Pope Francis tells Vatican diplomats to resist ‘cancel culture’

ROME – On January 10, Pope Francis used his annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps to warn against “the cancellation of culture”, which he said “pervades many circles and public institutions.”

The Pope lambasted those who operate under the “pretext of defending diversity” and in doing so eliminate “any sense of identity” which he said risks “silencing positions which defend a respectful and balanced understanding. of various sensitivities ”.

Diplomacy, he told representatives of the 183 countries accredited to the Holy See, is “called to be truly inclusive, not canceling out but cherishing the differences and sensitivities that have historically marked various peoples”.

The pope’s pointed remarks came during a speech often referred to as his “state of the world,” in which he made a strong case for multilateral diplomacy at a time of significant global crises amid increased social fragmentation.

The work of diplomacy, François deplored, has been “diminished” by a feeling of drifting away from the mission of international organizations pursuing “divisive” objectives unrelated to their founding principles.

“As a result, agendas are increasingly dictated by a state of mind that rejects the natural foundations of humanity and the cultural roots that constitute the identity of many peoples,” which he says is a form of “ideological colonization” which “leaves no room for freedom”. expression. ”

“A kind of ‘one-sided thought’ is emerging, he continues, forced to deny history or, worse still, to rewrite it in terms of current categories, while any historical situation must be interpreted according to a hermeneutics of this particular era. ”

Despite these criticisms, the Pope has said that greater international cooperation – not less – is essential to address the multi-faceted challenges facing the world, especially with regard to the global pandemic, migration and change. climate.

François, who became one of the the strongest supporters of vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, have encouraged better access to vaccines and sought to refute misinformation about their effectiveness.

“We realized that in places where an effective vaccination campaign has taken place, the risk of serious repercussions from the disease has decreased,” he said.

Francis also denounced those who are swayed by ideologies, “often reinforced by baseless information or poorly documented facts,” which he said have confused efforts to immunize and protect the world as much as possible.

“Vaccines are not a magic cure, but they certainly represent”, he said, “the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease”.

In addressing the challenges posed by migration, the Pope reflected on his traveled last month to Cyprus and Greece, where the plight of migrants was highlighted during his stay in the two Mediterranean countries.

“In front of these faces, one cannot remain indifferent or hide behind walls and barbed wire under the pretext of defending security or a lifestyle,” François said.

As he has done on numerous occasions, the Pope said it was up to Europe to better coordinate its response by welcoming new arrivals from Africa and Asia, adding that each country must play a role in integration of migrants and refugees.

“You cannot ask anyone to do what is impossible for them, yet there is a clear difference between accepting, albeit in a limited way, and rejecting completely,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we must also note that migrants themselves are often turned into a weapon of political blackmail, becoming a kind of ‘commodity’ which robs them of their dignity,” added Francois.

As Francis broached the issue of climate change, the Pope lamented that last November’s meeting of world leaders in Glasgow, known as COP26, produced “rather weak results given the gravity of the problem at hand” .

The road to face environmental crises is “complex and seems long, while the time available to us is increasingly short,” warned Francis.

The challenges of the world, Francis told diplomats, are interconnected and, therefore, their solutions, he argued, must be faced together by “cultivating dialogue and brotherhood with one another.”

As the Pope wrapped up his 45-minute speech in the Hall of Blessings inside the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica – and as the global pandemic enters its third calendar year – Francis pleaded for a different kind of contagion to define the coming year.

“The gift of peace is ‘contagious’,” he said. “It radiates from the hearts of those who desire it and aspire to share it, and is spreading throughout the world.”

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