Mincing no words, French Cardinal André Vingt-Trois told the Christian faithful this week that jihadists “wrap themselves in the trappings of religion” while announcing a “God of death,” whom the prelate compared to the ancient pagan god “Moloch”—who demanded live human sacrifices as a tribute.
The Cardinal, who serves as archbishop of Paris, pronounced these words during the homily at a memorial Mass Wednesday celebrated for the martyred priest Father Jacques Hamel, whose throat two Islamic radicals slit during morning Mass this past Tuesday.
The comparison between the “Allah” of the Islamists and the heinous “Moloch” of ancient pagan peoples is especially severe, given that Christians have generally understood Muslims to be an Abrahamic religion, and a “people of the book.” Moloch, on the contrary, was a vicious god who demanded infant sacrifices, often identified with the Carthaginian god Baal.
“Those who wrap themselves in the trappings of religion to mask their deadly project,” Vingt-Trois said, “those who want to announce to us a God of death, a Moloch that would rejoice at the death of a man and promise paradise to those who kill while invoking him, these cannot expect humanity to yield to their delusion.”
Cardinal Vingt-Trois said that in the face of the despair preached by the Islamists, Christians must counter with the Gospel message of hope. “It is this hope that animated the ministry of Father Jacques Hamel when celebrating the Eucharist during which he was brutally executed,” the Cardinal said. “It is this hope that sustains Eastern Christians when they have to flee persecution and choose to leave everything rather than renounce their faith.”
The Cardinal also said that in the current social environment, fear becomes the driving force behind our choices, leaving people powerless to do good and resist evil. Political correctness imposes silence out of fear of offending, of stepping out of line with the way “proper” people think and speak.
This silence extends to parents, afraid to transmit values to their children, and extends to the “silence of the elite in the face of deviant behavior, and the legalization of deviance.”
This pressure not to offend others leads to cowardice and abdication of duty, the Cardinal suggested, and imposes an unhealthy conformism.
“Above all do not annoy others, so as not to trigger conflicts, aggression, or even violence, by inconsiderate proposals or simply the expression of an opinion out of line with the image given us of a unified modern thought,” he said.
Cardinal Vingt-Trois concluded his homily by urging the faithful to be courageous and to find their strength in the Lord.
“Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, for I am with you, to save and rescue you, says the Lord. I will rescue you from the hand of the wicked, and ransom you from the power of the violent,” the Cardinal said, quoting the Prophet Jeremiah.
“My rampart is God, the God of love,” he said.
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