“The shortcut to handling the crisis is to deny that it exists.”

From Fr. Rutler at LifeZette:

A Christian Duty in the Face of Terror

After another devastating ISIS attack in France, this time against a priest in his 80s while he was saying Mass, the answer isn’t just, “Do nothing.” As racism distorts race and sexism corrupts sex — so does pacifism affront peace.

Turning the other cheek is the counsel Christ gave in the instance of an individual when morally insulted: Humility conquers pride. It has nothing to do with self-defense.


A father is culpable if he does not protect his family. A bishop has the same duty as a spiritual father of his sons and daughters in the church, just as the civil state has as its first responsibility the maintenance of the “tranquility of order” through self-defense.


The shortcut to handling the crisis is to deny that it exists.

On the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, there were over 60 speeches, and yet not one of them mentioned ISIS.


From my the increasingly well-known Fr. Murray:

A Catholic priest embodies the soul of European culture. Murdering a priest is symbolic of the intention to kill the entire Christian West. Muslim expansionist warfare has historically been directed at conquering the Christian nations of Europe. ISIS is carrying out that warfare today — and the past few weeks have shown that they have agents of death all over Europe.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Norah says:

    Don’t know if it’s my computer or not but I can’t access LifeZette but I can access all other sites.

  2. SKAY says:

    I just read Fr. Rutler’s post at LifeZette along with Fr. Murry’s post.

    I think I have just had an answer to a question within a little prayer I said earlier today thanks to
    your links Father Z.

  3. JARay says:

    The Glorious Band of Martyrs has just received another priest into its ranks.
    Laus tibi Domine.

  4. moon1234 says:

    Those who will not defend their faith will lose it. Defending includes actual physical defense.

    The Mexican’s had/have a battle cry “Viva Cristo Rey”! We better start acting like Cristeros and stand up for our faith. The present day Mexican constitution still has the following included:

    “The Mexican constitution prohibits outdoor worship, which is only allowed in exceptional circumstances, generally requiring governmental permission. Religious organizations are not permitted to own print or electronic media outlets, governmental permission is required to broadcast religious ceremonies, and ministers are prohibited from being political candidates or holding public office.

    This is 2016 Mexico. Just south of our border. These are secular atheists and communists.

    There is only ONE way to make a change in November. We all know what that is. For some of us that means making a selection we may not like, for others it means a breath of fresh air. For ALL of us it means having a leader who CARES about AMERICA and western Christian values.

    We have saints who lost their lives defending our faith. We need to honor and learn from their sacrifice. Heaven has told us that in a battle with ISLAM we WILL win if only we fight for our faith.

    Our Lady of Lepanto, Protect US! VIVA CRISTO REY!

  5. pmullane says:

    Sadly, an aged Catholic Priest being beheaded by teenaged muslims is too perfect an analogy for what is happening to Europe and the West more generally.

  6. Henry Edwards says:

    “On the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, there were over 60 speeches, and yet not one of them mentioned ISIS.”

    That’s because the left sees not ISIS or Islam, but Christianity, as their enemy. We may be in a war against ISIS, but the left (hand in hand with Islam) is in a war against Christian civilization.

  7. PhilipNeri says:

    Mr. Edwards wrote: “That’s because the left sees not ISIS or Islam, but Christianity, as their enemy. We may be in a war against ISIS, but the left (hand in hand with Islam) is in a war against Christian civilization.”

    As a former Leftist, I say, “AMEN!” In the late 80’s and early 90’s I helped to advance the Marxist cultural agenda as a grad student in my English department. We were among the first (1987) to turn the entire Freshman Writing Program into an indoctrination course, using race/class/gender critical theory as our bible. We “decentered” the classroom, emphasizing student authority over the professor. We stopped grading and started “norming.” We trashed the western canon as racist, sexist, homophobic. And, most of all, we worked overtime to undermine any notion of the transcendent and supernatural. Our Christian students were seen as dumb, brainwashed, incapable of rational thought, and much in need of our enlightening assistance.

