Generous Orthodoxy  




Friday, June 22, 2012

A powerful Christian witness in the Middle East

Say what you will about the Jesuits, they continue to produce heroic priests who brave death and fates worse than death. After months and years of horrible revelations about child abuse by Roman Catholic priests (never mind football coaches, Protestant schoolteachers, and Hasidic rabbis), it is deeply moving to read this story from The New York Times yesterday.

As we all know, the Christian communities are disappearing from the Middle East. A complicating factor is the distressing tendency of various Eastern Orthodox churches and their leadership to support the likes of Bashir al-Assad in return for protection. ("For what shall it profit a church, if it shall gain the whole world, and lose its own soul?" Mk. 8:36)

Therefore it is particularly inspiring, though distressing, to read of the courage and faith of this lone Jesuit priest. Here is the link -- be sure to read all the way to the last sentence, which is the clincher:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/middleeast/syria-expels-activist-roman-catholic-priest.html?_r=1&emc=eta1