On the papal flight back to Rome from Fatima, Francis held his customary en passantinterview with hand-picked members of the press. Protective of their access, reporters on board are habitually reluctant to question aggressively or press for frankness. The aptly named Fátima Campos Ferreira, of Portuguese Radio and Television, asked the pontiff:
From this historical standpoint, what remains now for the Church and for the whole world? Also, Fatima has a message of peace, and the Holy Father is going to receive in the Vatican in coming days – on 24 May – the American President Donald Trump. What can the world hope for from this meeting, and what does the Holy Father hope for from this meeting?
The pope visited Egypt shortly after the Palm Sunday bombing of two Coptic churches that killed 45 Christians. No record exists of him having told the Egyptians to love Christians more. No one heard him ask them to love Jews more or hold Israel closer. Instead, he asserted “the incompatibility of violence and faith.” It was an affirmation made against all historic evidence and in denial of the nature of Islam.
Papal condolences, delivered indirectly by telegram to the victims of the Manchester nail bomb, omitted any reference to Islam. The statement took pains to avoid it. Absent any recognition of the true cause of the attack, Francis’ “solidarity” is meaningless. Note that he was “deeply saddened”—not angered, outraged, or even offended. We are saddened when kittens die, or a sick spaniel is put down. But when innocent persons are massacred something more muscular is required. The fatuity of sadness in the face of murder invites the next atrocity.
If ever there were a time to call down judgment on acolytes of annihilation, this is it. Refusal to name the motive for slaughter comes unnervingly close to the old legal maxim: Silence equals assent. Certainly, Francis does not sanction the violence. Not at all. What he assents to is the multicultural dogma of religious equivalency—the Same God myth—and the lethal fairytale that Islam is not inherently violent.
These Religious Equivalents Are False and Dangerous
If ever there were a time for judgment to be called down on acolytes of annihilation, this is it. The Chair of Peter is a high rostrum from which to proclaim the primacy of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus over the Islamic worldview. Allah, of course, would be displeased. And Francis is hostile to anything that might resemble missionary activity. In a 2014 interview with journalist Pablo Calvo for the Argentine weekly Viva, he said: “The worst thing you can do is religious proselytizing, which paralyzes. No. Each one must dialogue from his own identity.”
Last July, arriving in France just after a pious Muslim had slit the throat of an elderly priest, the pope intoned: “All religions want peace.” A month later, on the flight home from World Youth Day, he delivered this to the court press:
I don’t like to speak of Islamic violence, because every day, when I browse the newspapers, I see violence, here in Italy. This one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law. And these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence. . . . [Religion] is like a fruit salad; there’s everything. I believe that in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists.
Billionaire financier George Soros said Thursday the European Union is in an "existential crisis" and needs to be reinvented in the face of growing threats.
"The reinvention would have to revive the support that the European Union used to enjoy," the Hungarian-born Soros said at the Brussels Economic Forum.
Such reinvention would have to review the past and explain to European citizens what went wrong and then make proposals to make things right. Soros welcomed a German idea to cut European funds aimed at reducing income inequalities at the regional level for those countries disrespecting the rule of law. Both Hungary and Poland, which are net recipients of the so-called cohesion funds, have been criticized by European institution for their weak standards with regards to the rule of law.
Soros said Europe needs to overcome the current "existential crisis" by fighting together against the rise of anti-European sentiment, xenophobic feelings and surrounding "hostile powers."
"Putin's Russia, Erdogan's Turkey, Sisi's Egypt and the America that Trump would like to create if he could, but can't," the U.S. financier added when talking about hostile powers.
He called for an update of European treaties to make the EU work better and allow a "multitrack" bloc where countries would have a wider variety of choices when it comes to integration.
European politicians should not get distracted with the upcoming EU exit negotiations with the U.K. and continue their work to regain the trust of EU citizens, Soros told the audience.
"Brexit will be an immensely damaging process, harmful to both sides. Most of the damage is felt right now, when the European Union is in an existential crisis, but its attention is diverted to negotiating the separation from Britain," he said.
"The European Union must resist temptation to punish Britain and approach the negotiations in a constructive spirit. It should use Brexit as a catalyst for introducing far-reaching reforms," Soros said.
The investor believes that the divorce process could take as long as five years to but during that time the EU has the chance "to transform itself into an organization that other countries like Britain would want to join."