    Yes, I have repented.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  8. benedetta says:

    Agree with Henry Edwards and Philip Neri, OP.

    What, in reason, are the characteristics of the dogma, if it can be called that, against Christianity, which current elitist regimes in power by politics or media espouse? By what authority(ies) do they purport to appease one violent movement in order to shepherd the demise of religious adherents, who happen to be citizens with the same rights as anyone in our democracy, theoretically?

    Is it found in American contemporary jurisprudence? What is the area of thought, if it could be called this?

    Or, is it rooted in perceived need for vengeance, intolerance, judgement, un-charitableness, power grab? Certainly there is no democratic grass roots swell of support for this.

    With the appeasement, however, their own favored power groups increasingly are not protected by the chosen course of inaction. In fact, appeasement, and the rhetoric of bigotry towards Christianity, have indeed sadly, tragically, backfired against the very power groups that the leaders have purported to favor and prioritize while bringing about downfall of dread Christians. In this we see how inherently unreasonable and ungrounded in rational throught and how divorced from democracy is this approach. It grabs hold of currents that have a populism in some ways created by threat of media and propaganda and not based upon reason, tolerance, American universal values and principles, and one sees increasingly that what lies behind this is not populism at all but mob rule and survival of the fittest — this is just favoring the rich and entitled all over again with no difference. At core of leadership which should thinkingly know better is cowardice and the yessing to those who wield corrupt power. No matter how the media and their mouthpieces may style it, it’s a corrupt animating principle at its core, the supposed attack and demise of Christians, and not only by jihadists but by any means necessary at home.

    Kind of amazing really, to hear those in power talk about things such as climate change, while at the same time they willingly offer up tens of millions and counting Americans, and look the other way while Americans suffer, and they just blithely go on as if there will be still an adequate core number around to support the entitlements and regulations, to carry these out and pay for them. Do they expect to carry out this work on the backs of Christians who are being threatened and harassed? Somehow their calculations and science seem like a total joke, what a mess of unreason and fantasy dreaming.

  9. bethv says:

    Dear Fr. Philip Neri, thank you for your testimony. I am especially grateful that through God’s grace you were able to realize His Truth and Wisdom and then confessed and were absolved. What an amazing gift that you were also called to the priesthood. We are especially in need of priests such as yourself who know intimately what has happened in the past and can be an example of a true conversion. God continue to bless you, Father!

  10. AvantiBev says:

    God Bless all priests and religious who see the Truth and speak the Truth. Sadly it is not only secular but also ecclesiastic leaders — at the HIGHEST levels — who advocate for more venomous creatures to be brought into to Europe’s house and America’s domain already teaming with cunning, dangerous snakes.

    “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” We have found the answer to this in our peril, Lord.

    I have another question. How would kumbaya Christians answer this: “Who was in the cave with Mohammed in 610 A.D.?”

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    I agree with Henry Edwards good point that the left sees Christianity itself as the problem, and this is why Democrats are against Christianity (properly understood), the media is against Christianity, the overpaid professors at university are against Christianity, celebrities are against Christianity, and many, many just plain apathetic or ignorant people are against Christianity.
    If we had the American base of rational thought and moral development we once had, even just forty years ago, we would have a completely different scenario. But we don’t. Now half of America is basically opposed to the thoughts and feelings of the other half. We see it mirrored in the Church. Our nation is in schism, and our Church is in a de facto schism. Goats and sheep.
    I really think Henry Edwards has hit on a reasonable explanation for the disconnect, why the left does not “see” Islam as a problem. The left obviously hates Christianity and wants to destroy any sense of a Christian moral code. Bringing in a force hostile to Christianity, that may drive Christianity underground, where the left need not fear further interference with their demonic agenda to destroy everything good and decent. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    As Catholics we have been duped. We are still being taught how to allow ourselves to be killed in our churches. Just two weeks ago, after an Islamic attack we were warned by the pastor to love the enemy. There was no qualifying explanation, nothing to indicate we are to do anything other than allow invaders into our land in unlimited numbers, and if we do not, we are perhaps going to Hell, and to the highest levels we are told how hateful we are not to welcome immigrants. What a horror may be visited upon us because our Churchmen have failed to learn, comprehend, and teach how to apply the teaching of Christ and Scripture in a manly and authentic way. It is only and everywhere, pacifism and a feminine response, nothing virile, nothing manly! We have been disarmed by the very source that Christ gave that was intended to protect the sheep! To the highest levels there remains a refusal to see Islam for what it claims itself to be, for the historical record, and the evidence of our own eyes. What madness. Political correctness, pacifism, and obsession with “social justice” has disarmed our church and now our people. We are morally confused. Now that Koran’s have been kissed and imams have prayed in St. Peter’s, and lectures ad nauseam about mercy, what can the church do now to help the sheep whose throats they have exposed to the wolves?
    Thank you to Fr. Rutler for pointing out the all too real problem.

