of Iranian president against Zionism and a state that is racist to its core.
Everything from leaving Bush’s butchery aside and picking Iranian President’s words alone; to keeping their meaning and context aside and jumping to criticizing his faith in defense of Zionism, expose what the general public doesn’t see too often on display from the leaders of the Church.
The Church’s latest attack on Muslim faith is not a surprise at all. The Vatican and Israel stunned the world by signing an agreement on diplomatic relations on December 30, 1993. For 45 years since the birth of Israel, no such relations had existed. In fact, there had been deep bitterness between these two parties.
Just last year, the Church equated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. The announcement was made at a gathering of religious, academic and other leading Jewish and Catholic figures in Buenos Aires in a joint statement: "We oppose anti-Semitism in any way and form, including anti-Zionism that has become of late a manifestation of anti-Semitism." This move by Vatican turned the world around. In the words of a Jewish leader in New York: "In the past, Zionism was equated with racism, and this statement turns anti-Zionism statements to a form of racism."
Vatican’s love affair with Zionism and antagonism towards Islam deepens at a time when other Churches are challenging Israeli policies of never ending occupation and repression. We must keep in mind that they are not doing so just because the Vatican and the Anglican Church have been enemies since the British King, Henry VIII. Their antagonism towards each other didn’t begin because of Israel’s creation in 1948. Presbyterian Church in the US has already decided to use economic sanctions against certain companies doing business with Israel – namely those that profit from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Leaders of the Anglican Church, which in the U.S. includes the Episcopal Church, are the next which followed in the footsteps of the Presbyterian Church. Their actions are based on the reality on the ground, not in blind rivalry with the Vatican.
The latest attempt to direct criticism at Islam in a bid to promote divisions among Muslims and spread hatred against Islam is coming from the same Church which has legitimized the US occupation of Iraq and other crimes on the grounds that there are “bloody terrorist attacks and the continuing insurgency.” It ignored the simple, straight forward fact that the so called insurgency is the direct result of the illegitimate war and occupation. One wonders at the level of understanding of the Pope who is “convinced that only an increased military presence, including Nato troops, can secure peace.” 
Keeping this insensitiveness and lack of logic on the part of Vatican in mind, no one is surprised at the Vatican’s attack on the “Islam of Ayatollahs” for the words of the president of Iran. The Church must not take comments about the Israeli policies out of context and use them as an opportunity to vent its hatred against Islam. Islam has never treated Jews or any other people the way the followers of the Church have in the past many centuries.
The history of the Church includes what Islam cannot even imagine. This history includes the diaspora, the dispersion of the Jews around the world and their expulsion by the Catholic kings of Spain and the Inquisition, the persecutions, pogroms [planned masÂsacres] and ritual murders over cenÂturies and across the whole map of Europe, their confinement in ghettos and the endless humiliations.
Would the Church give Muslims a break and look at its recent history. Pope Pius XII, whose lengthy pontifÂical reign spanned the periods before and after World War II, has been accused in learned treatises and in draÂmatic plays of looking the other way and remaining silent when the Nazis murdered millions of Jews and nonÂJews in the death camps of the HoloÂcaust. He has been accused of failÂing to marshal the moral authority of the Holy See to protest Hitler’s crimes.
When, during the war, the AposÂtolic Delegate in Turkey, Monsignor Angelo Roncalli, urged Pius XII to reÂceive Yitzhak Isaac Halevy Herzog, the Chief Rabbi of Palestine, who wished to plead personally for the rescue of Jews throughout Eastern Europe, the Pope flatly refused.
Of course, the Jews were not the only ones killed in the Inquisition. The Catholic Church killed more than 50 million people during the Inquisition! Only 6 million Jews were killed in World War II. How responsible is Pope Pius XII for the other 40-50 million killed? How dare the Church jumps to condemn faith of a person for his statements, ignoring if faith of the perpetrators of the ongoing killing and oppression in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan or the butchery of millions during the Inquisition have anything to do with their crimes?
Mark Aarons and John Loftus, in their book Unholy Trinity, have abundantly documented the fact that the Vatican heavily sponsored and engineered the infamous "Ratlines"Â used to help most of the Nazi leaders escape the Allies at the end of World War II! The evidence in this book is overwhelming. A reading of the book shows that the Church was more than just silent regarding the Jews in World War II and in their support for the Nazi cause. These facts are so wellÂ-documented that nobody can honestly reject them.
