From the Boston Herald Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said yesterday we may be forced into a “just war” but without love “we’re going to destroy each other,” while 5,000 miles away in Albania his friend Pope Francis, defying an ISIS death threat, went ahead with his first trip as pontiff to a heavily Muslim country under extraordinary security.

During the first Mass for public safety personnel in 13 years at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, O’Malley told the gathering of law enforcement officials, “Compassion and love can come from one’s enemy. Then, no one is an enemy and everyone is a neighbor.”

O’Malley later told the Herald with regard to ISIS, “Although we must always reject violence and hatred, it’s the people that we must love. And hopefully that love will touch them.

“Love has a ripple effect, just as violence does,” he said. “Sometimes we have to engage in a just war, but if there’s not love for people, the recognition that we’re all one human family, then we’re going to destroy each other. We’re going to build a civilization of love or there’ll be no civilization at all.”

Asked if the growing threat to Christians by ISIS is worth starting another war over, O’Malley said, “We should always look for alternatives — always look for alternatives. The more that we can have a dialogue — a real dialogue — the better. The response can’t always be just meeting violence with violence.”

Pope Francis yesterday called on Muslims and all religious leaders to condemn Islamic extremists who “pervert” religion to justify violence.

Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican last week said ISIS had threatened to kill the pope in Albania. The Vatican insisted it had no reports of specific threats against the pope and that no special security measures were taken; however, Francis’ interactions with the crowds were much reduced compared to his previous foreign trips. His open-top vehicle sped down Tirana’s main boulevard, not stopping once for him to greet the faithful as is his norm.

 

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