  12. Michaelus says:

    According to the French press the jihadists attended a local mosque – very local – next door to the church – and this mosque was built on land donated by the parish:

    via lexpress.fr:

    “Ouverte en l’an 2000, la mosquée Yahia a été inaugurée sur une parcelle de terrain offerte par la paroisse catholique de la ville”

    Thus proving we have been wise as doves and innocent as serpents for many years now.

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    Henry Edwards and Fr. Neri: Well said.

  14. acardnal says:

    Thank you Fr. Neri

  15. Kerry says:

    AvantiBev, was it either Carlos Danger or Lucy Ramirez?

  16. HyacinthClare says:

    Turn the other cheek has nothing to do with self-defense? Really? This has been an insoluble problem for me for years. Help me understand this better, please!

  17. un-ionized says:

    Hyacinthclare, you can find a number of exegetical helps explaining that. Jesus was referring to a moral insult and to understand what it is about it’s necessary to delve a little into the social code of face slapping in that culture. It’s in the same vein of the meaning behind walking an extra distance carrying someone’s stuff. There is a cultural loading.

  18. Gilbert Fritz says:

    The problem is; everyone is saying we should do “something.” Well, what is that “something,” besides praying? Unfortunately, this is not a simple situation, and there is not much for us to do. We can talk about it, but there does not seem to be much constructive action. (Since, for good or ill, WE can’t change foreign policy, fight wars in the Middle east, etc.) What actions can we take on a personal level? Carry weapons maybe, but when something explodes that won’t do a lot of good.

    As far as politics, I’m not sure there are too many good solutions there either. Of course, we can stop importing immigrants. But many of the latest attackers have not been immigrants. We could drop more bombs on the Middle East, but that hasn’t worked out too well so far. We could deport all muslims, citizens or not; this does not sound like a good or moral idea, giving the gov. so much power over people’s opinions; they’d have to find the muslims, who are allowed to lie about it. In any case, that won’t happen. We could turn ourselves into a police state, with armed guards on every corner and metal detectors in every building; then the conspiracy theorists will have a field day, and they will start blowing things up. And Muslims will still probably manage to kill people. We could all draw insulting cartoons of muslims; yah, really clever, and I’m sure that will do a lot of good.

    What is it that we are supposed to DO, besides pray, forgive, and go about our lives trying to become saints, ready for death at any minute? Wait, that is what we were supposed to do anyway.

  19. Thomas Sweeney says:

    What we should do is turn our backs on any politician who say Islam is a religion of peace. Just as you cannot be a Christian if you deny the Divinity of Christ, you cannot be a Muslim if you forego the desire to impose Sharia Law upon the whole country. We as a country, or even as a civilization, must come to grips with that reality. Sadly there are no Western leaders who appreciate that, hopefully, Trump might be the one, the others certainly are not.

  20. SanSan says:

    Heard that Pope Francis said that “we are at war”……but not with Islam, because he states that all Religions are religions of peace…..say what???

