Melkite Archbishop: French bishops too politically correct, afraid in the face of Islamists

Melkite Archbishop: French bishops too politically correct, afraid in the face of Islamists


Posted by Augustinus at 2/06/2016 @

Many thanks to Gallia Watch for translating this important interview with Mgr. Jean-Clément Jeanbart, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo: The last Christians in Aleppo.

After describing the dramatic situation the Aleppines are living through, the bishop addressed the journalists who had come to hear him.

“The European media have not ceased to suppress the daily news of those who are suffering in Syria and they have even justified what is happening in our country by using information without taking the trouble to verify it,” he hurled at them, condemning notably the press agencies created during the war, controlled by the opposition army, such as the Syrian Observatory of human rights, a major source for western media.

“You must understand that between the Islamic State and the Syrian government, our choice is obvious. You can condemn the regime for certain things, but you have never tried to be objective,” he accused.

When asked if he had been able to explain his position to the French authorities, bishop Jeanbart said he had tried, and was told he had to be “less critical”.

For him, the West has not ceased to cover up the misdeeds of the opposition army, all the while condemning the Syrian government and its president.

“Bashar al-Assad has many defects, but you have to realize he has many good points as well,” he explained. “Schools are free, hospitals too, mosques and churches pay no taxes, what government in the region does things like that, be honest? Remember too that if we prefer today to support the government, it’s because we fear the installation of a sunni theocracy that would deprive us of the right to live on our own lands.”

“Yes, I tried to say all that to the French authorities, but what can you expect from a Laurent Fabius who thinks he’s God the Father by deciding who deserves to live on this Earth or not?” he finally answered, visibly weary. (Laurent Fabius had declared that Bashar al-Assad “did not deserve to be on the Earth”.)

“Is it possible that France – that I love and that educated me thanks to the religious communities established in Syria – has changed so much? Is it possible that its interests and its love of money have prevailed over the values it once defended?” declared the archbishop bitterly.

Asked about the position of French bishops, the Pakistani bishop who was also present did not want to respond. So bishop Jeanbart took the mike again.

“The conference of French bishops should have trusted us, it would have been better informed. Why are your bishops silent on a threat that is yours today as well? Because the bishops are like you, raised in political correctness. But Jesus was never politically correct, he was politically just!”

“The responsibility of a bishop is to teach, to use his influence to transmit truth. Why are your bishops afraid of speaking? Of course they would be criticized, but that would give them a chance to defend themselves, and to defend this truth. You must remember that silence often means consent.”

The archbishop also criticized the migration policies of the Western countries.

“The egoism and the interests slavishly defended by your governments will in the end kill you as well. Open your eyes, didn’t you see what happened recently in Paris?” added the archbishop before concluding with a plea:

“We need you to help us live in our land! (…) I cannot stand by while our two thousand-year-old church disappears. I prefer to die than to see that.”

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3 comments on “Melkite Archbishop: French bishops too politically correct, afraid in the face of Islamists

  1. [A more realistic attitude than that of his boss, the Melkite Patriarch]

    Robert Spencer in FrontPage Mag: Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch: “No one defends Islam like Arab Christians”


    Over at FrontPage is this expanded version of my post from a few days ago, about how the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham is taking the Stockholm Syndrome to a new level.


    Gregory III Laham, the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and All the East, has proudly declared: “We, the Arab Christians, always defend Islam and our Muslim brothers – no one defends Islam like the Arab Christians do.”

    The Patriarch’s declaration of solidarity couldn’t have come at a better time, for Lord knows Islam needs defending: our Muslim brothers, acting in the name of Islam and in accord with its express teachings about subjugating the People of the Book and destroying “idols,” seized the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation, removed all the icons and crosses and every trace of Christianity, and made it into their headquarters. Certainly Islam needs a terrific defense after that, and a full-throated, energetic one — all the more so after our Muslim brothers terrorized Melkite Greek Catholics all over Syria, destroyed their churches, and drove them from their homes.

