Photo: Blessed are the Peacemakers

I saw this incredible image on a friend’s Facebook wall:

The context: “A Greek Orthodox Priest tries to stop a rioter from throwing a Molotov cocktail at Greek Police.”

The background: Greece is in social and political crisis right now — crippling national debt and rising taxes are crushing the middle class, eliminating jobs and tearing at the nation’s social fabric, as this poignant article in the UK Telegraph makes clear.

Civic unrest and rioting as we are seeing in Greece, in Britain and other European countries as well are not going to diminish any time soon — here in America a large group of anarchists have been “occupying” Wall Street for the past week or so. And we all remember the union-led occupation of the capital in Wisconsin. These types of public displays of protest are going to get worse as massive government spending and overregulation kills off economic growth and diminishes prosperity, which means more people being forced to get along with less. But blessed are the peacemakers – violence is not the answer. Active and full involvement in peaceful politics is.

In this new context of economic contraction, churches and selfless, generous people of faith will play a critical role in reducing the human cost of bad government.

Look at the image again — we’re all called to be peacemakers. Let’s pray that this calling will be chiefly lived out in the United States by being actively involved faithful citizens in the democratic process and brave voices for truth in the public square, rather than actually being called to put our life and safety in jeopardy, as this brave priest did.

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7 thoughts on “Photo: Blessed are the Peacemakers

  1. Giuseppe Ambrose says:

    Is that in Greece? The riot police are all using shields with Latin lettering, and the english word for “Police.”

    Maybe this is in England? Or perhaps some Eastern country that frequently receives donations of police gear.

    1. Justin says:

      And one of the shields is upside down. Suspicious.

  2. Viterbo Fangirl says:

    May God bless him! Here you have a priest willing to step in front of an angry rioter to prevent violence, but how many of our bishops dare not risk negative public opinion by speaking out against pro-choice polititians, same-sex marriage or other vital social concerns?

  3. Michael says:

    “Here in America a large group of anarchists have been “occupying” Wall Street for the past week or so.”

    Oh please. They may not be effective, or attention-catching, but anarchists?

  4. Jean says:

    “Amen, blessed are the peacemakers.” I only hope I can be as brave as this priest was if I am ever in a similar position.

  5. Truchrist says:

    And making false and inflammatory statements like “massive government spending and overregulation kills off economic growth and diminishes prosperity” is being a peacemaker? I’d say it’s the exact opposite. I also find your argument that “churches and selfless, generous people of faith will play a critical role in reducing the human cost of bad government” is disingenuous. Our very own Catholic “charities” is one of the largest benefactors of big government handouts, receiving some $1 billion dollars a year.

  6. Sandra Gray says:

    Blessed are the peacemakers.

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