ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Italian bishop is challenging the rhetoric that Islam is not to be held accountable for terrorist attacks.
In an interview last week with La Fede Quotidiana, Bp. Andrea Gemma, bishop emeritus of Isernia-Venafro, affirmed that the pacifist language emerging from various prelates in light of recent attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims against Christians ignores the "ongoing assault by Islam on Christianity."
"This assault on Christianity and its values, of course, is not only from Islam," he continues, "but many forces hostile to the culture and the Christian religion in the world." Gemma also referenced recent remarks from Pope Francis downplaying the culpability of Muslims in the increasing number of Muslim-perpetrated terrorist attacks in the Western world.
"I admire the Pope, this is clear, but I disagree with him," the bishop explained. "John Paul II and Ratzinger were loud and clear [in regard to Islam]. Ratzinger's speech in Regensburg was prophetic, should be read, reread and studied."
When asked of moderate Muslims, the bishop vehemently rejected the notion. "Islam is based on the Koran and before asserting that there is a moderate Islam people should read that book," he contended. "There are frightening pages of hate, which call to cruelly kill nonbelievers, unbelievers, which we are to them. Is this peace?"
Bishop Gemma went on to blame Christians in Europe for setting the stage for the current crisis. "Undoubtedly, Europe is now secularized and relativism is ethical and cultural. Faith is diminished," he remarked. "The Muslims, who believe and pray, understand it. We need to reinforce the Faith and the Christian heritage: preaching the Gospel and proclaiming the right doctrine."
The bishop concluded by declaring that dialogue with Islam is impossible, and language portraying authentic Muslims as being peace-loving must cease.
The interview comes as ISIS publicly rejects the Pope's claims that the war being waged by the Islamic State is not religious in nature. "This is a divinely warranted war between the Muslim nation and the nations of disbelief," reads the article titled "Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You" published in ISIS's propaganda magazine Dabiq. "Indeed, waging jihad — spreading the rule of Allah by the sword — is an obligation found in the Quran, the word of our Lord."
"The blood of the disbelievers is obligatory to spill by default," it continues. "The command is clear. Kill the disbelievers, as Allah said, 'Then kill the polytheists wherever you find them.'"
In conclusion, ISIS declares:
The fact is, even if you [Christians] were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah [tax for infidels] and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you.
Both the interview and the article come days after a French priest was brutally murdered during morning Mass by two jihadists, a crime ISIS has since claimed responsibility for.