Pope Francis

•   “In these cases where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say this:  it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor.  I underline the verb ‘stop.’  I do not say bomb, make war, I say stop by some means.”

•   “I renew my appeal to all men and women who have political responsibilities [that] they use all means to resolve the humanitarian crisis.”

•   “The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes.”

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations in Geneva

•   “In this case,” Tomasi said, “when every other means has been attempted, article 42 of the Charter of the United Nations becomes possible justification for not only imposing sanctions of economic nature on the state or the group or the region that violates the basic human rights of people, but also to use force. All the force that is necessary to stop this evil and this tragedy.”

•   “Maybe military action is necessary at this moment.”

•   “And then, we need to motivate the international community to take on its responsibility, because when a state cannot protect its own citizens for a variety of reasons, then it is important that the international community take up its own duty to protect these people.”

Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò, President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants

•   “It would be the same thing as when Hitler killed the Jews, and afterwards many said ‘no, no, we did not know anything.’ It is a total hypocrisy.” He said “We must do something.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican’s ambassador to Iraq

•   “It’s good when you’re able to, at the very least, remove weapons from these people who have no scruples”

•   American strikes are “something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State forces] could not be stopped”

Louis Raphael I Sako, The Chaldean Patriarch and President of the Assembly of the Catholic Bishops in Iraq

•   “Liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result. The hope of these people must not be allowed to die!”

Bishop Richard Moth, Military Ordinate of Great Britain

•   “I take this opportunity to add my voice to those of Church Leaders across the world in calling for an end to the persecution of Christians and all other minority groups in Iraq.”

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Pope Francis’ Personal Envoy to Iraq

•   “It’s nice to say we defend these people, but they are dying.  How can they be removed from the clutches of these predators?  There’s already an answer.”

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Coordinator Council of Cardinals

•   “The forced imposition of the sign N on the doors of Christian homes brings to mind another atrocity that occurred during the last century and that led to terrible suffering and death of millions of people”

Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custos of the Holy Land

•   “We have never seen the kind of ‘religious cleansing’ we are witnessing today”

•   “Fanaticism must be stopped, if necessary even with force”

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

•   “The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious communities and ethnic minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, as well as those engaged in interreligious dialogue and all people of good will. All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them. If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have?”

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona of Mosul, Iraq

•   “I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.”

Father Samir Klalil Samir, Jesuit professor of Islamic studies and Vatican consulter

•   “The main thing to note is violence is an element of Islam. Violence is not an element of Christianity. When Christians were using violence in wars and so on, they were not following the Gospel, nor the life of Christ. When Muslims are using it, they are following the Koran and the sunnah and Muhammad’s model. This is a very important point.”

•   “Currently, Islam is learned through repetition and memory but Muslims need to learn how to ‘interpret a text,’ and this should begin at a young age.”

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