by Robert Parry, The News Doctors:
Roman Catholic Pope Francis was hailed for his courage in challenging the United States Congress on a range of “leftwing” issues. The pontiff can take some credit for raising issues of social justice, reducing poverty and homelessness, averting deleterious environmental impacts, and calling for more humane immigration policies. But there was a flagrant omission in his address to the American lawmakers, as there was in his earlier audience with President Barack Obama. Where was his forthright condemnation of Washington’s rampant war-making and sponsorship of global terrorism?
The Bishop of Rome made no mention of US war-making and conflict. Silence is tacit acceptance, or even complicity. And when one of the world’s foremost religious leaders keeps silent, that is as good as a blessing for the warmongers.
Washington is, by far, the world’s greatest war-maker, having conducted wars, subversions, coups, covert insurgency and counterinsurgency operations in almost every year over the seven decades since the end of the Second World War, as documented by American historian William Blum.
Yet Pope Francis – Argentinian-born and from a continent that has been ravaged by Washington state-sponsored violence – did not speak truth to power while addressing the US Capitol. If Francis had excoriated the US rulers for their habitual warmongering, he may not have received applause and standing ovations, but the Pope would have at least spoken the truth at a critical juncture.
Pope Francis seemingly opted for discretion as being the better part of valour. A less charitable view is that the leader of the Catholic Church lacked the courage to speak out in defence of millions of victims of US-sponsored wars. He told the chamber of the House: “Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion”.
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