10 April 2014

Enemies of the paranoid? (I hope not!)

I am just going to preface the following rant by making it clear that Russia is not perfect. In my view, it’s nowhere even close to it; it’s juddering vaguely in the right direction about fifteen degrees off-course after an entire short century of being misgoverned, plundered and left by the wayside of the world community to die - but it’s at least up and walking. Even so (and in light of this history), I still can’t help but feel that the historical Orthodox paranoia about Catholicism is in some measure justified by Catholic powers’ sketchy geopolitical history.

The Crimean War was portrayed by Catholic archbishops in France as a crusade against the Orthodox. Never mind that Algerians and Ottoman Turks were party to this crusade, or that Christians were the target.

In WWI, Austria’s demands against Serbia were deliberately calculated to start a war which they knew would involve Russia. And the Armenian genocide during the war was carried out with the connivance, material and military support and possibly direct participation of Germany and Austria.

From Italy’s independence until the end of WWII, they were at the throat of Ethiopia. They liked to use Muslim Somali and Eritrean ascaris as their shock-troops in their wars of conquest.

In the Balkans, the unholy alliance of Tudjman, Izetbegovic and Albanian terrorist groups to tear Yugoslavia apart has resulted in massive human suffering throughout the region. Milosevic was hardly blameless in the whole affair, of course, but at the very least he was trying to preserve a common and multi-ethnic polity!

And now, it seems that the “Ukrainian” “Greek” “Catholic” “Church” (as aptly named as the “Free” “Syrian” “Army”, and just about as politically defensible) and the Crimean Tatars are trying their hardest to provoke a reprise of the first Crimean War.

I have nothing but admiration, respect and high regard for the consistent Catholics who have been my steadfast friends and coworkers these past years. And to their credit, many of them have been consistently questioning these policies of nominally-Catholic nations and powers for a lot longer than I have. But I have to ask - and, dear Catholic readers, please do not take this in any spirit other than that of brotherly concern! - what is it going to take to get Catholic countries to give up persecuting their Orthodox brothers and sisters?

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