Vatican Smelling The (Turkish) Coffee

“It is in Turkey`s
economic interest to be part of Europe. It is also in
the interest of the Muslim world that an Islamic nation
such as Turkey is within the European Union, as a Trojan
horse…Admitting Turkey into European Union is like an
attempt to transplant a human organ into a body of
another person with a different blood group, and they
never have any biological compatibility.”—
Libyan
dictator Muammar Gaddafi, on his

website
.

From the stone corridors of ancient
cathedral priories to jungle chapels in Asia and

betting pools
in newsrooms around the world, the
speculation increases daily: who will succeed the ailing
Pope John Paul II?

Surprising favorites include:

  • Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria—where northern,
    majority-Moslem provinces are still trying to

    impose Sharia
    (Islamic law) on their Christian
    minorities.

Personally, I`m rooting for Arinze—the
first black pope would get a free pass from the leftist
media for several years. His sheer exoticism would
permit this solidly orthodox cleric to clean house.
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But if any of these three were
elected—or indeed,

any bishop from Asia or Africa
—the Vatican`s recent
line favoring virtually open borders will be
re-examined, at least when it comes to Islamic
immigration.

Indeed, in the waning days of this
great papacy, there have been unmistakable signs that
the Holy See has begun to wake up and smell the

Turkish coffee.

In October, the Vatican approved
for publication in the elite journal La Civilta
Cattolica
a

scathing piece
by a Jesuit historian on Islamic
treatment of Christians, chronicling the

genocidal conquests
and grinding persecutions which
Moslems used to

build
the “House of Islam,” right up to the
present (see

Sudan
,

Kosovo
,

Indonesia
,

Pakistan
…).

And this past summer, the Vatican
canonized the Capuchin friar

Marco d`Aviano
, a sort of proto-restrictionist
who played a critical role in the defense of Vienna
against Ottoman invaders in 1683.

Turkish armies had conquered
Hungary, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria—imposing
viciously discriminatory

anti-Christian taxes
, and kidnapping thousands of
Christian children for military slavery as “janissaries.”
They stood encamped before the gates of the last
Christian power that could resist them: the disorganized
and demoralized Habsburg empire, and its admixture of
Protestant allies, led by the Emperor Leopold I.

Saint Marco spent weeks exhorting
Leopold and other Christian warlords to fight and
helping them arrange the defenses. He rode through their
sullen troops holding aloft a crucifix, preaching a

crusade
. Disdaining bullets and cannon, he rode
among the troops during the battle, instilling
hope—which was fulfilled when the great Polish King

Jan Sobieski
(let`s canonize him, too!) arrived with
reinforcements, lifted the siege, and ended the Ottoman
threat to Central Europe.

Folklore tells that the bags of
coffee left behind by the fleeing Turks were made into “cappuccino,
in honor of the Capuchin crusader. Another story claims
that Viennese bakers made the first “croissants”
in genial mockery of the banished Turkish crescent flag.

When the Pope

canonizes someone
, he does more than put a smiley
face beside the man`s name in the Vatican archives.
Catholics believe that he employs the full force of

infallibility
, declaring that from this day forward
it is known with certainty that this man is indeed in
Heaven, and that his prayers may be invoked by the
faithful, since he enjoys the eternal presence of God.

At least one British paper, The
Independent,
joined liberal Italians in

carping
at this Vatican decision. But many secular
Europeans have developed unsteady nerves at the prospect
of

Turkish entry
into the borderless European Union. As
loyal a son of the

Jacobins
as Giscard d`Estaing has

warned against the admission of Turkey to the EU
. He
knows it would mean advancing the

frontier of Europe
to the Caucuses and the

uncontrollable borders
that Turkey shares with Iraq,
Syria, and Iran.

Just as a trip across the

Rio Grande
allows any Central American access to
Portland, Bangor and Miami, so a night`s flight into
Turkey could put any ambitious (or
terror-minded
) Middle-Easterner on the next bus to
Paris or Brussels.

This prospect might be less
disturbing to liberal Europeans if they really believed
their propaganda—the carefully treasured myth that
Turkey is a secular Islamic success story, proving that
this

ancient warlike desert creed
is perfectly compatible
with modern, multi-religious civilization. In fact,
however, as Serge Trifkovic documents in his
indispensable

The Sword of the Prophet
,
the secularism of the
Turkish state—imposed in the 1920s by the brutal but
effective Kemal Ataturk—enjoys support from only a
small, urbanized elite, protected from Islamist
majorities by sheer force.

Simple repression makes modern life
marginally livable in Turkey (except for Kurds). But
this would be swept away if Turkey adopted real
democracy, a sine qua non for joining Europe.

Recent gains of Islamist parties
in
(carefully-controlled) Turkish elections drive this
point home—at least to the Vatican, which in late May
2003

expressed its own doubts
about Turkish admission to
the EU.

Without abandoning its official
attitude of respect for the private beliefs of
individual Moslems—whose vigorous faith must bring back
memories of Christendom before 1789—the Vatican clearly
is worried about these people forming ghettoes in the
ancient capitals of Christendom, and organizing to
someday

impose Sharia
on Tours, Venice and Rome.

Indeed, Turkey has already begun
trying to impose its alien will on the EU. On July 2,
Turkey`s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded
that the EU constitution, then being drafted, omit any
reference to Christianity. The Vatican had been calling
for the EU to recognize the faith that transformed the
continent from a mass of barbarians into a unitary
civilization. But the Turkish position seems likely to
prevail.

The Holy See gets too many

reports each day from its missionaries
in Sudan,
Indonesia, and Pakistan to be naïve about the behavior
of Islamic governments in power. It knows its theology
well enough to realize that Islam cannot,

by its very nature,
adopt an attitude of lasting
tolerance towards “unbelievers”—not even towards
Christians and Jews, who were and are routinely taxed to
death, subjugated, slaughtered, driven out or forced to
convert, in the

ongoing campaign
to conquer the planet for Islam.
(As Trifkovic and

Bat Ye`or
demonstrate, the brief periods of
tolerance for “peoples of the book” about which
Islamophiles love to write were short respites from the
general rule.)

The Church remembers how regularly
Moslems revert to type, heeding Mohammed, who told them:

“Kill the unbeliever wherever you find him.”

As a Catholic immigration reformer,
I predict that, as churchmen recognize the dangers of an
Islamic influx into the West, they`ll be forced to
revise their irresponsible statements about emigrants`
inherent “right” to move to the country of their
choice, regardless of its laws, interests, or cultural
cohesion.

Of course, many churchmen will
continue to

promote mass immigration, legal and illegal
, of
Hispanics into the U.S. But their arguments will stand
exposed, based on no principle apart from short-term
ecclesiastical self-interest.

Of course, alas, the Church`s
recent tragic

sex scandals
show just how powerful and
short-sighted a force that can be.

But once the general imaginary
right to citizenship-on-demand is debunked, the
religious case for open borders collapses.

I believe it will be replaced by
the traditional teaching: that it is the duty of the
state, at its own prudential discretion, to regulate
immigration for the common good.

The Church can and must urge that
this secular authority be employed with justice and
humanity. But it has no authority to frustrate it.

As the founder of a well-known
religion once

told
us:

“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar`s, and unto God what
is God`s.”


John Zmirak [email
him] [and read his


blog
] is the author of


Wilhelm Röpke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist
.