Source: Jihad Watch, By Robert Spencer, January 31, 2020
This article encapsulates so much about what is wrong with the contemporary Catholic Church and the imperative of “interfaith dialogue,” and illustrates the apparently impenetrable confusion people have today between criticizing ideas and discriminating against human beings.
The Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke apologized “for saying in a sermon that Islam was ‘the greatest threat in the world’ to the United States and Christianity.”
There have been over 36,000 jihad attacks around the world since 9/11, each committed in the name of Islam and in accord with its teachings. Jihad groups routinely call for jihad massacres in the United States and of Americans. As for Christianity, in 2019, Christians faced “extreme, very high or high levels of persecution” in 73 countries, affecting 245 million Christians. In the Middle East, the Christian share of the population has shrunk to about 5 percent (if that), down from more than 20 percent at the turn of the last century. The decline attests to a century of ruthless persecution — bookended by the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian genocides committed by Turkey a century ago and the recent one attempted by ISIS. The ten worst countries in the world today for Christians, with the worst ranked first, are North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Iran — eight Muslim countries, one with nearly fifty percent Muslim population, and North Korea.
So is Islam a threat to the United States and Christianity? That is obvious. But when VanDenBroeke noted this, Hamas-linked CAIR complained, and no one involved seems to have pointed out that CAIR has ties to Hamas, and has opposed virtually every counterterror initiative that has ever been proposed or implemented. Instead, Roman Catholic leaders immediately compelled VanDenBroeke to apologize, and note the statement of Archbishop Bernard Hebda: he “quoted Pope Benedict XVI as saying that the church looks with esteem to Muslims, who worship God through prayer, fasting and the giving of alms,” and said: “If all of us who believe in God desire to promote reconciliation, justice and peace, we must work together to banish every form of discrimination, intolerance and religious fundamentalism,” Hebda said. “He added that Pope Francis also has stressed the importance of dialogue between Catholics and Muslims and has urged all Christians and Muslims to be ‘true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular through education.’”
All right. But none of what Hebda said actually speaks to the point VanDenBroeke was making. To note that Islam is a threat does not mean that one does not esteem Muslims as human beings. This point is constantly confused nowadays, often by people who want to discredit those who raise awareness of the jihad threat by claiming that they hate Muslims as people. In reality, however, to criticize an ideology is not to hate anyone. To note that Nazism was a threat did not mean that one hated Germans, or did not esteem them as human beings.
Nor did VanDenBroeke promote any form of “discrimination, intolerance and religious fundamentalism.” He simply noted a threat, which is a real threat. He said: “I believe it is essential to consider the religion and worldview of the immigrants or refugees.” Well, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be reckless not to do so?
One thing is certain: VanDenBroeke is right, at least regarding today’s Catholic Church, when he said: “I realize that my comments were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Islam.” All too many Catholic hierarchs behave as if it really is a dogma of the Church that Islam is not and cannot be a threat. They are, of course, ignorant of their Church’s own history, as The History of Jihad demonstrates in detail.
“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14).
“Minnesota Priest Apologizes For Calling Muslims A ‘Threat,’” Associated Press, January 30, 2020 (thanks t0 David):
LONSDALE, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota Roman Catholic priest apologized Wednesday for saying in a sermon that Islam was “the greatest threat in the world” to the United States and Christianity.
The Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke apologized in a statement issued by the St. Paul-Minnesota Catholic archdiocese. He had made the comments in a Jan. 5 sermon at the Lonsdale, Minnesota, church where he serves as pastor.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, had called earlier Wednesday on Minnesota’s Roman Catholic church leaders to repudiate the sermon. CAIR’s request came after the newspaper City Pages published an article Wednesday about the sermon.
In his statement Wednesday, VanDenBroeke said his homily “contained words that were hurtful to Muslims. I’m sorry for this. I realize that my comments were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Islam.”
In the statement from the archdiocese, Archbishop Bernard Hebda said that the church’s teaching is clear, and he quoted Pope Benedict XVI as saying that the church looks with esteem to Muslims, who worship God through prayer, fasting and the giving of alms.
“If all of us who believe in God desire to promote reconciliation, justice and peace, we must work together to banish every form of discrimination, intolerance and religious fundamentalism,” Hebda said. He added that Pope Francis also has stressed the importance of dialogue between Catholics and Muslims and has urged all Christians and Muslims to be “true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular through education.”
The homily was recorded and posted on the church’s website. In it, VanDenBroeke said parishioners must remember that immigrants are humans deserving of compassion. But he added that sovereign nations have the right and responsibility to control their borders to protect their citizens and lands.
“Both as Americans and as Christians, we do not need to pretend that everyone who seeks to enter America needs to be treated the same,” he said. “I believe it is essential to consider the religion and worldview of the immigrants or refugees.
“More specifically, we should not be allowing large numbers of Muslims (seeking) asylum or immigration into our country. Islam is the greatest threat in the world both to Christianity and to America,” he said….