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"Bridges not Walls"? The time the Vatican built walls against Arab attacks.
In an interesting article entitled Holy War: The Year the Muslims Took Rome, Sandro Magister tells us about an occasion when Muslim Arabs sacked Rome and stole all the treasures from St. Peter’s.
What happened is that in 846 some Muslim Arabs arrived in a fleet at the mouth of the Tiber, made their way to Rome, sacked the city, and carried away from the basilica of St. Peter all of the gold and silver it contained.
And this was not just an incidental attack. In 827 the Arabs had conquered Sicily, which they kept under their dominion for two and a half centuries. Rome was under serious threat from nearby. In 847, the year after the assault, the newly elected pope Leo IV began the construction of walls around the entire perimeter of the Vatican, 12 meters high and equipped with 44 towers. He completed the project in six years. These are the “Leonine” walls, and significant traces of them still remain. But very few today know that these walls were erected to defend the see of Peter from an Islamic jihad. And many of those who do know this remain silent out of discretion. “Bridges, not walls” is the fashionable slogan today.
I hope that the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and all the other Christians who join in the general Palestinian bleating about Israel’s ‘wall’, built to protect the Jews from violent attacks by their neighbours, will read this and take note.
Speaking of which, here is a final burp from the annual feast of verbal attacks on Israel which takes place around Christmas, usually inspired by Bethlehem: Bethlehem: A pilgrimage in faith and suffering
But going to Bethlehem is also a journey into suffering. The wounds of the Israeli-Palestinian problem are starkly visible on arrival: the wall which surrounds and suffocates the city is indescribably sad. Bethlehem is a sort of prison: only a handful of people are in sight, people asking for handouts, begging because they are hungry… Everything speaks of neglect and of misery: half-finished buildings, rubbish on the sides of the streets, insecurity, tension, anxiety among the people.
The implication is that this is all the fault of the Israelis, not the real villains – the Palestinian ‘leadership’. The writer should also read the article by Sandro Magister.