Pope Needs to Send Easter Message to Biden on Assange

Francis the First thought of the WikiLeaks publisher languishing in his cell on Palm Sunday and should consider sending a second message, writes Elizabeth Vos.

By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News

Pope Francis delivered a message of support last Sunday to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange after a hard night in Belmarsh prison, according to a statement tweeted by Assange’s partner Stella Moris.

The Pope’s message was sent on Palm Sunday, the Christian celebration of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, which takes place a week before Easter.

Moris did not disclose the content of the Pontiff’s message. The Vatican considers such missives private and will not confirm or deny their existence, according to Rome Reports. Pope Francis reportedly sent a similar message to imprisoned former President of Brazil, Lula Da Silva, in 2018.

During the extradition hearing, the court heard that Assange had been in contact with the Samaritans, a suicide prevention organization begun by a vicar, and had been given absolution from a Catholic priest in preparation for his death.

Assange remains imprisoned in HMP Belmarsh in London despite the case for his extradition to the United States having been denied in January on grounds that he was at high risk of taking his life. Judge Vanessa Baraitser then refused the journalist bail while the U.S. under the Donald Trump administration appealed Baraitser’s decision. The appeal was continued by the incoming Joe Biden administration earlier this year.

Biden, a practicing Catholic, had previously said the WikiLeaks founder was more like a “high-tech terrorist” than a teller of truth.

As a member of his flock, the Pope should consider delivering an Easter message this Sunday to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Biden needs to hear from the leader of his faith that he should allow Assange to be reunited with Moris and their two children and that he has suffered enough for fulfiling his duty as a journalist to tell the truth.

“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?,” Paul wrote in Galatians 4:16.

The Pope might also quote to Biden Proverbs 12:19: “The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”

If extradited, Assange faces up to 175 years in solitary confinement in an American dungeon on charges stemming from WikiLeaks’ revelation of classified material including evidence of war crimes committed by the United States.

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter and co-host of CN Live. 

26 comments for “Pope Needs to Send Easter Message to Biden on Assange

  1. Andrew Peter Nichols
    April 2, 2021 at 00:18

    Extraordinary how much Western Establishment and media angst thete is for Navalny who is freely able to make corporste and social media statements and have photos taken while in a relatively open prison while JA langushes incommunicado in Britains Lubyanka.

  2. beverly Anslow
    April 1, 2021 at 17:01

    The real criminals are those who keep Julian Assange in prison.

  3. Ray Peterson
    April 1, 2021 at 12:47

    Biden’s refusal to silence his: “The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members” (Jas.3:6), and drop the CIA’s
    revenge against the truth telling saint, makes that “practicing Catholic” a practicing hypocrite. While the Christian
    believers wait for the Pope to confront the sinner personally: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power”
    (1 Cor.4:20).

  4. TimN
    April 1, 2021 at 07:31

    Does Cracker Joe “feel his faith deeply?” (Peter Jennings’ earnest and false comment on Dubya’s faith.) In his own demented mind, Cracker Joe’s school-boy beliefs easily find room for murder, mayhem, and utter and constant indecency. Good luck to the “pontiff” (nobody calls the Pope the “Pontiff” except for journalists) convincing a Good Catholic that Jesus’s words and deeds actually mean something.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      April 1, 2021 at 08:03

      Pontiff: late 17th century (denoting an early Christian bishop): from French pontife, from Latin pontifex

    March 31, 2021 at 21:54

    Sanctuary is a word which I think the Holy Father well understands. Julian does not need sanctuary in the Church, but he does need it somewhere safe, reunited with his partner and their babies.

  6. Atul Thakker
    March 31, 2021 at 20:59

    Being jailed by the accused for exposing their perfidy will perplex people from the future.
    We all ask today how the Germans believed in the Nazis, but power is inexorable and cannot be stopped.
    I commented many years ago that Julian was playing with fire, and I don’t see how he expected anything less than this overwhelming vengeance.
    Reveal power’s evil and great personal risk; it never ends well.

  7. John OCallaghan
    March 31, 2021 at 20:07

    The Popes message should be made public, read out at the UN and reported across all media outlets throughout the world, including mine and Assange’s home country!..

    • Em
      April 1, 2021 at 13:00

      Not even a backbencher: Hear! Hear!

  8. Dosamuno
    March 31, 2021 at 17:20

    Bergoglio, like all the Popes, is a charlatan.
    He was a friend to dictator Jorge Rafael Videla and the other Argentinian mobsters that waged a dirty war against the people of Argentina.
    Why should anyone care what this mountebank says or does?

    • Em
      April 1, 2021 at 13:21

      Perhaps because power speaking truth to power, at this stage of the ‘game’; coming from one of their own, may make a greater indent on blind power than does the voice of the powerless.
      Does Joe Biden have the courage to challenge the real power by freeing Julian Assange?
      Is the duplicity of all blind faith religious belief any different from Joe Biden’s long ago apostacy of the true spirit of a god named Jesus?
      Will the ‘Popes’ message be delivered to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

  9. Donna Bubb
    March 31, 2021 at 16:27

    What does it take to get the pontiff to send that strong message: Assange has suffered enough for telling the truth and
    must be reunited with family to spend the rest of his life wherever he will be guaranteed peace forever.

