Pope Francis, it seems, can't stop squandering whatever little true moral capital he has left. Last week the ageing pontiff, who is much given to periodic bouts of showboating, decided to drop to his knees before several recent Muslim migrants to Europe (call them "refugees," if you will) from North Africa and the Middle East. He then proceeded to wash the asylum seekers' feet with holy water before wiping them clean and kissing them. A cringe-worthy spectacle that was.
It was a customary rite for Holy Thursday, of course, during which a regnant Vicar of Christ may choose to reenact a public act of humility by emulating Jesus, who washed the feet of his disciples prior to his crucifixion. But not for Francis simple humility. Instead, the media-savvy pope could not resist the temptation to use the contrived photo-op to continue leading beleaguered Europeans down a primrose path by way of "moral guidance."
There the Holy Father was, sanctimoniously harping on his oft-repeated homily that Europeans besieged by militant Islam should throw their arms and houses wide open for the massive influx of Muslim migrants who are threatening the very social, political, and religious fabrics of their societies. “I like it a lot when I see nations, governments, who open their hearts and open their doors (to migrants),” His Holiness asserted. Right. I'll like it a whole lot more when I see him open the Vatican's own doors instead. Let me know when that happens.
Simultaneously, the pontiff was trotting out fatuous "We're-the-World" platitudes. “We have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace,” he intoned. His Holiness should tell that to the countless Islamists who are plotting endlessly to murder as many Europeans as they can and whenever they can. Some of them have just slaughtered 31 commuters in a series of suicide bomb attacks in Brussels. A prime suspect behind the bomb attacks at the city's airport is a Belgian-born Muslim, Fayçal Cheffou, ("the main in the hat" from security footage), who happens to be -- wait for it -- a "rights activist" for Muslim migrants. The irony of that should not be lost on us. Meanwhile, over in Lahore, Pakistan, while local Christians celebrated Easter Sunday, an Islamic suicide bomber self-detonated among them, killing at least 70 men, women and children.
And Francis' response to the brutal war on Christendom and the West? He kisses the feet of people from the very religion responsible for it. Then again, this is a man who has called the Brussels bloodbath a "gesture of destruction," thereby making it sound as if this latest Islamic terror attack was nothing more than a passing nuisance. If this is the kind of "moral infallibility" that the head of the Vatican can muster these days, his flock is doomed. Francis doesn't just want European Christians to "turn the other cheek"; he wants them to emulate him by bending the knee to people many of whom make no secret of their desire to murder or subjugate all non-Muslims. Any minute now the pope might grab a guitar and launch into a soulful rendition of "Give Peace a Chance."
And he wasn't done yet. “All of us, together: Muslims, Hindi, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals. But brothers, children of the same God,” the pope pontificated. For starters, Hindi is a language, not a people, but let's let that pass. He also neglected to mention Jews. What's up with that? But let's ignore that, too. What's most galling is his mindless, politically-correct ecumenism. It may have escaped His Holiness's attention, but Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, not to mention Hinduism, are contradictory and mutually exclusive religions. Islam denies the divinity of Jesus, or even that Jesus died on the cross. Hindus believe in a vast pantheon of deities and reject the monotheism of the three Abrahamic faiths. Either Jesus atoned for the sins of humanity, as per the teachings of Christianity, or he didn't, as per the teachings of Islam. Either Mohammed was a perfect example for all people in all ages to follow, as Islam has it, or he was a terrible example that no one should follow, as many non-Muslims contend, and so on and so forth.
Francis is the Catholic Church's first pope who is an out-and-out social justice warrior. That's not a compliment. Like many a self-styled SJW, he prides himself on moral virtues he hasn't earned or demonstrated. He is dangerously deluded if he thinks that his protestations of love will sway the suicide bombers. Needless to say, pious Muslims rarely if ever reciprocate his and his likeminded "progressive" fellow travelers' sycophantic overtures. "We want to live in peace, integrated,” the pope avowed. We all do. But whose fault is that there is no peace in Europe and that certain immigrants have refused to ingrate into their host societies? What unites all those immigrants who have remained stubbornly and often violently unassimilated -- from France to Germany to Belgium to Holland to Sweden to England -- is that they all happen to be... Muslim. Across the continent, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, animists and atheists all get on very well, thank you very much. It's many Muslims who can't get along with anyone else, and often each other.
The very same day the pope was on his knees kissing the feet of random migrants outside an asylum center in Rome, a Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow, who seem to have been blissfully well-integrated indeed, was savagely murdered by two other Muslim men in what police described as a "religiously prejudiced" attack. A few hours before he was stabbed to death, Asad Shah relayed a heartfelt public Easter message on Facebook to his Christian friends. By doing so, he violated one of Allah's commands to Muslims. "O ye who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for friends!" the Koran (5:51) counsels. "They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk."
Yet many Europeans can't stop wanting to befriend Muslims, a lot of whom would instead prefer to see them dead. After every new act of savagery on European soil by Islamic terrorists comes the usual merry-go-round of feckless groveling, spearheaded by the likes of Pope Francis. The script has by now been perfected to a T. First, there's a bit of a shock at the callous brutality of the attackers and a bit of tough talk about waging war on a nebulous miasma of "radicalism," which "knows no religion." That done, it's on to distancing the self-proclaimed soldiers of Allah from Islam by claiming they have misunderstood a fine and peaceful religion and violated Islam's core teachings of universal brotherhood among all people (which happen not to exist). That is then followed immediately by warnings, repeated ad nauseam, of an imminent backlash (which never materializes) by "bigoted," "racist" and "xenophobic" Europeans against innocent Muslims who, we're told, are the real victims of Islamic terrorism. Finally, the crescendo of misdirection culminates in lectures to Europeans on their failure to integrate Muslims better and calls on them to atone some more for their forefathers' alleged misdeeds against the great religion of Islam.
Peace will come only when it's not native Europeans but Muslims who are expected to engage in extensive soul-searching apropos the self-evident failures of their communities and societies. Europeans have not failed Muslim immigrants. It's many Muslim immigrants in Europe who have failed their host societies by refusing to integrate and become productive members of them, even as they continue to incubate an atavistic grievance culture of violent jihadism.
Pope Francis should man up and get up from his knees. Groveling isn't a virtue in the face of violent jihad; it's a sign of weakness and moral cowardice. Then again, the stalwarts of the Islamic State have openly declared war against the Vatican ("We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted") will like a pope on his knees just fine.