Iraq: Impressive Christian Response…

Iraq: Impressive Christian Response…

crucifixion2Iraqi militants seized control Thursday of the country’s largest Christian city — reportedly telling its residents to leave, convert or die — while members of another religious minority remained trapped on a mountain without enough food or water, circumstances that fueled calls for the U.S. and U.N. to get more involved.  Read more


It’s been impressive to see Christians interviewed on TV saying they would not give up their Faith even under threat of death in Iraq. It’s, in a way, little short of amazing to witness this at the present time of deep crisis in the Church.  Your thoughts welcome…  

Comments (36)

  • Josephine

    I am very impressed with the people in Iraq who said on camera that they would die before giving up their faith but it never says which denomination the Christians belong to. Does anyone know if the region is most Catholics, as it said in one report that the Christians had been there for 2,000 years. That suggests to me, Catholics, but I don’t really know.

    August 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm
    • Domchas

      Doesn’t Matter that they are ‘Catholics ‘ . Do you suggest that only Catholics should be rescued and saved.Heaven forfend, there might just be the odd Muslim refugee undergoing the same persecution!!!! The denomination of the persecuted is of no import whatsoever. If they are ‘Chritian’ are you compounding their dreadful situation by suggesting that non Catholics Christians be left to their dreadful fate? That is a persecution in itself!

      August 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm
      • Josephine

        I didn’t say any of that. I only asked if anyone knew if that region was mostly Catholics. That’s all I said.

        August 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm
      • Fidelis


        You seem to be implying that it doesn’t matter if the Christians being persecuted in Iraq are Catholic or not which means you don’t think it really matters if someone is a Catholic. I wonder what you think of this quote from a bull of Pope Eugene IV –

        “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot have a share in eternal happiness; but that they will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the Devil and his Angels (Matt 25: 41), unless they unite themselves to the Church before their death; and that so precious is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those who abide in it can benefit from the Church’s Sacraments for their salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militancy. No one, no matter how much he has given in alms and even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, Denzinger n. 714)

        I must add that I am truly horrified by the suffering being endured by the minority religious groups in Iraq and that includes the Christian groups. I think we should pray for them all.

        August 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm
      • No one you know...

        Look up what Pius XII said on this issue. Someone by their Baptism is in the Church. Some are not in Communion however if they have ignorance they can still be saved

        August 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm
      • Nicky

        I find this hard to understand. One minute Protestants are heretics and schismatics, next minute they’re inside the Church because they are baptised. Which is it? The following article quotes saints and fathers of the church down the centuries and none of them say that everyone who is baptised, no matter which church, is part of the Catholic Church. Wasn’t the Reformation about getting out of the Catholic Church?

        August 9, 2014 at 10:33 pm
      • Confitebor Domino

        This is what Pius XII said on this issue:

        ” only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority”
        (Mystici Corporis Christi 22 (1943), emphasis added)

        ‘Not in Communion’ means precisely ‘not in the Church’.

        Those in invincible ignorance may be saved. It is highly debatable whether any heretics or schismatics will be able to rely on that defence.

        (If you had another Pius XII quote in mind let me know, preferable with a citation.)

        August 10, 2014 at 1:03 am
  • Therese

    My thoughts: absolute admiration and and humility. I can only pray, fervently, that I would have the same courage and resolve.

    God bless and preserve them and may His Holy Mother strengthen them in their trial.

    August 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm
  • Nicky

    I don’t know how many Catholics are over there compared to others, but this vicar tells of how his people are being executed.

    I’m very surprised at the bravery of these people. As Therese says, I can only pray that I would have the same courage and resolve, but I can’t imagine it to be honest.

    August 8, 2014 at 5:49 pm
  • jobstears

    I find the courage of the Iraqi Christians heroic. We read about the persecution and martyrdom of the early Christians, it looks like we have now come full circle with the renewed persecution of Christians in this ancient land. Like Therese, I can only pray I would have the same courage and resolve.-

    August 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm
  • crofterlady

    What heroism! Would that I had their courage in face of such brutality. The Battle of Lepanto in 1571 springs to mind; if only we had the great Christian leaders of yester years!

    August 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm
    • Theresa Rose

      How true, Crofterlady. I wonder how may of us would have such courage in the face of such adversity.

      “If only” a sad and bald statement – If only indeed we had the likes of Pope Pius V who sought the help of Our Lady through the Rosary.

