This line comes from this thought provoking piece by Fr. Raymond D’Souza (I pulled this from the Rorate Caeli blog), commenting on the murder of Catholics at Mass in Iraq by a group of Mohammedans. Three priests were among the 60 dead.
The prospect of martyrdom is part and parcel of the faith. By martyrdom, I mean in the holy sense, that of witnessing as a victim for Christ, not that of the grotesque parody of those who used the term to murder others. These Catholics were chosen, and the murderers were Moslem. But the powers of the West shrug. Killing Catholics doesn’t bother anyone, you see.
This incident brings home the reality of the hatred against the Church to a previously comfortable Church in the West. Persecution of Catholics has never stopped totally since the beginning, and in far parts of the world we are used to still hearing about it, but this seems closer to home. The secular West seems to lack the will to reproduce, let alone defend itself. The appeasement urge in Europe and America goes so far as to make laughable the mere thought of these countries vigorously defending Catholics.
My somewhat rambling point is not to endorse any war plan– certainly the current US policy is in no sense a Crusade, and I don’t believe that the current war policy can be morally justified. And I make no predictions. Certainly God blesses the Iraqi martyrs, but that does not thereby justify the martyr-makers. And among the enemies of the Church are those who would kill those who would not convert. My point is that anyone who identifies the Church’s cause with any country’s cause is kidding themselves. We have no protector in the purely temporal sphere.
Pray for the Church. The list of martyrs shows every sign of lengthening.