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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Assad associate in the Vatican: Et tu, Franciscus!

Pope Francis; Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Despite the recent rapprochement between the Assad regime and most of the Arab countries and the presence of its head in the recent Jeddah Arab Summit, the vast majority of the free world countries are still against normalizing relations with the regime for a good number of reasons. The most important of those reasons is its involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as its unwillingness to participate in any political process aimed at solving the current Syrian crisis and no attempts whatsoever on its part to take even the first step towards the implementation of UNSCR 2254.

However, last May, Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, received the Assad regime’s “ambassador” Louay Fallouh in the Vatican and during their meeting conveyed his greetings to Assad.

Until that moment, His Holiness was the last person that Syrians expected to do such a thing. The incident came as a shocking surprise given that Pope Francis represents a spiritual moral consciousness and religious compass worldwide. In doing so, he appears to be whitewashing the blood-stained hands of a class-A criminal thus breaking away from the long-held universal view of the Holy See as a refuge for weary hearts.

“Pope Francis has failed to realize that the neutrality he believes he is exhibiting is not something to be proud of. In fact, when it comes to blatant matters of good and evil, neutrality is considered to be morally wrong as we see in the often-used pseudo-Dante quote ‘The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.'”

Sophia Capalo

For the past 12 years, the Assad regime has not left a Syrian untouched — without ruining his/her life in one way or another. And this will most likely be the case for years, if not decades to come as this regime cannot survive without shedding blood and oppression. It is a regime that feeds on torture, killing, and destruction.   

The Pope meeting Assad associate; Credit: SANA

But the Vatican is not simply a state or a political entity. It is supposed to stand for dignity and morality in the highest order. It is not supposed to be driven by materialistic interests or pragmatics. In entertaining Assad’s representative in the Vatican, Pope Francis has failed to realize that the neutrality he believes he is exhibiting towards Assad is not something to be proud of. In fact, when it comes to blatant matters of good and evil, neutrality is considered to be morally wrong as we see in the often-used pseudo-Dante quote “The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

What is even more dangerous about this step by the Pope is that it may be seen as a green light for other countries of the free world to start doing the same, following in the footsteps of the Vatican. Not only this, it may also be viewed as a message to the people in these countries that Assad is a dove of peace and this will be hugely exploited by the regime to market itself in the international arena.

“Receiving an Assad regime associate in the Vatican is a recognition of what it is, and what it is doing. Standing with Assad is just like taking the side of a mafia clan.”

Sophia Capalo

There is no denying the historical fact that Jesus Christ took the side of oppressed people, not dictators or authoritative powers. By engaging with the Assad regime, the Pope appears to be stabbing suffering Syrians in the back, not caring for their agonies.

The Assad regime is a mafia state with a boss, a flag, and criminal associates here and there. Just a quick look at the Assad Captagon drug trade will lead to this conclusion, let alone all its other evil deeds. Receiving an Assad regime associate in the Vatican is a recognition of what it is, and what it is doing. Standing with Assad is just like taking the side of a mafia clan.

Thirty pieces of silver were the price for which Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus according to an account in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 26: Verse 15. As for why Pope Francis engaged in this shameful act, only the “godfather” knows for sure.

Sophia Capalo
Sophia Capalo
Commentator on Middle Eastern affairs

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