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The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow
to kill the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. (ps 37:14-16)
Europe has a lot of experience in killing dark-skinned people, and this has by no means ceased. The Mediterranean Sea is a giant graveyard, where 2000 people have been killed just this year, and 25,000 the last 20 years. These are refugees, fleeing from war-torn countries like Syria or impoverished economies like Libya. Italy has had a rescue mission called Mare Nostrum which has saved countless lives that otherwise would have perished, but it has now ended. Instead, the European Union’s border police Frontex will start a mission called Triton, but it will have a much smaller budget than Mare Nostrum and not be allowed to go as far as the Italian operation could.
Just as Italy halted the Mare Nostrum mission, the British government decided to stop its funding of rescue missions in Mediterranean. They will only provide one “debriefer” to Triton. The reason is that they think that the rescue operation is a “pull factor” that gives more refugees incentives to come to Europe.
The Guardian rightly calls this “an outrageous and immoral act. It suggests a government so alarmed by Ukip that it has lost all sense of proportion. The Italian-funded Mare Nostrum exercise, mobilised after 300 refugees drowned off Lampedusa a year ago, has saved thousands of lives.”
Yesterday, world news was dominated by the announced retirement of Pope Benedict XVI. After having been amazed by the fact that he is the first pope to resign in almost 600 years, the global media started to speculate about who would become the next bishop of Rome. Many think or hope that he will come from Latin America or Africa.
Since I’m not a Catholic, and especially not a cardinal, it could be argued that I shouldn’t express views on pope elections. But as a Christian with love for all of Christ’s church, across denominations as well as nations, I still want to question the European dominion over the Holy See.
I respect Catholic’s conviction that all popes are elected through the prophetic guidance of the Holy Spirit; still all prophecy should be tested (1 Th 5:19-20). Was it really the will of God that during the last 500 years when Catholicism has expanded across the globe, especially in Latin America, all popes have been European? In fact, before John Paul II, every single one was Italian. Apart from a few North Africans and Syrians, and S:t Peter himself of course, all popes have been white Europeans during all of church history.