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Pope Francis compares leaders persecuting LGBTQ people to Hitler, Nazis

Pope Francis compares leaders persecuting LGBTQ people to Hitler, Nazis
Pope FrancisPhoto: Tony Gentile/Pool Photo via AP

In a speech on Friday to an international legal group, Pope Francis made a widespread set of denouncements and declarations, specifically remarking that certain public and political figures are committing “actions that are typical of Nazism,” including homophobia.

“…that[,] with its persecution of Jews, gypsies, people with homosexual orientation, represent an excellent model of the throwaway culture and culture of hatred,” the Pope is reported to have said, according to the Associated Press report.

Related: Teachers terrorized a lesbian high school student to keep her out of a relationship

The report also notes that “Francis also denounced racially-based police brutality, the arbitrary use of preventive detention as well as the failure of legal systems to punish corporate crimes against the environment….’ecocide’ is a sin.”

Other reports quote Francis as saying of the current crop of leaders rising around the world, “I must confess to you that when I hear a speech [by] someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936.”

CNN reports that these remarks were made to the International Association of Penal Law, a global legal organization meeting in Rome. Reportedly, the pope said that persecution against gay people, in addition to ‘gypsies’ and Jews “represent a negative model ‘par excellence’ of a throwaway culture[,] and a culture of hate.”

“That’s what they did then and today these things are resurfacing,” said the papal authority, leaving listeners with the advice that they should “be vigilant, both in civil and religious society, to avoid any possible compromise…with such degeneration.”

The Pope is under criticism for his seemingly political message. Conservative Catholics have derided his leadership as of late, some over the papal authority’s open acceptance toward poor people, LGBTQ people, and non-Catholics. CNN also covered when several patrons complained recently about Francis not allowing every one of his visitors to kiss his ring when they greeted him. He’s also being labelled as anti-capitalist and liberal for his other remarks to the Penal Law association, such as his criticism of the “global financial capital” industry for causing much of the world’s crime and environmental damage.

Francis is also echoing many statements he has made during his tenure atop the Catholic Church countering the rise in many forms of bigotry and discrimination, such as antisemitism.

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PT: O povo judeu sofreu muito na história. Foi expulso, perseguido… E no século passado vimos tantas, tantas brutalidades que cometeram contra o povo judeu e estávamos convencidos de que isso tinha acabado. Mas hoje, começa a renascer aqui e ali o hábito de perseguir os judeus. Irmãos e irmãs, isso não é humano nem cristão. Os judeus são nossos irmãos e não devem ser perseguidos. ES: El pueblo hebreo ha sufrido mucho en la historia. Ha sido expulsado, perseguido… Y durante el siglo pasado hemos visto muchas, muchas brutalidades contra el pueblo hebreo. Todos pensábamos que esto se había terminado, pero hoy vuelve a surgir aquí y allá la costumbre de perseguir a los hebreos. Hermanos y hermanas, esto no es ni humano ni cristiano. ¡Los hebreos son hermanos y hermanas nuestros! Y no deben ser perseguidos. IT: Il popolo ebraico ha sofferto tanto nella storia. È stato cacciato via, perseguitato … E, nel secolo scorso, abbiamo visto tante, tante brutalità che hanno fatto al popolo ebraico e tutti eravamo convinti che questo fosse finito. Ma oggi, incomincia a rinascere qua e là l’abitudine di perseguitare gli ebrei. Fratelli e sorelle, questo non è né umano né cristiano. Gli ebrei sono fratelli nostri! E non vanno perseguitati. FR: Le peuple juif a beaucoup souffert dans l'histoire. Il a été chassé, persécuté… Et, au siècle dernier, nous avons vu beaucoup, beaucoup de brutalités qu'ils ont fait au peuple juif, et tout le monde était convaincu que ceci était fini. Mais aujourd'hui, ici et là, l'habitude de persécuter les juifs commence à renaître ici et là. Frères et soeurs, ceci n'est ni humain ni chrétien. Les juifs sont nos frères! Et ils ne doivent pas être persécutés. EN: The Jewish people have suffered so much throughout history. They have been exiled and persecuted … During the last century they suffered so much brutality. We all believed this was over. But today the phenomenon of persecuting Jews is beginning to reappear in some places. Brothers and sisters, this is neither human nor Christian. Jews are our brothers and sisters! They are not to be persecuted. #generalaudience #audienciageneral #audiênciageral #udienzagenerale #audiencegénérale

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This quote on antisemitism was made at what’s known as a ‘general audience’ in the Vatican, where the Pope delivers his predetermined set of remarks before an audience of Catholics and tourists. This comes mere days after the Pope showed ‘concern’ over gay conversion therapy, upon being presented with research of its apparent invalidity by British conversion therapy survivor Jayne Ozanne. As we covered here at LGBTQ Nation:

“[He] seemed to understand what conversion therapy was,” Ozanne told Reuters. “I thought he was extremely warm, he was very pastoral. He seemed concerned … I felt very embraced.”

While Francis didn’t name any specific leaders, CBS News speculates that Jair Bolsonaro and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the leaders of Brazil and Brunei respectively, as possible targets as the Pope has recently criticized those countries. Tel Aviv University recently revealed in a study that the United States had some of the highest amount of anti-semitism incidents around the world, so our country is far from immune from the Pope’s criticisms either.

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