... why is it so difficult for the United States and others from the international community to come together to help eradicate this world threat?
The overwhelming sentiment of sympathy and support for the people of Paris from Catholics following the brutal killings of innocent French citizens was quick, heartfelt and evident throughout the Boston area. While praying in Church on Sunday, I was thinking about Boston's early Catholic history.
When poor Irish immigrants first came to Boston and were discriminated against, ridiculed and brutalized by rich Puritan elites, it was French nuns, priests and bishops who stood up, spoke out and protected defenseless Catholic immigrants. People who know their history would remember the courageous Catholics of French heritage like Bishop Cheverus, the first bishop of Boston, many Notre Dame nuns, the burning down of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Bishop Matignon and several Catholic refugee agencies who helped all the new immigrants to Boston.
What we witnessed on TV over the weekend was a crime against humanity and a violation of international law. The combination of political apathy and partisan arrogance is allowing our political leaders to jeopardize our world's security.
Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End, over 1,000 concerned Catholics heard Father Kevin O'Leary eloquently express the strong sentiments of Cardinal O'Malley regarding the brutal killings of innocent people in Paris. We all stand with the people of France, he said. But the conversation didn't end there.
Outside the cathedral and all across the city, concerned citizens were outraged at our nation's political leaders in not putting policies in place to protect U.S. citizens and helping make the world safer from radical terrorists. Not lost on concerned Catholics is the attempt by the Islamic State to behead and exterminate all believers in Jesus Christ. This is called "genocide" and legally, it requires action by all representative governments. The president of France said that his country is at war with Islamic State and that we must defeat radical Islamists. So, why is it so difficult for the United States and others from the international community to come together to help eradicate this world threat? The Holy Father is right, all people of faith are united in their outrage against the Islamic State and its brutal ideology. When all diplomatic efforts have been unsuccessful, as they apparently are in protecting innocent victims, religious leaders are right to say that the use of force is justifiable.
Standing outside of the cathedral with my wife and grandson, several people came up to me and asked me why has this "religious and ethnic genocide" been allowed to continue by the international community? I said, "What is happening is a violation of every law and principle of civilization and common decency. Beheadings and torture of innocent Catholics in North Africa and the Middle East will leave a lasting, indelible and embarrassing mark on our history. Future generations will ask, where was the outrage? Why was the international community silent and unable to stop all the senseless and reckless violence?"
RAY FLYNN IS THE FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE VATICAN AND MAYOR OF BOSTON.
Raymond L. Flynn is the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and Mayor of Boston.
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