Vatican backs military force to stop ISIS ‘genocide’

Crux reports: In an unusually blunt endorsement of military action, the Vatican’s top diplomat at the United Nations in Geneva has called for a coordinated international force to stop the “so-called Islamic State” in Syria and Iraq from further assaults on Christians and other minority groups.

“We have to stop this kind of genocide,” said Italian Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative in Geneva. “Otherwise we’ll be crying out in the future about why we didn’t so something, why we allowed such a terrible tragedy to happen.”

Tomasi said that any anti-ISIS coalition has to include the Muslim states of the Middle East, and can’t simply be a “Western approach.” He also said it should unfold under the aegis of the United Nations.

The call for force is striking, given that the Vatican traditionally has opposed military interventions in the Middle East, including the two US-led Gulf Wars. It builds, however, on comments from Pope Francis that the use of force is “legitimate … to stop an unjust aggressor.”

Tomasi issued the call in an interview with Crux on the same day he presented a statement entitled “Supporting the Human Rights of Christians and Other Communities, particularly in the Middle East,” coauthored with the Russian Federation and Lebanon, to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The statement has drawn almost 70 nations as signatories, including the United States. [Continue reading…]

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