A colleague from the Canadian atheist, secular, humanist, freethinking community alerted me to the article “Paris Attacks in God’s Name ‘Blasphemy’” using the subject line “Ironic News article”:
The militants behind the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people are “violating the image of God” by claiming to carry out such acts of violence in his name, the secretary-general of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) said on Thursday.
“According to these people, God would impose himself even against man, against those who don’t accept his will and won’t submit to him,” said Monsignor Nunzio Galantino. “This is a violated God. When you betray man, and you do it while praising God’s name, the image of God is also violated,” he said.
The sentiments expressed in the article are not ironic in the sense that irony is a “state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result” because Galantino does exactly what any sane and rational person has learned to expect from a representative of the Catholic Church: he dissembles. Galantino’s statement is intended to disguise or conceal its real intentions. Galantino wants the gullible to believe that God was a victim in “the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people.”
However, the remarks from the sometimes infallible head of the Catholic church are ironic. In an article in the National Catholic Reporter, entitled “Francis Condemns Paris Attacks as ‘Inhuman,’ Vatican Says World Needs Mercy, ” Francis’ comment,
“I am shaken and pained. I do not understand but these things are difficult to understand.”
is “deliberately contrary to what one expects.” It is “wryly amusing” that the head of the Catholic church does “not understand [because] these things are difficult to understand.” Doesn’t he have a direct line to God?
In the same NCR article, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi
“called on people to resist allowing the terrorists to make them frightened or fearful but to instead seek the “message of mercy, that love of God which leads to mutual love and reconciliation.”
However, on November 16, the Vatican’s top diplomat, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, supported “military intervention to disarm ‘an unjust aggressor’ and also acknowledged that the Vatican itself could be a target ‘because of its religious significance.'” Parolin justifies this stance by quoting from section 2265 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which says
The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.
Apologists for Islam claim that Islam is a religion of peace, and apologists for Catholicism talk about mercy at the same time as they call for military intervention. Parolin is correct, “blind violence is intolerable, whatever its origin may be.” It is also correct that most of what religions do is intolerable; religion is intolerable.