Pope Francis Denounces Anti-Gay Rhetoric as Reminiscent of Nazi Era

His comments were made in a speech on Friday

Pope Francis
Pope Francis in 2014.
Aleteia Image Department/Creative Commons

In an address on Friday, Pope Francis had harsh words for those who have used hateful rhetoric in recent years — specifically, elected officials who have opted to speak about different groups in a derogatory manner. 

“These are actions that are typical of Nazism, 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 said. At the time, he was addressing members of the International Association of Penal Law.

CNN’s report on the speech notes that Pope Francis did not cite specific incidences of bigotry, preferring to speak in more general terms.

Writing at the Washington Blade, Michael K. Lavers explored the Pope’s comments further. Of particular interest is a comment from Marianne Duddy-Burke, the executive director of DignityUSA, described as “the oldest and largest nation­al lay movement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, our families, and our friends.”

Duddy-Burke told the Blade that, “[i]t is very important that Pope Francis is speaking out against the resurgence of hate speech that is occurring in many countries, and recognizes that this speech endangers the lives of minorities, including LGBTQ people.”

She also pointed out that Pope Francis’s words also applied to some within the Catholic community, and expressed hope that they would “immediately change their ways.”

At a time of increased tension within the Catholic Church, the full impact of the Pope’s comments remains to be seen. 

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