John L. Allen Jr.: Amid nuclear fears, remember a pope once helped avert Armageddon

(Crux) In lots of ways, it’s probably premature to start crafting comparisons between the danger posed by North Korea’s threat to test-fire four ballistic missiles off the coast of Guam, coupled with U.S. President Donald Trump’s stern response, and the terror that gripped the world in October 1962 amid the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Back then, it wasn’t just one remote U.S. island territory in the firing line. If the Soviets and the Americans had launched an all-out nuclear war over Cuba, the entire planet would have been at risk.

Today, Guam is striking a sober but unpanicked stance. The island’s Governor, Eddie Calvo, has said the island is well-protected, including a THAAD missile defense system specifically designed to shoot down the kind of missiles possessed by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Further, island residents are long accustomed to blustery rhetoric from North Korea, and so far don’t seem unduly alarmed. Nevertheless, pastors in this overwhelmingly Catholic nation are trying to offer spiritual comfort. [More]