A guest post by Mark Citadel:
I write to you as an outsider. A sincere Roman Catholic might not write such a letter out of his admirable respect for the Papacy, and a letter written by a non-Christian might mean little to you. And so it falls to me to say what must be said. I want to start by saying that we of the Eastern Orthodox tradition consider ourselves to practice our faith in the character of the earliest Christians, and though it might seem arrogant, we hold that through tired eyes Orthodoxy has witnessed many great tragedies; the Diocletian Persecutions, the fall of Constantinople, the abduction of thousands of Serb boys and Greek girls to serve as Janissaries and courtesans, and of course the scourge of Bolshevism that cloaked the entire East in poverty and despair for almost a century. Though you consider us schismatics, I would hope that you do not think us fools, and your cordial relations with His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, as well as your historic meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus, leaves me with hope that you will consider this carefully.
You wash the feet of ‘refugees’ in front of the world, for the T.V. cameras to see, in a distorted emulation of our Holy Lord Jesus Christ. You have decried Europe’s negligence towards them. You have demanded Europe take more. You have spoken of an Arab invasion as some great opportunity, in an address to the European Parliament:
We can speak today of an Arab invasion. It is a social fact.” […] “How many invasions Europe has known throughout its history! It has always known how to overcome itself, moving forward to find itself as if made greater by the exchange between cultures.
No, Your Holiness, we did not ever exchange culture with Muslims. Whenever they invaded, they destroyed our culture, and indeed our peoples; we fought them, and did so with the full endorsement of the Papacy. Confronted by a force which had conquered most of Christendom and oppressed and harried Christians, Constantinople requested the assistance of the Roman Catholic West. You obliged us, not with washers of feet, but with valorous men of war. Were those Popes fools? Did they not have the remit of God to declare those entirely defensive wars of religion?
Let me be clear: I see no malice in you, but what I do see is a man who knows nothing of the Occident. You were born and raised in a country whose cultural connections to the mother continent have eroded almost to nothing, a nation that today is infused with the twisted doctrines of Bolivarian Socialism. Perhaps that is adequate background for your ministry in Buenos Aires. It is a gaping hole when faced with the present situation confronting the Occidental world.
The people of the UK have welcomed Muslims, and they have seen their school-aged children systematically raped in Rotherham by gangs of Muslim men. The people of France have welcomed Muslims, and they have had scores mowed down by Muslim gunmen. The people of Germany have welcomed Muslims, and they have had their women molested in the metro by a mob of Muslim men. The people of Sweden have welcomed Muslims, who have turned it into the rape capital of the world. The people of Belgium have welcomed Muslims, and have now reaped their own bitter fruit. Your Holiness, the people of the Occident have shown everything but neglect for Muslims. They have welcomed Muslims as have no other nations today, or for that matter in the history of the planet. You propose that they do yet more, and in doing so you propose a de facto death sentence for the peoples who have trusted in Christ and your Church, and spread His Word since the fall of Rome. You do not perhaps remember when Iberia was in the hands of this foreign religion for over 700 years, but we remember vividly when the Balkans were, for centuries that ended less than 100 years ago. We remember well the horrors the Muslim invaders perpetrated against the people there, including my own Slavic brothers and sisters.
Why cannot the refugees be sent to Latin America? Don’t those nations have the money to support these stateless people, or has it all been plundered by the woefully corrupt governments who have not received nearly the same Papal scorn as Occidentals? What of the Gulf Arab states who refuse to take in a single refugee in most cases? Jordan has taken them, why not Saudi Arabia?
I don’t know the hearts of those whose feet you washed before the crowds, but I know for a fact that many were not Syrians at all, but Sub-Saharan Africans (economic migrants). Perhaps the others are good, honest Syrians in flight from a tragic situation, but the solution for these people can never lie in Europe. They belong in Syria, and thus all of your energy should have been spent condemning the United States and its puppet surrogates for destabilizing the government there, and continuing to arm rebels against the Syrian Army who are trying to restore order. What is going on in the Middle East is painfully obvious for us, so why is the same not true for you?
