Pope Francis gave his annual “state of the world” address today to ambassadors in the Vatican.
His address ran the gamut, talking about the pandemic, his papal trips, the suffering in Lebanon, migrants, climate change, disarmament, education and labor, hotspots of international armed conflict, and the breakdown of diplomacy between nations and international organizations.
Speaking on the “diminished effectiveness” of international organizations, Pope Francis said it’s due to their members pursuing divisive agendas.
“Not infrequently, the center of interest has shifted to matters that by their divisive nature do not strictly belong to the aims of the organization. As a result, agendas are increasingly dictated by a mindset that rejects the natural foundations of humanity and the cultural roots that constitute the identity of many peoples.”
He said this is a form of “cancel culture” that is invading everywhere today.
“As I have stated on other occasions, I consider this a form of ideological colonization, one that leaves no room for freedom of expression and is now taking the form of the ‘cancel culture’ invading many circles and public institutions.”
Cancel culture falsely defends diversity, he said, and actually cancels “all sense of identity, with the risk of silencing positions that defend a respectful and balanced understanding of various sensibilities.”
“A kind of dangerous ‘one-track thinking’ is taking shape, one constrained to deny history or, worse yet, to rewrite it in terms of present-day categories, whereas any historical situation must be interpreted in the light of a hermeneutics of that particular time, not that of today.”
Pope Francis ended his address quoting the prophet Jeremiah, who says God has “plans for our welfare and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope.”
“We should be unafraid, then, to make room for peace in our lives by cultivating dialogue and fraternity among one another. The gift of peace is ‘contagious’; it radiates from the hearts of those who long for it and aspire to share it, and spreads throughout the whole world.”