Political Mavens Mark Judge
Sometimes you need a pope who can kick some ass.
This is the ringing message of Lepanto, a terrific little book published by Ignatius Press. “Lepanto” is a poem by the great Catholic writer G.K. Chesterton. It details the seminal Battle of Lepanto, fought on October 7, 1571, in the Gulf of Lepanto south of Greece. Many historians consider it the pivotal turning back of Islamic imperialism, which had been spreading since the time of Mohammed. Lepanto the book includes the poem and commentary by historians.
The man most responsible for the Battle of Lepanto was Pope Pius V. Pius, despite witnessing a Europe wrought with religious bickering and opulent Renaissance politics and decadence – Chesterton called 16th century Europe “diseased and divided” – managed to form an army to take on the advancing Turks. In 1453 Turks had taken Constantinople, and were now setting their sights on Europe (funny how this is never taught in Western public schools). They were guided by the Sultan Selim, who was “under pressure to further expand the reaches of his empire.” While Europe argued over religion and practiced Machiavellian politics, Pope Pius attempted to sound the alarm. Brandon Rogers, one of the several commentators with small essays in Lapanto, explains: “Pius understood the tremendous importance of resisting the aggressive expansion of the Turks better than any of his contemporaries appear to have. He understood that the real battle being fought was spiritual; a clash of creeds was at hand, and the stakes were the very existence of the Christian West.”
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