Pope Francis Even Believes the Best of ISIS

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Photo: Patrick Hertzog/Getty Images

Pope Francis called for outreach to the terrorist group ISIS Tuesday, aboard the papal aircraft. He told reporters in the skies over France that, “Maybe there can’t be a dialogue but you can never shut a door.”

I never say ‘all is lost,’ never,” the pontiff said, on his way home from addressing European leaders. “It is difficult, one could say almost impossible, but the door is always open.”

This is an unpopular opinion when it comes to the militant organization, which has trouble communicating even with other hard-liners. Its radical ideology has effectively rejected hundreds of years of Islamic scholarship from the Middle East’s famed institutions, and, to most, communicating with the brutal regime seems like a waste of air.

Yet Pope Francis’s capacity for forgiveness has been well documented, including through his opposition to the death penalty and life imprisonment (a.k.a. death penalty by another name). Hopefully, though, even he believes it would take more than a couple of Hail Marys to make up for the damage ISIS has wrought.