Pope Francis cozies up with Iran’s Rouhani

I can understand – sort of – the butt-kissing Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is receiving from French president Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.  After all, what’s a little planned genocide for Israel when a triple-digit order for Airbus has been offered, and the prospect of tens of billions of dollars more (courtesy of John Kerry and Barack Obama) of orders can keep the factories of the EU humming?  We expect politicians to be craven.

But the pope?

Via the Wall Street Journal:

[Rouhani’s] meeting with Pope Francis is particularly significant because of the close ties the Vatican and Iran have enjoyed for decades and Iran’s desire to project an image of a tolerant country in a region beset by strife.

The pontiff and Mr. Rouhani met for 40 minutes—extraordinarily long compared with typical state meetings held by the pope. Mr. Rouhani was accompanied by a 12-person entourage, including Iran’s foreign minister.

A Catholic friend living in Italy writes to me:

In an exchange of gifts, Francis presented his guest with a medallion of St. Martin of Tours, a fourth-century French bishop depicted giving his cloak to a beggar. The pope told Rouhani it was a symbol of brotherhood.

Francis also gave him an English-language copy of his landmark 2015 encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si.” Noting that the papal letter had not been translated into Farsi, the pontiff also offered Rouhani a copy in Arabic.

Wow! One would think that given the Pope's abhorrence of severe punishment for murderers - not only does he denounce the death penalty whenever he can, in 2013 he abolished life in prison in the Vatican state - that he'd have more trouble with a murderous regime like Iran.  One would think.

Iranian homosexuals live in constant fear at being discovered and outed. If caught in a homosexual act, the usual punishment is 99 lashes and a year in prison assuming that they show the judge they are repentant.  A death sentence is common. The number of Iranian homosexuals who have been executed under Iranian law since 1979 is estimated by human rights activists and opponents of the current Iranian regime to be in the range of 4,000-6,000.

But it does warm the heart to see the Pope giving his blessing to a rogue regime with genocidal aspirations. It is a wise move and perfectly in line with what seems to the Church's increasing defense of Islam in the face of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world.

Cowardice, appeasement, passivity, and fear are the hallmarks of the contemporary West.  It's now quite understandable why it did nothing as Hitler's regime grew increasingly belligerent during the 1930s.

Choice statements by Rouhani:
"Close Iranian-Syrian ties will be able to confront enemies in the region, especially the Zionist regime."

"Saying ‘Death to America’ is easy. We need to express ‘Death to America’ with action."

"Syria has constantly been on the front line of fighting Zionism and this resistance must not be weakened." 

"... the aggressive, occupying Zionist regime is not bound by the laws of society and of humanity. It takes no pity on men, children and women, and continues to kill and rape [them]."   www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8717.htm

None of this is enough for the Holy Father to shun him, apparently.

Oh, how I miss Benedict and John Paul II.

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