POPE FRANCIS, the man of love and peace, is about to arrive on this distant land. The CATHOLICS in particular are full of joy and expectation. The PHILIPPINES is a blessed Country to have a Visitor whom Divinity has chosen and entrusted humanity and whom people in general have come to admire and treasure. And all these notwithstanding, his SECURITY is at stake. Reason: Admit it or not, there are terrorists in the land who believe the world is theirs, who look at the Pope as a mortal enemy.
To bulldoze and bully, to coerce and frighten. To horrify, intimidate and menace, to threaten, browbeat and oppress – not to mention to belittle, to maim and take lives – these are some of the intents and purposes of “terrorism”. This is why it is so hard to welcome and clap for terrorists. To think and conclude that terrorism is the way of the reasonable and the upright, can be anything but the demonstration of sound reason, something but the expression of an ethical value system.
In other words, terrorism may not be the sane option of either socialized and/or civilized individuals. And that is why given the vicious nature, the twisted intent and fatal consequences of terrorism, the Social Doctrine of the Church finds the “Condemnation of Terrorism” consonant with moral principles. Thus stands the following three more explicit and categorical pronouncements of the said Social Doctrine. They may be considered forceful but remain truthful.
1. “Terrorism is one of the most brutal forms of violence that traumatizes in these times the international community. It sows hatred, death and urges revenge and reprisal.”
Only terrorists themselves will deny this reality.
2. “Terrorism is to be condemned in more absolute terms. It shows complete contempt for human life and cannot be justified whereas the human person is always an end but never a means.”
To sanction terrorism is inanity if not insanity.
3. “Acts of terrorism strike at the heart of human dignity and constitute an offense against all humanity... No religion may tolerate terrorism, much less preach it.”
Religious terrorism is a blatant contradiction.
That above-cited rather strong and severe social doctrinal pronouncements of the Church on the intrinsic evil and ingrained viciousness of terrorism, need no explanation or elaboration. They are stern, yes. They are stringent, yes. But true and realistic they also are.