The Vatican’s present attitude and support of the oppressors is an action replay of its past. On March 22, 1998, the Philadelphia Inquirer carried an article summarizing Pius’ 1942 Christmas message in which he lamented the cruelties of war, but failed to even mention the Nazis. Same is the situation today. The Pope is quick in lecturing Muslims and Church is even quicker in condemning “the faith of Ayatollahs,” but there is hardly a single word spoken against the United States use of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and elsewhere.
Wladyslav Raczkiewicz, president of the Polish government-in-exile in 1942, wrote to Pius: "My people …imÂplore that a voice be raised to show clearly and plainly where the evil lies. Today … the Apostolic See must break silence." As was written in the Inquirer, "Pius did not." So will the present day Church never condemn atrocities of the aggressors where they are in Tel Aviv, Washington or London.
Looking at the war-criminals -” Bush and others from his administration -” in the halls of Vatican reminds one of some quotes from the most frightfully shockÂing book: Unholy Trinity. Mark Aarons and John Loftus write:
"It is absurd to believe that 30,000 fugitive Nazis escaped to South America on the few U-Boats remaining at the end of the war, or that they all made their own travel arrangements. Modern popular culture has presented the escape of the Nazis in an adventurous, almost roÂmantic light. The most popular Nazi smugglers are Odessa and Die Spinne, although other mysterious groups are also mentioned from time to time. But in the main these stories owe more to the fertile imagination of script writers and novelists than to historical research and accuracy. The truth is much more ordinary, almost mundane. It is all the more shocking as a result. For whatever sucÂcesses Odessa achieved, they were mere amature at Nazi-smuggling when compared with the Vatican. Draganovic’s Ratline [the name given to the Vatican’s Nazi smuggling operaÂtion] was truly professional, ensuring that many guilty war criminals reached safe havens. Often they did not end up in the remote jungles of South America, but settled instead in Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States" (p. 88).
The Vatican’s out of place criticism of Islam, association with Zionism and support to the occupied regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan is not something new. What else can be expected of the Vatican which supported the Croatian Nazi puppet regime during and after World War II.
This fact was revealed by a US Treasury document, published in July 1997. The Vatican dismissed the accusations, but in Unholy Trinity, Mark Aarons and John Loftus contend that the Vatican has something to hide. Many Serbs, acÂcording to the authors, were butchered using medieval methods. "Eyes had been gouged out," they wrote, "limbs severed, intestines and other internal organs ripped from the bodies of the living. Some were slaughtered like beasts, their throats cut from ear to ear with special knives. Others died from blows to their heads with sledgeÂhammers. Many more were simply burned alive."
Much more alarming, however, is the "special relationship" between the pope and Croatia at a time when CroÂatian fascists were slaughtering Serbs. Aarons and Loftus said the atrocities were already under way when Pope Pius XII met with Ante Pavelic, CroÂatia’s leader, in April 1941.
The pope agreed to meet with Pavelic again in May 1943, by which time the Nazi atrocities against the Serbs were without refute. (One Italian journalist interviewed Pavelic in his home and was shocked to find a large bowl of Serbian eyes the fascist had been collecting.) Yet, according to Unholy Trinity, "Pius himself promised to give Palvelic his personal blessing again. By this time, the Holy See posÂsessed abundant evidence of the atrociÂties committed by his regime."
U.S. intelligence also confirmed that Pavelic had numerous secret meetings with the Under Secretary of State of the Holy See, Monsignor Montini, who later became Pope Paul VI. According to one intelligence official, Unholy Trinity quotes, "Pavelic’s contacts are so high and his present position is so compromising to the Vatican, that any extradition of [Pavelic] would deal a staggering blow to the Roman Catholic Church.”
Any right-thinking person would now understand that it is not something new that the very highest officials in the Catholic Church, including the pope, would associate with and even protect fascists and war criminals.
"For fugitive Nazis," Aarons and Loftus wrote, "all roads led to Rome." High-ranking ministers, civil serÂvants, even Ante Pavelic himself, with help from the Vatican’s Ratlines, were able to disappear into thin air, intelliÂgence sources have confirmed. At the time, the Vatican labeled these escapees "refugees." But they were Croatian fasÂcists who were helping Hitler’s regime!
The Vatican would do a favor to humanity if it could please stop associating Muslim’s guilt with their religion: faith. If the Church had no such intentions as the famous reporter on Church affairs, Sandro Magister, have reported, then the Church must make is clear for the record.
