Pope Francis has done a number of things that have raised eyebrows of Christian conservatives. In September of 2015, he came down squarely on the side of those practicing a religion other than Christianity, which is to say the gospel of climate change.
His Easter message this year, which came on the heels of the ISIS attack on Brussels, was to combat the evil of “blind and brutal violence” using the “weapons of love.”
He even took a position on the Syrian refugee crisis by bringing 12 immigrants back to the Vatican in April to show the world “how it’s done.”
Now he’s come out with another statement that will gladden hearts at the White House, while again offending Christian conservatives everywhere. In an interview with the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, the pontiff said that “Islam and Christianity share an inherent ‘idea of conquest,'” according to The Guardian.
He further observed that “those who refer to Europe’s roots as Christian often veer into colonialism.”
When Francis was asked by La Croix whether fear of Islam was justified in Europe, he said … “[i]t is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.”…
He said it was important for Christians to ask themselves whether an “overly western model of democracy” has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government existed before military intervention led to the ousting of Saddam Hussein. Francis also pointed to Libya, where he quoted someone as saying recently: “We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have 50”.