This video from Rome says about itself:
24 March 2016
Pope Francis uses a traditional pre-Easter ceremony to condemn the Brussels attackers as well as arms manufactures and traffickers for what he says is their partial responsibility for Tuesday’s bombings. Ashraf Fahim reports.
Whenever one of the predecessors of the present Pope Francis I went on a rant against gay people, against birth control, against feminism, etc., western corporate media used to report that prominently.
Now, however, when another pope speaks on other subjects, the corporate media’s silence, with as only exception which I found the Reuters video embedded at the top of this blog post, is deafening.
On Thursday, Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of refugees, including three Muslim men, and condemned arms manufacturers as partly responsible for Islamist militant attacks that killed at least 31 people in Brussels.
He made his comments at a traditional pre-Easter ritual. This year 11 of the 12 people whose feet he washed and kissed were refugees. The ceremony commemorates Jesus’ gesture of humility towards his apostles on the night before he died.
“All of us together, Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals, [are] but brothers, children of the same God, who want to live in peace, integrated,” he said in unscripted comments at a shelter north of Rome that houses refugees seeking political asylum.
“Three days ago, there was a gesture of war, of destruction, in a city of Europe by people who don’t want to live in peace,” he said.
In a reference to the Brussels attackers, Francis condemned “those poor creatures who buy weapons in order to destroy brotherhood,” comparing them to Judas Iscariot, the apostle who the Bible says betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Before Francis became the pope, the ceremony was held in St. Peter’s or another Rome basilica and only included Catholic men, usually priests.
But after his election in 2013, he continued the tradition he started as archbishop of Buenos Aires, enabling women and non-Catholics to participate. Catholic conservatives have criticized him for breaking with tradition.
The refugees came from Mali, Nigeria, Eritrea, India, Syria and Pakistan. Of the four women in the group, three were Eritrean Coptic Christians and the other was an Italian Catholic who works at the shelter, which is home to about 900 asylum seekers.
“Each one of you, each in your religious language, let’s pray to the Lord so that this brotherhood is contagious in the world,” he said.
He brought chocolate Easter eggs, soccer balls and donations for the center.
The pope presides at two services on Good Friday, including a candlelight Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession around Rome’s Colosseum.
He will lead an Easter vigil service on Saturday and on Easter Sunday he is set to deliver his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
As revelations mount of police foreknowledge of the March 22 Brussels bombings, the central question that is emerging is why the security forces of Belgium and its NATO allies did not move to stop the attacks. That the Belgian state had detailed prior knowledge of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) network that carried out the bombings is emerging in numerous press reports: here.
Amid growing revelations of state foreknowledge of the March 22 attacks in Brussels, ruling circles are trying to cover up their responsibility in attacks that have now claimed 35 lives and left 340 injured. As the central role of Islamist networks developed by the NATO powers in their proxy war in Syria comes to light, Belgian and French politicians are stoking up anti-Muslim hatred: here.
Since 9/11, the US has resettled nearly 800,000 refugees. Not a single one has been implicated in a terrorist plot. (Ken Gude, The Guardian)
The United States Defense Department (DOD) is seizing on the terror attacks in Brussels to carry out yet another wave of US troop deployments to Iraq, US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joe Dunford and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter made clear in statements last Friday: here.