We present this new essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.
On July 26, two Muslims slit the throat of a French Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Jacques Hamel, 85, while he was saying Mass before a typically small group of locals in his village church.
“I Do Not Like to Speak of Islamic Violence.
The assailants were well-known to police as Islamic radicals with connections to ISIS; in fact, one of the two, born in Algeria, was required to wear an electronic surveillance device intended to thwart anything along the line of what he accomplished that day.
A journalist working for a French Catholic news agency sought the insight of the Pope. (Who better, after all, to explain definitively what an assault upon a Catholic priest must mean?) “Four days ago,” the reporter noted, “you told us once again that all religions want peace… When you speak of these violent acts, why do you always speak of terrorists but not of Islam?”
The Pope replied:
“I don’t like to speak of Islamic violence because every day when I open the newspapers I see acts of violence, here in Italy, someone kills his girlfriends, someone else his mother-in-law… If I spoke about Islamic violence I would also have to speak about Catholic violence …. Terrorism is everywhere…Terrorism increases whenever there is no other option, when the global economy is centred on the god of money and not the human person, men and women. This is already a first form of terrorism. You’ve driven out the marvel of creation, man and woman, and put money in their place. This is a basic act of terrorism against all humanity. We should think about it.”
It is certainly an inventive argument — that “terrorism increases whenever there is no other option” — but it builds (dare I say it) on a desperate, bottom-dragging morality.