The Corner

THE POPE PROCLAIMS A GOSPEL TRUTH

The Italian press is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI has said that believers should—my Italian is not great, but I think this is an O.K. translation—“pray also for the terrorists, because they do not know that they are doing evil not just to their neighbor, but, first of all, to themselves.” There are two things to say about this. First, there is in this statement none of the left-leaning Europeanist moral equivalence one expects from some of the  Vatican agencies (notably the Secretariat of State): The pope refers to terrorists as . . . terrorists. Second, and more important: The Pope is reminding the world, and especially those who are engaged in great crimes against humanity, that no matter what they do they are not outside the province of God’s mercy and the call to repentance. (He knows that, for example, one prominent anti-Christian terrorist and human-rights abuser went on to write the Epistle to the Romans. . . .)

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