Vatican praises Arafat for Palestinian vision
I'm not at all sure how this got past me, but I am compelled to comment on it now. It would appear that no less than the Vatican has chosen to bow at the altar of the malignancy that was Yasser Arafat:
The Vatican has praised Yasser Arafat as a charismatic leader who struggled to win independence for his people, and repeated its support of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Pope John Paul, who last met Arafat in 2001, retreated into private prayer when he was told of the death of the Palestinian leader earlier on Thursday in Paris, a Vatican source said. The Pope, who made a historic trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2000, sent a message saying he was particularly close to the Palestinian people "in this hour of sadness".
The 84-year-old Pope's message said he prayed that the "star of harmony" would soon bring peace to the Holy Land and that both Israelis and Palestinians could live "reconciled among themselves as two independent and sovereign states".
Earlier, a statement by the Vatican's chief spokesman called Mr. Arafat the "illustrious deceased" and asked God to grant eternal rest to his soul.
"The Holy See joins the pain of the Palestinian people for the passing of President Yasser Arafat. He was a leader of great charisma who loved his people and tried to guide them towards national independence," said the statement by chief spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
The official statement was bound to displease Israel because it made no mention of militant attacks, which the Jewish state blamed on Mr Arafat and insists must stop before the stalled peace process can get back on track.
First of all, I just love the way the press continues to sanitize Arafat, while casting a somewhat suspicious eye on Israel; ".....militant attacks that the Jewish State blamed on Mr. Arafat". Blamed? BLAMED?!?!
As for the Vatican - what in the world are they thinking? This is the same Vatican that has made their displeasure over our liberation of Iraq clearly known. Have they lost the ability to recognize the face of true evil when they see it? As a Catholic, I find their willingnes to ignore Arafat's crimes against humanity disturbing in the extreme. This is outrageously offensive to Israel and specifically so to the memories of the thousands, thousands of innocent Israelis that died at this monster's bloody hands. Pope John Paul II is the man who, in an act of uncommon courage and nobility, faced down the Soviet Union! How is it that he now pays homage to a mass murderer and a common thief who enriched himself by impoverishing his own people? I will stipulate that it may be unseemly for the Pope or the Vatican to be triumphal in the demise of anyone, even this fiend (I will gladly handle that task.) I do think, however, that this is one of those times when silence may have been truly golden.
The Holy Father himself may well be so addled that he may not fully understand the murderous nature, and hideous life story of the man he lauds. If that is the case, it may well be past time for him to step down and may God bless him. He has truly been a giant among men and a faithful servant of God. As for the rest of "the Vatican", I think that it's past time for them to start rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.
When clergy lose the ability to distinguish between good and evil, maybe they should revisit the fundementals.