FACT CHECK: Media Claims Pope "Praised Terrorist". The Truth...
Let's get one thing straight. We respect the Pope. We respect Catholics. Both Pope Francis and the Catholic Church have done great things for the poor and our world.
That said, we believe the Pope is human, and therefore, subject to human error. AKA, we do not believe the Pope is always right simply because he is the Pope. But don't stop reading. You might be surprised what's coming...
When news stories this morning ran headlines screaming, "Pope calls Palestinian leader an 'angel of peace'" - we weren't pleased. At all.
Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Palestine, has actually worked towards peace in the Middle East, to the extent that many Palestinians think he's too conciliatory towards Israel. On the flip side though, he's also claimed the Nazis "only killed a few hundred Jews." And one of his top advisers, Sultan Abu Al-Einein. has called for the destruction of Israel saying, "All of us are required to teach these settlers a harsh lesson... Let every hour of the settler's presence on our land be a source of threat and terror for them. Let us deprive their lives of security so that the Palestinian land becomes a minefield... the occupation must pay the price... and itself accept condolences for those Israelis killed."
So why the heck would the Pope call Abbas an "angel of peace"?!
Simple. He didn't. What Pope Francis actually said was,
“The angel of peace destroys the evil spirit of war. I thought of you: that you might be an angel of peace.”
The Pope didn't call Abbas an angel of peace, you guys. He called on him to BE an angel of peace. Basically a kind way of saying, "Dude! Stop blowing people up and just play nice already!"
Well said, Pope Francis. Well said.