      Do we get the leaders we deserve? Is it because Our Lady is neglected and at our peril?

      August 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm
      • editor

        Theresa Rose,

        Many thanks for that reminder about the Battle of Lepanto/Pius V/Rosary.

        A word of caution, though. That link is to the TFP group, who think (Heaven help them) that the Consecration of Russia has been completed and we are not enjoying the promised period of peace in the world. You have to at least smile if not laugh a hearty laugh.

        So, just be aware of that and don’t take them too seriously. I try to avoid linking to them at all but don’t worry – your pay is not going to be docked this time!

        August 10, 2014 at 11:11 pm
  • jacobi

    The action of ISIS, an orthodox Islamic group, who have resorted to terror and subjugation as urged and permitted to do so by their founder Mohamed, has created a profound crisis for the Christian world. We now see indigenous Christian communities who existed since the first century being either eliminated or, if it so pleases ISIS, being tolerated on condition they acknowledge Allah and pay the religious tax.

    These Christians are showing extraordinary determination to somehow hold on to their Faith. And at last the outside world has noticed and belatedly begun to respond. There have been appeals from local Orthodox bishops and this has had some effect.

    What is disgraceful is the lack of reaction from the Vatican. Yes there has been the odd mention in a sermon or two, but essentially, nothing. The Vatican should have been up in arms, leading the Christian world, and crying outrage from the rooftops, but no.

    I have been quite angry about this silence and have several times called attention to it in various comments.

    The sad thing is that the Church has missed a Heaven sent opportunity. A strong response would have been so appreciated not only by our Eastern Catholics, but also by our Eastern Orthodox brethren. It would have so assisted any future Ecumenistic approaches, but sadly, I expect, they will not forget this omission.

    August 9, 2014 at 7:03 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      The Vatican sent money to the persecuted Christians in July and this is a report on 7th August of the Pope asking for humanitarian aid to be sent

      I don’t think the Pope and Vatican have been silent, probably just not reported.

      August 9, 2014 at 10:15 pm
  • Domchas

    Instead of bleating about what others are or are not doing, perhaps the bloggers should actually do something themselves. Organise a prayer vigil either in your parish church or a Rosary crusade in your own home. Invite your friends and maybe yor enemies to pray for the situation. My own community has already had a day of fasting and prayer. Perhaps bloggers could organise to say a rosary all at the same time, wherever they are. Many of us are not in any position to do more but pray.. Instead of commenting on what the Vatican is or is not doing, or stating pious platitudes, let’s hear of some action from the CT bloggers. [nasty personal remark removed]

    August 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm
    • editor


      “My own community has already had a day of fasting and prayer”..

      Super duper!

      August 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm
      • domcha

        Editor U are [nasty personal remark removed]. [Another nasty personal remark removed] Be very thoroughly ashamed of your sarcasim and lack of charity to any who disagree with you.Such attitude is certainly not catholic. [nasty personal remark about the SSPX removed] You will have to answer one day for your bad mindedness, and perhaps sooner than you realise!!!

        Editor: although I have deleted the nasty personal remarks in the above comment, I have saved a copy of the original, awaiting an explanation of your final sentence. What exactly do you mean by “you will have to answer one day… perhaps sooner than you realise!!!” ? Please explain exactly what you mean, to avoid any misunderstanding. Thank you.

        August 11, 2014 at 12:08 am
      • Therese


        I do hope Domcha(s) explains him/herself very quickly and apologises for the implicit threat in the last sentence of his/her post.

        August 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm
      • editor


        I’m waiting…

        August 11, 2014 at 8:25 pm
  • jacobi

    I’m sorry Margaret Mary, lots of people send money to lots of people. That is not what I am talking about.

    As the very early Catholic Church is being wiped out, the reaction of the Vatican has been silence, a little here and there, but essentially silence, when it should have been at the UN etc and shouting this from the rooftops.

    So we have a “pressing appeal” according to a Vatican Spokesman on the 7th August. Christians have been murdered and persecuted openly in Mosul, and reported as such since before June of this year. The Mass has been said in Mosul for nearly two thousand years, but this ceased about then. It was widely reported in the press but I never saw any reaction from the Vatican. And if there was and it was not reported what on earth do we have a Vatican Press office for?

    August 10, 2014 at 12:11 am
  • Frankier

    I wonder if it will be remembered when the time comes to canonise Pope Francis that he remained silent during this present day persecution of Christians.

