Ubi stas, o Benedicte?
Pope Pius XII has been maligned by academics for supposedly collaborating with the Nazis. In fact he did the opposite, which was recognized at the time, and has been re-recognized in several recent books like this one.
Pius's anti-fascist activities had to be fairly quiet because of two constraints:
(1) The German and Italian armies included many Catholics, and Pius, as the head pastor of all Catholics, couldn't publicly disown those large factions of his 'parishioners'.
(2) Vatican City, though technically independent, actually depends on Italy for its survival.
So his concrete actions weren't loud enough to become part of conventional wisdom, which left his lack of public pronouncements open to intentional misinterpretation by the anti-Christian academy.
The battle lines of our current war are far less confusing, and Benedict XVI has no such constraints.
This is an openly religious war.
The Sons of Allah want all Christians and Jews dead or enslaved, and there are no Christians or Jews in the armies on that side.
Though they haven't explicitly
killed large numbers of Jews or Catholics in recent times (except as part of the indiscriminate slaughter of 9/11 and other suicide attacks) they have intentionally killed plenty of Orthodox [Chaldean, Assyrian, Antiochan, Coptic] Christians.
Moreover, the main players on the Mohammedan side (Baathist party in Iraq and Syria, the mullahs of Iran, the leaders of Palestine) are direct 'apostolic successors' of Hitler. Nicely summarized here.
So the enemy is the age-old conqueror of Christian lands, seeking total Caliphate as always, reinforced and assisted this time by 20th-century totalitarian methods.
Benedict remembers Nazism personally, and some have accused him of being (at least passively) part of Hitler's forces in his youth.
Throw all these factors into the hopper, and you get plenty of motivation - both positive and aversive - for a dramatic and public alliance between Rome and Byzantium.
Would it help? It would certainly brace up some of the European governments who are being held back by the 'demographic dawa' of 20% Mohammedan populations. It might bring in some Latin Americans, who otherwise have no immediate vested interest in the conflict. And it would clarify the essentially religious nature of this war.
It's not 'terror' versus 'democracy', it's Allah versus Jehovah.
So, Benedict, where do you stand?
[Linguistic note: I'm not sure if the vocative case of Benedictus is correct; couldn't find any actual uses of it via Google.]
Update: Unfortunately, Benedict has already blown his chance. When I wrote the above, I hadn't spotted his latest statement on Israel vs Hezbollah. He comes down firmly on the side of moral equivalency:The causes of such fierce confrontation are unfortunately objective situations of violation of law and justice," Benedict said, speaking from his holiday retreat in the Aosta valley.
"But neither the terrorist acts nor the reprisals, above all when there are tragic consequences for the civilian population, can be justified."
In other words, he refuses to take sides between Allah and Jehovah. He is actually doing
what Pius XII was falsely accused of doing: Closing his eyes while Fascists slaughter Jews and Christians.
Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame.