There's an intriguing article over at Zero Hedge concerning Pope Francis and the meltdown in the Middle East, and it's this:
This raises so many questions - more than there are answers - one wonders just what the geopolitical thinking in the Vatican really is. One cannot, of course, blame Francis for being concerned and even anxious over the plight of Christians at the hands of jihadists. Anyone with half a conscience would be concerned.
But all questions of morality and culture aside, the Realpolitik here is suggestive. Francis is clearly pointing the finger of accusation equally at America and its unipolarism, by calling for a more international solution to the situation. However, who would be involved in such a call? Papal involvement in geopolitiks is nothing new, and Francis's actions indicate that he, like his predecessor John-Paul II, means to be geopolitically involved, even to the point of putting himself in harm's way, as John-Paul II threatened to do against the government of General Jaruzelski as the Warsaw pact, and Communist Poland, disintegrated, threatening to return to Poland if Warsaw made any move to a military solution against Solidarity and Lec Walesa. But Europe has long since ceased being the Catholic heartland able to raise "crusading armies" that it once was. Indeed, getting any major world power - save Russia - to show anything like concern for persecutions of Christians in today's world seems to be next to impossible. And as far as Russia is concerned, it simply hasn't the military power on its own to contemplate such a venture.
So herewith my high octane speculation for the day. Assume, for a moment, just for fun and for the sake of argument, that there is a genuine "crusading party" within the Vatican curia, a party that wants to "do something" to stop what it perceives - however rightly or wrongly - as a "growing jihadist threat".It would, of course, be foolish to assume that there is nothing resembling such a party within the Curia. The question is, absent the papacy's medieval ability to raise such military force among the now-secularized great powers of the West, how might it go about doing so?
I suggest that the answer lies in its own history. The papacy has not abjured violence and the application of military force when it has perceived its interests or position are threatened, and hence, it sanctioned the creation of the military-crusading orders during the Middle Ages, chartering them and placing them directly under papal obedience. As I suggested in my most recent book, Thrice Great Hermetica and the Janus Age, if one wants to look at those orders with modern lenses, what the papacy did was to create international corporate mercenary-security-military-armaments cartels and conglomerates. In short, the papacy could "corporatize" or "privatize" such a venture, utilizing now, as it did then, its considerable financial strength to do so, and indeed, it already has quasi-paramilitary and deeply conservative and traditional religious organizations such as Opus Dei which could form the nucleus of such a venture.
Is it likely to do this? Of course not.... at least, not yet, for such a move would be counter-productive to say the least, and completely unrealistic, for it would only galvanize the Islamic world including those voices of moderation within it. But would it do so if, say, that world were galvanized internally, or began an even more drastic threat to the current bases of papal power in the Third World, or the radicalization of Muslim populations in Europe, in the Vatican's back yard, so to speak?
That, of course, is a different question, and hence, Zero Hedge's "wild" imagery of "crusaders" may not be as wild as one might initially think. Time, and circumstances, alone will tell.