Sunday, December 6, 2015

Not a Parody: Pope Remotely Lights Nativity Scene Built Onto ISIS Amphibious Landing Craft

This is now a dinghy installation?

After reading the text below, ask these questions:

What "massacres" (those that are not easy to forgive) is the Pope referring to? And who committed them?

And who is "the prophet"?

Look up and raise your heads because your redemption is drawing near (21: 28).
Luke was referring to those who follow Christ. Who is the Pope referring to?

How does the Pope know that those drowned at sea, the vast majority of whom were Muslims, are "with the Lord now?"*
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday evening lit – remotely from the Vatican – the Christmas tree and nativity scene in the lower piazza of the Basilica San Francesco in Assisi. 
The nativity scene has been built into a seven-meter boat used by migrants to travel from Tunisia to the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2014. The ceremony was attended by 31 refugees from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Nigeria and Syria being hosted by Caritas Assisi. 
The Italian State Railway and Italian Navy also distributed toys to families in need. 
Below is a translation of the Pope's words in English: 
Watching that boat ... Jesus is always with us, even in difficult times. How many brothers and sisters have drowned at sea! They are with the Lord now. But He came to give us hope, and we must take this hope. He came to tell us that He is stronger than death, that He is greater than any evil. He came to tell us he is merciful, all mercy; and this Christmas I invite you to open your hearts to mercy and forgiveness. But it is not easy to forgive these massacres. It's not easy. 
I would like to thank the [members of the] Coast Guard: the good men and women. I thank you, for you were the instrument of hope that brings us Jesus. You, among us, you have been sowers of hope, the hope of Jesus. Thank you, Antonio, you and all your teammates and all that this land of Italy has so generously received: the South of Italy is an example of solidarity for the whole world! For everyone who looks at the crib, they can say to Jesus: "But, I also have lent a hand because you are a sign of hope." 
And to all refugees, I say a word, that of the prophet: Raise your head, the Lord is near. And with him is strength, salvation, hope. The heart, perhaps, [is] sorrowful, but the head [is] high in the hope of the Lord

*Somehow I missed this the first time I read it. Mundabor reminded me.


  1. Wish I knew where I saw a pic of it so I could post it. It totally looks like crap . If the attending immigrants torched it---it would be no loss.

    The Vatican light show looks like it will be totally AWESOME and expensive. It's much more important than a puny crèche in a dingy.

    Seattle Kim

    1. Yes, I was looking for a picture, too. Maybe one will be up in the next few days. By the way, Kim, it's a bit late to say it but I loved your John Cage anecdote.

    2. Glad you liked it. And it happened at Columbus State University in my great home state of Georgia.

      Seattle kim

  2. Here it is:

    1. Thank you! That and two other posts on the matter are now up on Pewsitter. That boat is the headline picture.

  3. I can't even get close to a Bible verse out of that. Maybe this one:

    For the day is near, yea the day of the Lord is near: a cloudy day, it shall be the time of the nations. 4 And the sword shall come upon Egypt:and there shall be dread in Ethiopia, when the wounded shall fall in Egypt, and the multitude thereof shall be taken away, and the foundations thereof shall be destroyed. 5 Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the rest of the crowd, and Chub, and the children of the land of the covenant, shall fall with them by the sword. 6 Thus saith the Lord God:They also that uphold Egypt shall fall, and the pride of her empire shall be brought down:from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord the God of hosts. 7 And they shall be desolate in the midst of the lands that are desolate, and the cities thereof shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. 8 And they shall know that I am the Lord:when I shall have set a fire in Egypt, and all the helpers thereof shall be destroyed. 9 In that day shall messengers go forth from my face in ships to destroy the confidence of Ethiopia, and there shall be dread among them in the day of Egypt:because it shall certainly come. (Ezekiel 30:3-10 Douay Rheims)

    Seriously, that's closer than anything the Pope quoted from "the Prophet."

    1. Yeah. I found a few other similar ones in the Psalms, among other places. But Luke seems closest. I think he might have been confused. Or maybe it's another translation problem. :)

  4. I found a video of the ceremony, and while I could 't find captions or subtitle options, I was able to understand enough French and Italian to follow along, more or less.

    The video starts rather abruptly;a woman is already speaking. She says she fled "her country" (no specifics) after an attack by Boko Haram, and that she's searching for her four-year-old daughter, Elvira. She recounts having gone through Chad and additional struggles, arrived in Libya, where the problem was terrible, etc.

    A representative from the Coast Guard also spoke, recounting examples of what he'd seen as part of the Guard rescuing the people at sea.

    Then the Pope spoke, and the translation I was reading on the Vatican's news site seems pretty accurate for once. I'm still not clear if by "massacres" he meant massacres against Christians in Africa. The translation of the quote from "The Prophet" is pretty accurate, too. He winds it up by sending everyone a hug and wishing them a blessed Christmas.

    Here's the link to the Vatican News site:

    And here's the link to the YouTube video (Vatican's channel):