  21. CarpeNoctem says:

    To follow you up, Gilbert… I just read a report of the pope’s comments about being at war, but religion not having anything to do with it… the fact that it is a battle over domination, resources, etc.. and so on.

    So… what side does religion line up on, or is it supposed to take a completely agnostic view of rights and wrongs? For sure there is no perfect party, whoever that might be in this “piecemeal world war”, but is he implying that religion does not have any basis to judge what is right and wrong, what is positive and negative to the welfare of humanity? I can understand not wanting to take sides in an imperfect world or to back a loser (if we pick the wrong side), but isn’t that what grown-ups do? Afterall, here in the states have a choice between one lying, cheating, boorish, corrupt, narcissist named Donald Trump, and another lying, cheating, corrupt, boorish, narcissist named Hilary Clinton. A very imperfect world indeed, but the people of God, faced with this dilemma don’t have the luxury of sitting back behind the Vatican walls and saying “oh, a pox on both your houses… we are above all of that”. We will have wade into the cess-pool of electoral politics and cast our lot with the least evil of the two, neither of whom have any business ever becoming the President of the United States. In making that choice, whoever we choose, it will not be over on election night. We will have to remain vigilant and even go out in the streets to protest and give our lives perhaps to keep things right. (FWIW, I think I have made my mind: Trump is the worst candidate ever offered for presidential office, save Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at a close second. If you want to argue, I don’t care, that is to say I am growing indifferent… maybe we would be better off getting it all over with under a Clinton administration… I’m not sure it really matters much either way.)

    I love the pope out of filial devotion, and know that he is a product of his environment and formation as imperfect as that may be. But I also believe he sits in the See of Peter with whatever good or imperfections he brings, at the call and favor of the Holy Spirit. I can’t for the life of me guess what the reasoning is here. Must we be chastised that a new era of growth be upon us? Must we know the horror of blood in the streets before we are delivered? I sense that the pope in his own little bubble of Central and South American political categories is not able to perceive the vacuum of leadership in the Western World that so requires a man of integrity and faith, a man of sound judgment and courage. I perceive that the new standard of pastoral service will not be merely to have the smell of the sheep upon him, but the blood as well, reminding him always of the ones who are unjustly snatched away at price of the secular virtue of being “nice”. On one hand, there certainly is a place in my heart for refugees and asylum seekers, and we must always have the courage to deal with those needs. But that is not done by handing out blankets and settling them indifferently in new lands, but of demanding reform and justice in homelands everywhere… backed by a few US Marines with reasonable rules of engagement should war be necessary to turn the tide of injustice and defend the defenseless.

    Further, would we need a wall, for instance, if we told the Mexican government we would bill them (and send Marines to back up that invoice) for humanitarian services provided to Mexican citizens? That would demand that that government shape up its act (hopefully by getting rid of its own unjust system of cronyism and corruption) and actually take care of its people and probably not a shot would need to be fired or a segment of wall (on our side anyway) be put up to keep people from crossing.

    If the subtle, behind the scenes work of Pius XII earned him the title (rightly or wrongly) “Hitler’s Pope” by history because he was not bold enough to use his office more decisively, whose puppet will this pope be reckoned to be when we look back?

    Foreign policy cannot be handed over to amateurs. I’m going to sound quite partisan here, but that’s what we’ve had here in the States under the Obama administration. Amateurs don’t really have skin in the game… the leadership of the State Department has simply been used as a stepping stone of personal ambition to higher office in recent years, to the detriment of global security. The Church and her shepherds need to step up, as has happened in history before, to fill the breach and provide leadership as the secular world continues to crumble… and that will not happen as long as we applaud amateur statesmen who flinch and equivocate at sight of insensate evil.

  22. pannw says:

    And yet, according to the media, Pope Francis is telling us that, while the world is at war,
    “I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war,” Francis said. And still encourages Europe to ‘welcome’ the ‘refugees’.