  10. ranney
    March 31, 2021 at 16:20

    I agree with Dr. Tursi, this is indeed a crime against humanity. Biden likes to talk about how much empathy he has, I think this pretty much shows the truth of how little he actually has.

  11. March 31, 2021 at 15:45

    Needed to be written; needs to be read.your quotes are apt. People revelling in their religion forget – though shalt not bear false witness.
    Many digest dogma as opposed to internalizing faith

  12. Rob Roy
    March 31, 2021 at 15:45

    Interesting. Will Biden’s Catholicism be more influential or the desire to punish Assange’s truth-telling? We shall see.

  13. March 31, 2021 at 13:43

    What a great idea, Elizabeth! But it needs urgently to be communicated directly to the Vatican, I suspect, if there is to be any chance the Pope will act upon it in his Easter sermon. We should also contact several prominent Catholic organizations and call upon them to get on board with this cause which, while deeply political, is hardly a mere matter of left vs. right, but at heart simply a matter of good vs. evil! I will contact the very progressive Thomas Merton Center, centered here in Pittsburgh, about our cause, and ask them to publicly endorse freedom for Julian, if indeed they haven’t already done so!

  14. David Otness
    March 31, 2021 at 13:32

    I am so glad to hear of this. Its significance cannot be overstated. Those two Biblical verities cannot be disputed either if we wish to continue believing, that is if we can yet claim our own civilisational enlightenment and progress toward a higher standard of lived ideal / idealism for our species.
    The wanton sadistic cruelty of Julian’s captors has been and continues to be exposed. They must be raised in public to feel, as human beings, the burning shame of their despicable wrongdoings to not only Julian, but what they have done by their continued actions to society and human progress as a whole.
    And this, while there may be yet time enough to turn this ship around from its now seemingly inexorable destination toward the River Styx.

    • Anne
      April 1, 2021 at 12:53

      Unfortunately this torture, cruelty – and, I would think, the wish for him to commit suicide so that neither side of the pond needs to deal with what any fall out might be – is: a) completely within the normative thinking and behavior of both the US and the UK (think the CIA torture system and Abu Ghraib; the Chagos Islanders); b) well within the US-UK socio/psychopathic imperialist mindset…

      And I have YET to hear (no tv, ta) a dicky bird (East End argot for Word) about Julian Assange other than the briefest of mention of that last court hearing….NOTHING beyond that. Not on NPR (in fact if memory recalls right, no mention of him at ALL on that station) and simply the barest bones on the BBC World Service as broadcast via NPR….And definitely NO contrary positions, perspectives, no interviews with or mention of his father, his partner…Zero…Silence works as well, in its own way, as Lies repeated time after time…

  15. Helga I. Fellay
    March 31, 2021 at 11:07

    Thank you for a great article. May this martyr for truth and justice be saved before it is too late. We have enough dead saints already, we need a living one.

  16. john Adams
    March 31, 2021 at 10:02

    What other faith leaders have truth in their soul?

  17. Randal Marlin
    March 31, 2021 at 09:59

    You really have to wonder about the state of journalism in the world today when ABC News, Australia, can baldly state (look at the overline) that Joseph Biden called Julian Assange a “high-tech terrorist.” He did no such thing. The interviewer presented him with the contrast between a “high-tech terrorist” (interviewer’s words) and the case of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Biden replied that the Assange case was more like the former than the latter.
    I don’t agree with Biden on this, but there is room for debate. With the bald statement of the overline, what can you say other than the hostile, debate-closing answer: “Who does more terrorizing, Julian Assange or the U.S. presidents with drone assassinations, military invasions, destabilizing activities etc.?”
    There is too much torquing up of officials’ comments on sensitive matters, when attention to nuance is needed.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      April 1, 2021 at 08:06

      As the Consortium News piece displayed: “Biden, a practicing Catholic, had previously said the WikiLeaks founder was more like a “high-tech terrorist” than a teller of truth.”

      • Anne
        April 1, 2021 at 12:45

        To which, one can only say – about Biden: He is a deeply rooted member of MICIMATT and his pretense of religious (i.e. moral and ethical scruples, humanity) is but a thin veneer…

  18. Alan Ross
    March 31, 2021 at 09:27

    Great request!!

  19. Patricia Tursi, Ph.D.
    March 31, 2021 at 09:13

    Absolutely the Pope needs to press Biden to drop any extradition plans for Assange who has been unjustly persecuted and should have been rewarded for his journalistic bravery. This is another Crime Against Humanity.

    • Anne
      March 31, 2021 at 13:39

      Oh so very, very true…But how absolutely typical of the US-UK to be totally Two-Faced about their “adherence” to “human rights” and their continuous, blatantly hypocritical trumpeting of other govts, peoples, cultures abrogation of such…

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