Perspective (and a great photo)

From CNS:

A U.S. soldier rests near a statue of Mary outside a church in the Dora district of Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007. (CNS photo/Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY — Imagine every time you wanted to go outside you needed to give 72 hours advanced notice and then be escorted by guards “armed to the teeth,” toting Kalashnikovs and making you look “like someone arrested and taken to prison.”

And because you’re caged up inside your residence, which luckily(?) is also where you work,  you switch the TV on to soccer matches when you do your daily treadmill run so you can imagine that you’re free, dashing across that open field.

That is “The Day in the Life of” Archbishop Giorgio Lingua,” the 53-year-old apostolic nuncio to Iraq and Jordan, who splits his time between those two countries.


Read the rest there.

Just to put our own situations in perspective.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Joseph-Mary says:

    What are we willing to risk to live as a true Catholic? Yesterday I read an article from a young man at Harvard who said he had been embarrassed to be a Catholic and to go to Mass but now with (the misinterpretation) of Pope Francis, he no longer minds being a Catholic so much. But does he wish to live the true teachings of the Church to the extent of putting his life on the line? Would Frances Kissling (catholics for choice) who is praising the Pope and declaring that he has changed the stance on abortion (he has not) put her life on the line? Or would N. Pelosi face a firing squad shouting “Vive Cristo Rey”? Some want a ‘church’ to fit their fancy or that conforms to the immoral secular norms so they can fit in or be popular. But Our Lord was not all that popular, was He? The true perspective is to adhere to the teachings of the Church, to not be ashamed of doing so, and to even be willing to put your life on the line, if need be, for Christ.

  2. AJS says:

    This situation in Baghdad is something we have created. Before the war Christians enjoyed a great deal of freedom (even favor) in Iraq. (Christians still are regarded well in the Kingdom of Jordan). Only after we brought in chaos in Iraq did the Islamists gain enough footing to begin persecuting Christians. There is now 1/10th the Chaldean population in the country than before the war. Saddam Hussein purchased a new car for the Chaldean patriarch every Christmas and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Chaldean churches in the United States and many in the Detroit area were built using his money.

    The situation in the Kingdom of Jordan, while not perfect, is respectful compared to many of their Arab neighbors. They have proportional representation in the Jordanian Parliament. They serve in high ranking ministerial positions in the government and have economic and religious freedom to celebrate all the Christian feasts publicly.

    Often times because westerners do not understand Middle Eastern culture we destroy what little peace had existed between Muslims and Christians. The blood of so many Christian martyrs is on our hands because we chose to meddle over there and support Islamist groups. What we are doing in Syria is the same thing we did in Iraq.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    AJS, on topics such as the middle east I say little because I know little. I defer to your obviously better knowledge about that area of the world. That Sadaam Hussein made what seemed to be respectful acts toward Christians is a good thing, but doesn’t negate the gassing of his own people, the Kurds, the rape rooms, and the merciless way he killed what, hundreds of thousands of the Iraqui people. I don’t want the US to be the world’s police, but there are times where the situation has been so dire for the sake of the people the US has acted. Always, always the benevolent giant. Always giving. Always assisting. We’ve been a blessed nation, and Americans should be respected and thanked for that alone, because we always helped everyone. Yes, we meddled, or our government meddled, but we have always done so much good. I always wondered how people seemed to forget about what the Iraqui people suffered under Sadaam Hussein, as if not finding WMD’s meant it was all for nothing. I do not think the blood of Christian martyrs is on our hands. We are a Christian nation driven by a Judeo-Christian ethic. I’m speaking about the times before our current administration. I don’t know what drives these people. But we should not meddle in most issues, I agree with you. I’m glad we didn’t go ahead in Syria, thanks to the response by the American people who seem to have decided enough is enough and many are anti-intervention.

  4. mr_anthony says:

    I have huge misgivings about America’s placing Christianity side-by-side with it’s military actions. It’s difficult to claim you follow the Prince of Peace while waging a war of choice. No matter how bad Iraq may have been for the Iraqi people, Iraq was not a substantial threat to the United States. We broke it, and we broke it big time.

    Further, for me, the picture above is a source of discomfort, not comfort. One figure represents all that is good and holy in God’s Creation, and the other represents the tools of force and violence. This is why I’m not crazy about the military chaplaincy— it seems to lend legitimacy to our military actions, which hardly spring from holiness, even with the best of intentions.

  5. Priam1184 says:

    @AJS You have nailed it my friend. I never want to fall into the trap of calling Saddam Hussein a good guy but, as much of a murdering a****** (insert your own expletive here if you please) as the guy was, Christians and Iraqis in general seem to have been better off in that country then than now. And the mayhem that we unleashed in Iraq has now spread to Syria…

  6. JonPatrick says:

    One wonders what the situation would be in Iraq today even if we hadn’t gone in. Would they be undergoing the same revolution that has occurred in Egypt and Syria? The situation under Saddam Hussein there was very much like that in Syria so it is not inconceivable that the Christians there would be under persecution by the same Islamic forces that are operative in Syria.

    @mr_anthony, military chaplains exist solely to support our troops, who should not have to relinquish their religious freedoms by volunteering for military service, and does not denote any endorsement by the Church of any given military action. Would you deny the right of Catholic soldiers to receive the sacraments to avoid the appearance of endorsing a military action?

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