Catholic Online Muddles Story of Priest’s Beheading
Father Francois Murad was beheaded by US-backed rebels in Syria
Catholic Online today posted a story—if you could call it that—about the beheading of Father Francois Murad by rebels in Syria. Relying on a press release from the Vatican, the article refers to Murad, accurately, as a “martyr,” but makes no mention of the fact that the US is funding Syrian rebels. In fact, the issue of who is backing the rebels is not even addressed in the story. Nor is there any mention of the fact that under the secular government of President Bashar Assad, the Christian community in Syria has prospered and enjoyed freedom of worship. I can only conclude it’s either a shoddy piece of journalism or a deliberate attempt to obfuscate. Below is the full story. I’ll have some additional information to follow.
Warning Graphic Video—Syrian Jihadists Behead Catholic Priest
By Catholic Online (News Consortium)
Jihadists are Terrorizing Syrians and Persecuting Christians
Syrian terrorists have beheaded a Catholic priest who they accused of collaborating with the Assad regime. Those accusations have not yet been verified. Father Francois was summarily executed and the Vatican has confirmed the martyrdom.
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) – The Vatican is confirming the death by beheading of Franciscan Father, Francois Murad, who was martyred by Syrian jihadists on June 23.
Below is the news release from the Vatican, via news.va.
On Sunday, June 23 the Syrian priest François Murad was killed in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land where he had taken refuge. This is confirmed by a statement of the Custos of the Holy Land sent to Fides Agency. The circumstances of the death are not fully understood. According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.
Father François, 49, had taken the first steps in the religious life with the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, and with them he continued to share close bonds of spiritual friendship. After being ordained a priest he had started the construction of a coenobitic monastery dedicated to St. Simon Stylites in the village of Gassanieh.After the start of the Civil War, the monastery of St. Simon had been bombed and Fr. Murad had moved to the convent of the Custody for safety reasons and to give support to the remaining few, along with another religious and nuns of the Rosary.
“Let us pray,” writes the Custos of the Holy Land Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM ” so that this absurd and shameful war ends soon and that the people of Syria can go back to living a normal life.” Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, titular of the Syrian Catholic archeparchy in Hassaké-Nisibis reports to Fides: “The whole story of Christians in the Middle East is marked and made fruitful by the blood of the martyrs of many persecutions. Lately, father Murad sent me some messages that clearly showed how conscious he was of living in a dangerous situation, and offered his life for peace in Syria and around the world.”
This should make it clear to Christians around the world what jihadists are about. Make no mistake. Catholics and Christians around the globe are under dire threat, particularly from the spread of militant Islam. Until the threat is recognized and taken seriously, martyrdoms like this will continue.
We have a link to video provided via LiveLeak. We must warn you, the video is extremely graphic. We believe the first victim is Father Francois, and the second victim that is depicted is another person said to be a collaborator with the Assad regime.
The video CLEARLY depicts the beheadings of these victims. DO NOT follow the link unless you are over the age of 18, and are prepared to view content of this nature.
Catholic Online believes it is very important the world knows that Christians are being murdered for their faith, and that martyrdom isn’t an ancient phenomenon.
You’ll notice also there is no mention in the above story about US and Israeli interests dovetailing in Syria, or that Israel is pushing for regime change in Syria as well. Why does the Catholic Online omit this information? The prayer by Pizzaballa, the custos of the Holy Land, is a bit ironic as well, is it not? “Let us pray so that this absurd and shameful war ends soon and that the people of Syria can go back to living a normal life.” With Obama intent on arming the rebels, the war, absent direct intervention from God, is not likely to end anytime soon. While the article does refer to al-Nusra, it fails to mention that the latter is linked to the Free Syrian Army or that the FSA is being backed by the US.
At least one mainstream media outlet has now also reported on the beheadings—the Unification Church-owned Washington Times. And you know something? Their report is considerably better than Catholic Online’s. It at least includes the information that many of the insurgent forces in Syria “are supported by the West” (support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey is also mentioned), and that the beheading of the two men “comes about the same time America has started sending arms to rebel fighters.”
And yes, according to a report here, the Obama administration has indeed begun shipping its promised arms to the rebels.
Even the Japanese media are doing a better job than Catholic Online reporting on Father Murad’s death. “The Franciscan Father, Francois Murad, was killed by Takfiri Muslim fanatics belonging to either al-Nusra—or another fanatical terrorist group which takes pleasure in barbarity,” write Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker in an op-ed piece for Modern Tokyo Times.
The article goes on to cite other atrocities committed, and makes clear who is directly responsible:
In other sickening videos taken by al-Qaeda affiliated factions and FSA terrorist groups they show Muslims being beheaded, women being shot and thrown down holes and now they are taunting the families of captured soldiers by phoning them before beheading their sons. This barbaric reality which is glossed over by major Western and Gulf media agencies highlights the utter disgrace of the Obama government in America, the government in France under Hollande and the same applies to the United Kingdom under Cameron.
So why do we have a Catholic media organ doing such a poor job reporting on the atrocious murder of a priest? Why do we have a pope intent on pandering to Jewish favor? These are questions worth considering.
The following article from the website Syria Report features some revealing information, including a quote from Pizzaballa that didn’t make it into the Catholic Online article for some reason.
Catholic Priest Executed as Foreign Arms Flood into Syria
On Sunday, June 23, Syrian Catholic priest François Murad was murdered in the locality of Gassanieh, northern Syria, according to a statement from the Custody of the Holy Land sent to the Fides Agency.
Murad (49), having led a religious life and studied in Palestine, was ordained a priest and set about building a monastery in Gassanieh, Idlib.
Murad was targeted by armed militants, while he was residing at the monastery, which was dedicated to Saint Simon Stylite.
Citing the head of all Franciscans in the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Vatican News Agency said that Father Murad recently chose a monastic way of life and resorted to the monastery, with Franciscan Friars, a few weeks earlier.
“The world must know that the support of gunmen by the west is helping extremists in killing Syrians”, Pizzaballa said, adding that, “with such stances, not a single Christian will remain in the East.”
According to local sources, the monastery was raided by gunmen, who proceeded to execute François Murad, loot and burn the building. Four-thousand people are reported to have since fled the area.
Christians in Syria are being increasing targeted by sectarian armed groups in Syria, of which there are between several hundred and over a thousand.
In May, a Christian village located in Homs countryside, was overrun by armed men and it’s entire population massacred.
Two Christian bishops who were kidnapped by Chechen gunmen in Aleppo earlier this year, are still missing.
In April, the remaining Christians in Deir el-Zour fled, the church having being blown up by militants. Last week, militants massacred dozens of villagers in the province’s town of Hatla. Since then, summary executions and sectarian house-to-house raids have taken place.
Sectarian bloodshed has increased following the Syrian army’s securing of the strategic Homs city of al-Qusayr earlier this month. Despite the overt sectarianism of armed groups in Syria, America and it’s allies have pledged to continue the transfer of weapons in an effort to turn the tide of the conflict. Advanced weapons have since been spotted in the hands of extremists militants.
Finally, here is the link to the video of the beheading, if you haven’t seen it yet. WARNING: it is extremely graphic. The video is a bit over nine and a half minutes. Go here to view.