Why are so many Christians angry at the Pope’s visit to Iraq?
A private survey was taken of papal nuncios (papal ambassadors to countries) and it turned out over 90% voted against the Pope’s trip to Iraq for “security reasons.”
I actually think their concerns are legitimate, if I had a voice in the process, I’d probably do the same. I might even go a step further, I will ask that the person who suggested that trip be taken to a lunatic asylum and that the keys to his ward be thrown away into a bottomless pit and be forgotten forever….
A Pope visiting Iraq is a foolish thing to do, in the sense that Iraq is an active volcano waiting to erupt.
But Pope Francis did anyways.
Yes, he is not my favourite person but I must applaud him for this step.
However, some criticisms of this trip isnt even about the safety of the Pope and his entourage or the concerns that come with the coronavirus, which is also legitimate……. but on very interesting issues.
Some Christians, even Catholics, haven’t slept in days following the visit because they are angry. O yes, angry little devils.
The Pope Francis had an inter-religious gathering of the 3 Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) in the city of Ur, the birth place of Abraham, our common father in faith.
For this lot, such a gathering was a betrayal of the exclusivity of the Christian God. For some protestants, it was proof that the Catholic church is a pagan religion, all embracing of false religions; for traditionalists Catholics, it was proof that Francis is a heretical pope; for liberal Catholics, it was proof that we worship the same God. Idiots!
The truth is that there is no difference between these people and the ISIS that has ravaged Iraq for years. These are our own version of ISIS, a sort of “Christian-Taliban.” Ignorant religious fanatics who know nothing about history and as such live and breathe on controversy. They survive and provoke the embers of inter religious hatred by always demonising people of other faiths and they do it out of ignorance.
When historians says there are “3 Abrahamic religions”, they don’t mean we believe the same thing. If we did, we wouldn’t be divided along those 3 categories to begin with; nor do they mean that we have the same God and as such worship the same God, in the simplistic sense of it. That would be heretical in all three divisions.
What they do mean is that the three religious circles trace back their understanding of God to be the “God of Abraham”, with each accusing the other of either retaining or adding impurities to that understanding. Muslims would easily accept they worship the God of Abraham as would Christians and Jews. No other religious circles makes the claim…… or at least without reservations.
We are so caught up with trivial issues, so much so we missed the interesting highlights of the visit.
On Sunday the Pope prayed among ruined churches in Mosul, the former ISIS stronghold, before meeting Christians.
The Pope visited the Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani of Iraq in Najaf, who is the central Shiite leader of the country. Shiitism constitutes over 60% of the Iraqi population.
The Ayatollah never receives visitors, some of whom are Presidents and kings of countries, on his feet. He always remains seated. But the 90year old Iraqi religious figure stood on his feet to welcome the pope AT THE DOOR OF HIS RESIDENCE to the surprise of Iraqis. The pope reciprocated by removing his shoes at the door of his house, which is like an ultimate mark of respect for Iraqis.
These things might be insignificant but it is little acts like these: of mutual respect and reverence that teaches younger generations how the world should be: “respect for one another.” When people are not taught to respect others, ideological groups like ISIS cease the chance.
Then while we’ve been whining about the visit, we also missed the visit of the pope to Qaraqosh, where he sat in the same church where ISIS murdered 48 Christians preaching forgiveness and respect of other people of faith to the local Christian leadership.
We also missed his visit to Erbil and Mosul, arguably two of the war fronts or Capitals of ISIS, where he visited the burnt down churches and monasteries. He saw first hand what had been down to Christianity in Iraq.
Imagine the Pope, who ISIS themselves branded the “grandest price we will kill” standing at the heart of the Islamic caliphate that promised to kill him.
Think about it!!!
ISIS had promised “Isha Allah” (by the grace of God) that they would kill the Pope; occupy Saint Peter’s Basilica like Sultan Mehmet of the Turks captured Hagia Sofia in today’s Istanbul and convert it to a mosque.
There the pope was at the capital of the now destroyed Islamic state, preaching forgiveness, love, tolerance and coexistence.
If that doesn’t touch your heart, then I don’t think anything will.