This weekend, the Archbishop of Vienna added his name to the growing list of prelates who are publicly recognizing that the ultimate aim of many Muslims is the conquest of Europe.
In his homily at Sunday Mass, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (pictured) warned that “Europe is on the verge of forfeiting its Christian heritage,” noting that this loss, which is already being felt, is “not only economic, but above all human and religious.”
The Viennese Cardinal asked the large congregation gathered in Saint Stephen’s cathedral church: “Will there be an Islamic conquest of Europe?”
“Many Muslims want that and say: ‘Europe is finished,’” he said.
The Mass celebrated on 9/11 commemorated the Catholic feast of the “Holy Name of Mary,” which was instituted 332 years ago in gratitude for the liberation of Vienna from the Ottoman Turks. The Battle of Vienna, between the allied Christian forces and 90,000 Islamic invaders, was waged on September 11 and 12, 1683, and marked the turning point in Europe’s 300-year struggle against Islam.
Against this serious backdrop man must first rely on the mercy of God, the Cardinal said. “God have mercy on Europe and on thy people, who are in danger of forfeiting our Christian heritage,” he prayed.
The feast also coincided with the tenth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s historic “Regensburg Address,” in which he spoke of the important relationship between faith and reason, underscoring differences between the Christian understanding of God and the Muslim concept of Allah.
Whereas for Christians, “not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature,” Benedict said, “for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.”
Benedict offered these reflections after having quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus regarding the place of violence in Islamic practice.
“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,” the citation ran.
Although Benedict acknowledged that the emperor spoke with a “startling brusqueness,” which today “we find unacceptable,” his remarks set off a wave of Muslim retaliation.
An Italian nun was shot to death in Somalia hours after a leading Somali cleric condemned the Pope’s comments. Five churches were firebombed on the West Bank and Gaza strip, while in India and Iraq the pontiff was burned in effigy.
Pakistan’s parliament adopted an official resolution condemning the pope, and its Foreign Ministry demanded that the Vatican’s ambassador apologize for Benedict’s remarks.
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