A Front Page Magazine article by Robert Spencer on October 28, (“A Tale of Two Bishops”), reported on the curious shift in the opinions of two Eastern Catholic bishops attending the Vatican Synod on Christians in the Middle East.
In contradiction to their own critical statements about Islam and the treatment of Christians in Iraq by Muslims of only a few years before, both men, Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, Eparch of Newton for the Melkite Greek Catholics in the United States, and Emmanuel III Delly, the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, were now stating opinions based upon Islamic talking points. Archbishop Bustros blames Israel for everything, repeating the heresy that Christ “nullified” Yahweh’s covenant with Israel, leaving Jews “no longer a chosen people.”
Archbishop Delly also pretended, after years of ugly evidence to the contrary, that the few Iraqi Christians who haven’t fled persecution in that country in the past few years are getting along great with Iraq’s Muslim majority. “Christians are good with their fellow Muslims and in Iraq there is mutual respect among them.”
Three days after Spencer’s article was published, Muslims attacked Baghdad’s Our Lady of Deliverance Church, murdering the priest as he said mass and taking 120 Christians hostage. By the time it ended at least 52 persons had lost their lives, and scores were seriously maimed and wounded.
In 2006 Archbishop Bustros said, “the doctrines of Islam dictate war against unbelievers.” He also said that “the concept of nonviolence is absent from Muslim doctrine and practice.” And that “peace in Islam is based on the surrender of all people to Islam and to God’s power based on Islamic law. They have to defend this peace of God even by force.”
In 2007 Emmanuel III Delly described the dire situation of Christians in Iraq this way: “Christians are killed, chased out of their homes before the very eyes of those who are supposed to be responsible for their safety.” In 2008, he said: “The situation in some parts of Iraq, is disastrous and tragic. Life is a Calvary: there is no peace or security… Everyone is afraid of kidnapping.”
Spencer believes that Christians in the Middle East, and their leaders, as exemplified by these two prelates, “dissemble” to protect their people from even worse violence from their persecutors were they to speak out. “Their odd statements of late were almost certainly made in an attempt to protect their communities. The situation of Christians in the Middle East is bad enough, and they may fear they will make it even worse by speaking more honestly about Islamic supremacism and jihad.”