    Unless he is saying Islam is not a religion, I have to conclude that he is very naive. We may not want war with Islam, but the Islamists (or at least more than enough of them to be getting on with) clearly want war with us. I can’t help thinking of Aragorn telling Theoden, who would “not risk open war,” “Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.” Is Wormtongue living in the Vatican?

    I thank God for brave and honest priests who would tell us the awful truth.

    Fr. Neri, I am showing your comment to my children, especially my daughter who has one more year of high school. Thank you very much. God bless you.

  23. benedetta says:

    Pope Francis, according to E. Pentin of EWTN News, stated “very clearly” that this incident was “not about religions”. He was very clear that in his statement that was about something else — Pentin named “resources” as what the Holy Father stated this was about. I guess he must know. Still, a lot of us are really suffering bigtime. I guess many just do not care that much? Seamless garment and all that jazz.

  24. hilltop says:

    If this Pope has taught the world anything it is that just because a Pope says something does not mean it it true.
    want to know if it’s about religion? Ask the chaps what did the throat cutting….

  25. benedetta says:

    To be sure, if the vast majority of us did our jobs like so many of our leaders do theirs, we’d all be fired and the result of our labor a total mess. Do any of them know what’s going on? They sure don’t act or talk like it.

  26. albizzi says:

    Fr Jacques Hamel was the first in 21st century french martyred priest by Islam fanatics.
    Through an odd and troubling coincidence, he died a few months before the 100th anniversary of the death of the blessed Charles de Foucauld who was probably the first in 20th century french martyred priest at the hands of Islam fanatics.

  27. albizzi says:

    In addition to my comment, in the past times fanatic mohameddans martyred Christian people and priests outside France, in their colonies. Now the martyrdom of the french christian people has begun two days ago on their soil.
    We should pray Saint James “the Matamoros” patron saint of Spain, emblem of the Reconquista who is venerated in Santiago de Compostella.

  28. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Alas, my first impression is that the Holy Father qua Head of the Vatican State has established himself by his latest in-flight comments as a prime example of (to apply some of CarpeNoctem’s words) ‘an amateur statesmen who flinchs and equivocates at sight of deliberate self-consciously “religious” evil’. I hope I am mistaken in this, but I cannot see how mere naïveté, however abysmally profound, could arrive at something as sweepingly false – or breathtakingly equivocal – as “All religions want peace”. If he means to suggest that some religions correspond to the characterization of the ‘pax Romana’ which Tacitus attributes to Caligacus – “ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant” – he must be explicit about it.

  29. IloveJesus says:

    The Holy Father missed an important teaching opportunity.

    I contend that many Catholics today even know what a martyr is.

    I can remember how appalled I was when my husband, who attended 16 YEARS of the best most expensive Catholic schools, responded to a discussion I was having with our young children about certain saints having the faith not to deny Jesus when threatened with death.

    He actually said, “Well you could just lie and then ask forgiveness later. I mean, Jesus wouldn’t want you to die would he?!”

    Oh boy…

    And then for our dear Pope Francis to call ISIS “terrorists who use religion to “profane the name of God and use it to justify their unprecedented violence”. Unprecedented? The history of Islam clearly proves otherwise.

    And this: “Some might think it is war of religion. It is not. All religions want peace.”

    Now if the Islamic terrorists made raids shouting:
    “We feel marginalized! We demand money! We demand natural resources!” then he might have a point; but I only hear them cry, “Allahu Akabar!” which means “Allah is the greatest!”

    2 + 2 = 5

  30. bethv says:

    I wish that I could believe that the surge of Muslims “converting” to Christianity was the result of true conversion. However, I fear that it is only being done so that they can have an “out” and will be allowed to remain in Europe because, to send them back would be to make them subject to religious persecution. One must remember that Islam teaches that it is okay to lie to infidels.

  31. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    Please correct me, but is not one that is a martyran automatic Saint. Should we no be asking that Fr Jacques Hamebe beautified?

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