    It’s a good thing that our Muslim brothers have a personage as illustrious as Gregory III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and All the East, to defend them after all that, because otherwise someone might get the crazy idea that Islam teaches something that might have led our Muslim brothers to behave in this odd way toward their biggest defenders, Melkite Greek Catholics.

    Islam needs Gregory III Laham to defend it from the likes of Grand Ayatollah Ahmad al-Husseini al-Baghdadi, the chief Shi’ite cleric in Iraq, who has said: “If they are people of the book [Jews and Christians] we demand of them the jizya” — that is, the tax the Qur’an mandates that Muslims must collect from the subjugated people (9:29). “And if they refuse,” the Ayatollah continued, “then we fight them. That is, if he is Christian. He has three choices: either convert to Islam, or, if he refuses and wishes to remain Christian, then pay the jizya. But if they still refuse—then we fight them, and we abduct their women, and destroy their churches—this is Islam!”

    If anyone reads that and hundreds of similar declarations from Muslim clerics both Sunni and Shi’ite, and starts to think that there might be a problem with Islam, Gregory III and his Melkite clergy will be right there to say it ain’t so, that Islam is wonderful, that they love the hand that lashes them. This is what it means to be dhimmi, one of the “protected people,” the status Islamic law bestows upon those “People of the Book” who willingly submit to Islamic hegemony and are accordingly granted the favor of being allowed to continue to live as Christians, as long as they know their place.

    Melkite Greek Catholics and other Christians in the Middle East lived as dhimmis for centuries. They internalized the idea that, no matter how bad the treatment from their Muslim masters got, they must not utter anything but praise for Islam and Muslims, for otherwise things would go even harder for them – for Islamic law stipulates that if the dhimmi dares utter a complaint about his wretched condition, or a word of criticism for the words of the Qur’an and Muhammad that mandated that wretchedness, the “protection” would be revoked and his life would be forfeit.

    Accordingly today, if any Melkite Greek Catholics get out of line and start telling the truth about Islam’s doctrines of warfare and subjugation of Infidels, including their good friends the Melkite Greek Catholics, our Muslim brothers can rest assured that they have the Patriarch Gregory III Laham and his faithful bishops in their corner, ready to silence all such effrontery, which everyone knows is a continuing danger to the Church.

    It’s marvelous, it’s magical, it’s ecumenical. The only problem is that Gregory III Laham’s people are being slaughtered by our Muslim brothers, and instead of defending his people, and calling attention to why they are being slaughtered, the Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and All the East is sticking up for the belief system that incited their slaughterers.

    The Patriarch doesn’t seem to notice that the dhimmi “contract of protection” has already been revoked, that the Islamic State and other jihad groups in Syria and Iraq already see Christians as rebelling against their rule and hence lawfully to be killed. For Gregory III Laham to be actively dissembling now about what is happening to Middle Eastern Christians and why, in the classic dhimmi mode, is like a slave deemed disobedient being lashed and frenziedly proclaiming his submission and obedience as the whip falls: it’s an understandable impulse, but far too late.

    At this point, the old dhimmi practice of affirming the wonderfulness of Islam so that master doesn’t treat slave so harshly isn’t saving anyone, and is a grotesque betrayal of those who are suffering. Does the Patriarch think his shameless groveling will keep our Muslim brothers from slitting his throat (in accord with Qur’an 47:4) if they have the inclination and get the opportunity? It will not. Nor will it save any of his people. All it does is impede efforts to spread understanding about why what is happening to Middle Eastern Christians is happening, and thus also impedes attempts to formulate effective means to counter the persecution and genocide.

    The Patriarch could say nothing. That he chooses to say what he said is barbaric, it’s a betrayal, it’s a travesty. Melkite Greek Catholics and all the victims and the present and future and potential victims of Islamic jihad deserve better than these clerics who do nothing but betray them into the hands of those who hate them. Siding with killers against their victims isn’t Christian charity by any rational standard, however much Gregory III and his minions try to dress up their betrayal in clerical robes.