    August 10, 2014 at 12:36 am
    • jacobi

      Probably not!

      August 10, 2014 at 11:07 am
      • editor

        Frankier & Jacobi,

        Probably not, with bells on!

        August 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm
  • jobstears

    I think the Vatican has been shamefully quiet about the persecution of the Christians in Iraq. I don’t think it bothers them one bit that the Mass, as Jacobi pointed out, which had been said for over two thousand years in Mosul can no longer be offered in the land which has been home to the earliest Christians.

    Frankier, I would think Pope Francis would be canonized for his tolerance of other religions – that’s how his silence will be white washed.

    August 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm
    • editor


      The Vatican certainly has been shamefully quiet about the persecution of Christians in Iraq but why are we surprised? The Pope doesn’t think the Church is necessary for salvation, so why would he be any more bothered about the Christians being executed in that part of the planet than about suffering peoples in any other “trouble-spot” in the world?

      His platitudes (and daft tree-planting) for peace in the world reveal his spectacular shallowness – with all due respect for his high office, of course, needless to say etc. etc. blah blah. He’s more likely to speak out to condemn the persecution of the other minority religious groups than he is to condemn the execution of Christians, least of all Catholics.

      If I am coming across as being overly harsh, and you think I don’t really mean it all … wrong, it’s deliberate. I mean it.

      August 10, 2014 at 11:04 pm
  • Frankier

    He should name them as martyrs as soon as they give up their lives. Maybe ISIS wouldn`t be too happy to be contributing to the sudden rise in saints of the religion(s) they are persecuting.

    August 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm
    • editor


      You have a point. Worth a try…

      August 10, 2014 at 11:07 pm
  • Christina

    Jacobi et al, I well remember Pope Francis’s widely reported reference to ‘Our dear Muslim immigrants’, and so i have been waiting to hear something about ‘Our dear Christian martyrs’, but so far zilch. Perhaps he is afraid it would upset the dear Muslims.

    August 12, 2014 at 11:28 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I am very puzzled at the TV news reports which are nearly all about the Yazidis, a people/religion I had never heard of before.

    Yet there has been very little mention of the fact that whole Christian communities have been wiped off the face of the earth.

    From my understanding, there are only about 30,000 Yazidis and hundreds of thousands of Christians, so from a media perspective, it seems strange that they are not reporting the disappearance of almost the whole Christian community in northern Iraq and telling us only about the Yazidis.

    If I’m wrong about any of this, I would be grateful for correction.

    August 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm
  • editor

    This edition of Hardtalk has just been emailed to me. I haven’t been able to watch it yet but looks interesting.

    August 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm
  • Theresa Rose


    I certainly will look at this edition of Hardtalk. I wonder if there will be any kind of link to what I saw courtesy of Fatima Crusader regarding the persecutions of Christians, it is horrifying to say the least.

    August 21, 2014 at 9:46 am
  • editor

    Seems the executed journalist, James Foley, was a Catholic and prayed the Rosary in captivity
    in Libya. Hopefully he did the same until his death. May he rest in peace.

    August 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm
  • leprechaun

    Madame Editor,

    I attach the contents of an e-mail circulated on Thursday 28th August 2014 by a Traditional Catholic priest in response to a plea from the leader of Crisis Relief International in Northern Iraq.

    It calls for prayers and for maximum publicity for the atrocities being committed by the Jihadists who pretentiously call themselves “The Islamic State”.

    Will readers please pray for the innocent who are being slaughtered, and put this plea on their Facebook accounts and circulate it to as many people as possible.

    Thank you.

    Dear Friends,

    Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts.

    “We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food too. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated it’s staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!”

    Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region.

    May I plead with you not to ignore this email. Do not forward it before you have prayed through it. Then send it to as many people as possible.

    Send it to friends and Christians you may know. Send it to your prayer group. Send it to your pastor and phone him/her to pray on Sunday during the service – making a special time of prayer for this. We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians.

    August 29, 2014 at 9:18 am
    • Margaret Mary


      I will pray as requested.

      I am wondering why the news broadcasts seldom mentions the beheading of Christians and children, only speaks of other minority groups that I’ve never heard of before.

      August 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm
  • Athanasius


    My prayers already being offered for those poor souls. Thank you for highlighting their plight.

    August 29, 2014 at 10:40 pm

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