“The St. Gabriel Possenti Society on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi commends individual Jesuit scholars throughout the world for telling it like it is about the intrinsic murderous nature of Islam,” Society chairman John M. Snyder said today. Snyder also serves on the advisory board of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
“These courageous, individual priests of the Society of Jesus are NOT saying that all Muslims are murderers,” Snyder stipulated. “They are noting that the foundational documents of Islam, such as the Koran, approve of and even recommend the murder of non-Muslims in the promulgation of Islam.
“These Jesuits are rendering a tremendous service to civilized humanity. Many religious, media, entertainment and political personalities have been advancing the idea that jihadist violence, including brutal throat-slashing decapitations, somehow is an aberration of Islam. It’s not. It’s part and parcel of Mohammedanism.”
The St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc. honors its patron, St. Gabriel Possenti, for using handguns to protect Italian villagers from terrorists in 1860. It believes St. Gabriel Possenti is a model for people today who need handguns to defend life from contemporary Muslim terrorists and others. It seeks official Vatican designation of St. Gabriel Possenti as Patron of Handgunners.
“While we extend good will and hope and pray for the conversion of all people, including Muslims,” said Snyder, “we realize that murderous force often must be met with realistic defensive force, including the use of personal firearms, on the part of potential victims and their protectors.
“We appreciate deeply the courage of Jesuits who are standing up for the truth in this matter, despite the politically correct but pathetic and impotent stances of some Jesuit superiors and even the Pope.
Snyder said that, “Among these good Jesuits is at least one American, Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., who has written repeatedly on this matter in a number of publications.
“Fr. Schall has stated, as an example, that Islam ‘does, in its account of itself, condone – indeed promote – violence against known enemies of Islam. In its own logic, the enemy is everyone who is not Muslim. The world is thus divided into a world of peace (Islam) and a world of war (the rest). The murderer who is killed in an act to praise Allah and expand Islam is, in this view, perfectly reasonable and justified within its own theology.'”
Snyder noted that another Jesuit, Rev. Henri Boulad, S.J., an Islamic scholar of the Egyptian Greek Melkite rite, “has gone even beyond that in a National Catholic Register interview. Fr. Boulad said that the Catholic Church should avoid what seems its ‘at all costs’ defense of Islam and its attempt to ‘exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name.’ What happens is that ‘one ends up betraying the truth.’
“Fr. Boulad thinks that with regard to Islam the Catholic Church has followed a ‘liberal left ideology which is destroying the West’ based on falsely applied considerations of ‘openness, tolerance and Christian charity.’
“Four months ago,” Snyder recalled, “the international St. Gabriel Possenti Society commemorated the February 27 feast day of St. Gabriel Possenti. The interdenominational Society celebrates its 29th anniversary this year.”
St. Gabriel Possenti freed a young woman from would-be rapists by taking the rapists’ revolvers. He then confronted the onrushing brigands, pointing the revolvers at them. Possenti fired at a lizard that happened to be running across the road. He killed it with one shot. Having demonstrated his excellent handgun marksmanship, St. Gabriel Possenti took command of the situation and ran the now-frightened brigands out of town.
St. Gabriel Possenti performed this feat of courage without causing physical harm to a single human being.
Snyder recalled that some dispute the historicity of the shooting and rescue incident. He stated that, “in response to lizard incident challenges, let me point out that the late Rev. Godfrey Poage, C.P., who wrote about the incident was a Passionist, the same religious order as St. Gabriel Possenti.”
Snyder further noted that, “Fr. Poage was the author of ‘Son of the Passion, The Story of Gabriel Francis Possenti.’ It was published in 1962 by the Bruce Publishing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and republished in 1977 by the Daughters of St. Paul. The book carried the nihil obstat of Frederick Sucher, C.P., S.T.D., Censor for the Congregation of the Passion, the imprimi potest of Walter Kaelin, C.P, Provincial of the Holy Cross Province (of the Passionists), dated February 27, 1962, the nihil obstat of John F. Murphy, S.T.D., Censor librorum, and the imprimatur of Most Reverend William E. Cousins, Archbishop of Milwaukee, dated April 13, 1962.
“The account of the lizard incident, Chapter 7, ‘The Savior of Isola,’ is one of the book’s eight chapters. In the book’s introduction, Fr. Poage explained that, ‘nothing was said that had not been quoted by eyewitnesses, at least in the third person.'”
“When challenged re the accuracy of his report of the lizard incident, Fr. Poage stood by its historicity,” Snyder stated. “Father Poage said that challenges to the accuracy of his writing came from people who didn’t have any evidence to the contrary. Father Poage said this to Mark Pattison of the Catholic News Service on February 10, 1992. The CNS report appeared in The Catholic Sun of Phoenix, Arizona on February 20, 1992. Pattison reported that, ‘Fr. Poage said the episode was witnessed by a ‘lay helper’ at the monastery. The documentation was uncovered during his research in Italy in 1947-48.’
“Fr. Poage, who had been a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, died June 25, 2001. The Passionist Family Circle Newsletter, in its Fall/Winter 2001 issue, stated that he was ‘a man of extraordinary talents and great kindness’ and ‘a trusted servant of God.'”
Snyder stated that, “The Poage account of the lizard incident remained non-controversial for over a quarter of a century. To the best of my knowledge, it was not disputed or questioned. It was not until I began promoting St. Gabriel Possenti as a Patron of Handgunners in the late 1980s that there began a belated attempt to attack the account of the lizard incident.
“It appears there is such bigotry in some quarters against the very idea of a Catholic saint using force and handguns to defeat evil that there is a preference for anti-gun political correctness over historical accuracy.”
Snyder is the author of Gun Saint, a book about St. Gabriel Possenti and the St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc., published by Telum Associates, LL.C.