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The Vatican had this to say about violence against Christians in the Middle East:

“If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us,” Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State (prime minister), told journalists in Rome.

“We must always stress our demand for reciprocity in political contacts with authorities in Islamic countries and, even more, in cultural contacts,” Foreign Minister Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo told the daily Corriere della Sera.

I agree with the stance, but I can’t help but think Polycarp was a lot more rousing to the faith with what he had to say.

Somehow I don’t think “We must always stress our demand for reciprocity in political contacts with authorities” is going to go down as famous phrase of Christian martyrdom.

“Hear me declare with boldness, I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn what the doctrines of Christianity are, appoint me a day, and you shall hear them,” as Polycarp said is a bit more impressive.

Though Polycarp did get burned alive, and that’s not something good for anyone, even if it does make for a good sense of duty in the rest of us.

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