Ten years ago, Syria was a successful nation where religious groups lived together in peace; Druze, Alawite, Sunni, Kurd, and Christian living side by side without any hint of the sectarian strife which not too long ago turned Lebanon into a warzone. The Arab Spring – funded, supported, and armed by the United States – brought a hurricane of chaos to Libya, led to terror for our Coptic brethren in Egypt such as had not been experienced in centuries, and transformed Syria into a land filled with the screams of the dead and dying. This violence has spilled over into Iraq at the behest of the once ‘moderate rebels’ turned rampaging jihadists. The oldest Christian communities in the world have been driven from Mosul; many have been killed, their churches leveled. In Syria the genocide of Christians numbers in the thousands of men, women, and children. These are not just Orthodox, these are your own as well, Maronite Catholics. You will find that the Christians of Syria overwhelmingly support President Bashar al-Assad who has made all efforts to protect them. Many fight alongside his army and in local militias. The president said to a group of Syrian Christians last year: “I know you are suffering, but please don’t leave this land, which has been your home for thousands of years, even before Islam came.” With the Alawites we have a natural kinship. As we celebrate Christmas, so do they. They also join us in the celebration of Theophany, Pentecost, and the feasts of the blessed St. John Chrysostom and St. Mary Magdalene, among others. They have been friends to us since the era of the Crusader States, and like the Christians they face extinction at the hands of the genocidal Sunnis, the same Sunnis who as recently as March 4th caved in the heads of nuns in Yemen.
Your Holiness, I would hazard a guess that this is all news to you, because from your corner of the world, you have been blissfully unaware of the truth about the darkness that has engulfed the entire European continent since the 1700s, and about the brutal and bloodthirsty side of Islam which is rearing its head again after decades of slumber. These two foes are relentlessly dedicated to the absolute destruction of the Christian faith. Do you seriously think the European Parliament is an ally of the Faith? Do you not know the European Union went to every length to purge all mention of Christianity from its foundation? As much love for the other that these men and women might show, it is more than matched by their hatred of the native populations of Europe, whom they blame for every evil their Luciferan ideology has concocted.
Father Félix Sardà y Salvany, a much celebrated priest from Spain, articulated a truth you ignore, that Liberalism is a sin:
Hence heretical doctrines, and works inspired by them, constitute the greatest of all sins with the exception of the formal hate against God, of which only the demons in hell and the damned are capable. Liberalism then, which is heresy, and all the works of Liberalism, which are heretical works, are the gravest sins known in the code of the Christian law.
And you entertain this new theology of Liberalism? You ally yourself with its sinister plotting against the natives of the European nations who have every ancestral claim to the lands upon which they reside, a claim no Muslim has? You grant them coups against Christianity with your bizarre statements on sodomy, atheism, communism, even Islam itself? Where is the Papacy that opposed the French Revolution?! From our bastions emerging out of rubble in the East, we Orthodox look westward and see a Poland and a Slovakia torn between their loyalty to you and their loyalty to their survival and their faith, a choice they should never have to make. And beyond them, we see a wasteland of nations soaked in depravity and apostasy, in desperate need of a masculine, muscular Roman Catholicism. How can I blame him, who says that those on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain were after all the lucky ones!
It was with a raucous rejoicing that the Poles liberated themselves from the tyranny of Bolshevism, greeted by the loving embrace of Pope John Paul II, and now like a child who has been slapped they recoil as their Church tells them to relinquish their precious land to foreigners – most of whom by the way are not refugees, but parasitic welfare-seekers from as far away as Malawi!
Your Holiness, I do not write to insult you, but to plead with you either to change your conduct or resign from your position. Who am I to counsel such a thing? A concerned Christian. We tend to be a stoic sort, but I would be damned if I didn’t speak up now. You are supposed to be a leader, and yet your lack of sound leadership is becoming so intolerable for your flock, truly faithful Roman Catholics, that they will be compelled sooner rather than later to take righteous action independent of you. I know; I’ve spoken to some of them. And I trust that they will have every saint and every previous holder of your office at their backs. As I understand the Roman Catholic Church, it is bigger than you, it is not defined by you despite your power. The Roman Catholic Church is an organism of transcendent significance that could never be contained in one man. The Poles will not follow you if you lead them towards Hades. Trust me on that, we Slavs are some of the most obstinate people in the world.