  2. Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop to West: “Why are your bishops silent on a threat that is yours today as well?”



    “Open your eyes, didn’t you see what happened recently in Paris?” No, they didn’t see it. They didn’t want to see it.

    Archbishop Jeanbart is not the first to say this. “Why, we ask the western world, why not raise one’s voice over so much ferocity and injustice?” asked Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI). Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan appealed to the West “not to forget the Christians in the Middle East.” The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III has also said: “I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”

    But the Patriarch should have understood, since he is a major part of the problem. After all, he recently said: “No one defends Islam like Arab Christians.” It is to defend Islam that Western clerics do not raise their voice against such acts of brutality. It is to pursue a fruitless and chimerical “dialogue” that bishops in the U.S. and Europe keep silent about Muslim persecution of Christians, and enforce that silence upon others. Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, said it on February 8, 2013 as he was suppressing a planned talk at a Catholic conference on that persecution: “Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.”

    That’s right, it’s all for the sake of the spurious and self-defeating “dialogue.” For all too many of Archbishop Jeanbart’s colleagues, including his boss, Patriarch Gregory, and especially the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to speak out about this persecution renders one a continuing danger to the Church and someone they believe has stepped beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse.

    Jeanbart should ask his colleagues in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about why their eyes are so resolutely closed. He should ask bishops like McManus, Kevin Farrell, Jaime Soto and others why they move actively to silence and demonize voices that tell the truth about this persecution. He should ask them why they are so convinced that Islam, at its core, teaches peace, despite the superabundance of evidence to the contrary in Islamic texts and the actions of Muslims who read them. He should ask why the U.S. Catholic bishops tolerated dissent from so many core Catholic dogmas for decades, but move as ruthlessly as any Grand Inquisitor to suppress dissent from the idea that Islam is a Religion of Peace, which isn’t even a dogma of the Church. He should ask them why they are abandoning their Middle Eastern brethren and keeping their own people ignorant and complacent about the jihad threat.

    Cowards, time-servers, trimmers and self-deluded wishful thinkers dominate the Church hierarchy today, among both bishops and priests, and all too many Catholics believe that to say so makes one disloyal to the Church. Nonsense. Calling these people to account for the damage they have done and are doing is the highest form of loyalty to the Church. But they are completely in control, and don’t even deign to engage those who oppose what they are doing. Well, they have the Church they want now, and as the years go by, it will become clear to everyone what they have done, and what unimaginable damage and destruction they have enabled.

  3. Turkey Shells Aleppo, Says “Massive Escalation” In Syria Imminent As Saudis Ready Airstrikes

    [Christians continue to suffer in the power play. Turkey is allied with the Sauds and Gulf States who want to run a pipeline to Europe, while Putin wants to keep his European customers. Assad wants to take Aleppo back from US-backed “rebels,” which would ultimately be good for Christians.]

    Even as all sides – including the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and select rebel groups – pretend to be working towards a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the five year conflict in Syria, actions speak louder than words, and to put it as succinctly as possible, everyone is still fighting.

    In fact, the fighting is more intense than ever. Russia and Hezbollah are closing in on Aleppo, the country’s largest city and a key urban center where rebels are dug in for what amounts to a last stand. If the city is liberated by the government (and yes, “liberated” is more accurate than “falls” because occupied territory belongs to the Syrian government, not to Sunni extremists), Assad will have regained control of the country’s backbone in the west.

    That would effectively mean the end of the rebellion and the Gulf monarchies, not to mention Turkey, are not happy about it. “The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey, for Turkey is the main conduit of supplies for the terrorists,” Assad said in an interview with AFP on Friday.

    That supply line has been severed and now, it’s do or die time for the rebels’ Sunni benefactors in Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha. Either intervene or watch as Hezbollah rolls up the opposition under cover of Russian airstrikes, restoring the Assad government and securing the Shiite crescent for the Iranians.
    [more at the link]

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