Furthermore, instead of lecturing Muslims, as the new Pope has started doing so, the Church must have a serious look at its past and present association with murderers, torturers and enemies of humanity. Before lecturing others and criticizing their faith, the Church has more to hide or repent of than any other people or institution in the history of the world. The Church may take a lesson from the fact, that despite its wheeling and dealing with fascists in the past and present, no one blames the Church’s faith for the crimes of its followers.
The New Pope has taken a serious course to associating all violence to Muslim faith. It is interesting to note that when the new nuncio in these Gulf states, archbishop Mounged El-Hachem, quoted Paul VI and told in an interview with the English-language Lebanese weekly “Monday Morning,” (edition number 1714, dated October 31, 2005) that there is no link between terrorism and religion, Sandro Magister shot back and quoted Pope Benedict in favor of the argument that holds Muslim faith responsible. archbishop Mounged El-Hachem said: “First of all, I categorically reject any link between religion and terrorism, although I understand your question in view of the present situation. I consider that terror is the result of repression, of suffering, of injustice directed against a person, a group or a particular people, who lose all that they possess and no longer have anything to regret or to lose."
Sandro Magister tried to prove this is not what Pope Benedict believes: "What is most striking about this analysis of Islamist terrorism made by nuncio El-Hachem is that it is in stark contrast with what Benedict XVI said about terrorism during his meeting with Muslim leaders in Cologne on August 20. On that occasion, Benedict XVI gave no quarter to Islamist terrorism. He did not trace its causes back to oppression and misery. Nor did he deny its religious components. On the contrary, he spoke explicitly of ‘atrocities committed in the name of religion.’ And as the “master route” for overcoming it he pointed to the education of minds and hearts." This is how all ground realities are ignored and the situation is presented as if it is Islam or its "mis-interpretation" that is responsible for the continued violence: as if the US didn’t lie; as if it didn’t starve 1.8 million Iraqis before the war; as if there has been no aggression and no use of torture and chemical weapons against civilians; as if all these murderous acts have no consequences at all. As if it is only the Islamic faith stupid.Unfortunately, all those who are dumping the blame of Muslims’ alleged and real crimes on their faith and "mis-interpretation" or "misuse" of religion can hardly answer the question that why did we not see a single Iraqi suicide bomber before the US invasion and crimes against humanity. Were they not Muslims before? Or there was no one to mis-interpret religion for them?
The Pope’s support to the baseless theory perpetrated by Bush, Blair and their allies can hardly cover their lies and crimes. However, if this approach of turning a blind eye to the realities continued, the most terrifying history by far will come upon us in the very near future. It is time we understand the truth. The worst mistake you can make is to refuse to understand!Â
Germany and the Vatican primarily started the war in Yugoslavia. Why would a church which is supÂposed to teach God’s love again ally itÂself with Zionists and neo-cons in their aggression and occupations? Why would it ally itself with the US, UK and Israel in violating all international laws, norms and human rights standards, considering their heinous crimes? Wouldn’t a repentant church or state do just the opposite? Unless they plan for a future somewhat akin to the dream of Adolf Hitler!
. Sandro Magister, “The Church Breaks its Silence over the Islam of the Ayatollahs,” L’espresso, November 12, 2005
. See: http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ran24/inchiesta/video/fallujah_ING.wmv
. Shlomo Shamir, “Catholic Church equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism,” Haaretz, July 09, 2004.
. Ibid., Shlomo Shamir.
. Jane Lampman, From churches, a challenge to Israeli policies,” Christian Science Monitor, December 06, 2004.
. “Episcopal Church next to shun Israel? Anglican leaders following Presbyterians, pushing for divestment from Jewish state,” WorldNetDaily URL: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=40603 URL access: Nov 12, 2005.
. Julian Coman and Bruce Johnston in Rome, “Vatican buries the hatchet with Blair and Bush over Iraq,” Observer, October 10, 2004.
. Parade magazine, April 3, 1994.
. See: Pope Benedict’s August 21, 2005 address to Muslim leaders in Germany.
. Abid Ullah Jan, "To hell with Muslim terrorism:Pope Benedict can do better than lecturing Muslims about terrorism," http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/18309
. Sandro Magister, "The New Nuncio in the Gulf Is Off to a Good Start -” By Bowing to Terrorists," L’espresso, Chiesa, November 14, 2005. http://www.chiesa.espressonline.it/dettaglio.jsp?id=41991&eng=y
. Ibid., Sandro Magister, The New Nuncio.