The following are four very simple things that you could initiate as a matter of Vatican policy tomorrow. To implement them would make you a pariah in the Western media, but why should we cast our pearls before swine? To implement them would make you a defector from the age, but was not Jesus a defector from the age of the Pharisee? You would lose the respect of many who call themselves Catholic only because mommy and daddy did, but you would gain the respect not only of those who have devoted themselves to the Great Tradition, but those who have been left lost and wandering outside the Church, in search of truth, the ‘refugees’ from the Modern World itself.
- In the loudest voice that the Vatican can muster, declare the truth of what has gone on in Syria. Demand that the United States and its allies cease the armament of Syrian rebels and bombardment of the Syrian government, as well as their endless and intolerable harassment of the Russian Federation supporting Assad. If Catholic politicians in these countries refuse to back this notion, excommunicate them. I know you and your recent predecessors have not issued such proclamations against Catholic politicians for their worst indiscretions in the past, but if there is ever a time for it, then it is now. Not to do so would be to give communion to men and women who put guns in the hands of those who slaughter Christians – and that includes America’s vice president. The Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Aphrem II made himself very clear: “We are not asking the West for military intervention to defend Christians and all others. We are asking them to stop arming and supporting terrorist groups that are destroying our countries and massacring our people.”
- Make clear that the refugees from Syria have a homeland that they must rebuild, and that every single one must return there after the scourge of ISIS is destroyed. Until then, such people who are Sunni Muslims should be settled in Islamic countries: Turkey, Morocco, Arabia, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, the Emirates. They should not be forced upon the nations of Europe, with whom they are incompatible and toward whom they show only contempt. Would we force hens to live with foxes? Christians and other minorities should be settled in Armenia, Lebanon, or in the areas of Syria protected by the government. Nobody has any right to force these people to abandon the homes of their forefathers.
- Proclaim Christianity for what it is in the Modern World, the antithesis of everything the apostate governments of the West say they support. The West is full of men who do not subscribe to Liberalism, and their numbers grow stronger every day as the leftist agendas of feminism and other such social catastrophes drive them to lives of misery, poverty, or worse. They have no refuge, no one to support their case, where once such an institution existed in the Catholic Church. When Italians resist the disgusting program proposals of their government, do not just support them, join their protests in Rome. If the government wants to pass legislation as if they were apostates, make them apostates. Let them suffer the consequences of their choices as Christ let the Jews suffer the consequences of theirs, wandering the world lost and accursed.
- And finally, support and finance sacred fraternal orders once more. Men thirst for initiatic brotherhood, they thirst for purpose, and they thirst for instruction. You have good priests who could organize such things, if they were not obstructed by the Vatican’s appeasement of secular hegemony. There should be no need for a German PEGIDA, as there ought to be a Christian order dedicated to preventing the Muslim invasion of Christendom’s hearth. They have only risen where you have abdicated. Every ‘far right’ movement in Western Europe today exists only because the Church refuses to do what it ought.
Your Holiness, even if you do not take these proposals under consideration, I hope that many of your flock will, and thus may attempt to carry them out of their own volition, in whatever capacity they possibly can.
Before I end this letter, which by now has become long-winded, as the writings of the Orthodox are wont to do, I want to relate to you a message from my own people’s history which cannot be misunderstood. In the early 1900s, Russia was under threat both from the outbreak of WWI and from a foreign and vicious ideology, brought by rail from Germany. These threats grew and grew, festered and metastasized. We were cursed with a Church that had been structurally hindered in its functioning, and a woefully inept tsar whose entire family was mesmerized by a conjurer as the empire burned around them. Without leadership, the Orthodox people took matters into their own hands, but their efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful. It was complacency that led to our downfall, and to seventy-four years of darkness. The prospects of this recurring in the West to a far greater extent loom now too large to ignore.
We bled for the failure of our leaders. Do not make your children bleed for yours.
Sincerely, and with the earnest prayers to our God in heaven, that He may intercede and guide you to sound judgment in these matters,