Pope: “When I Hear Some Speech, Some Person in Charge of the Order or Government, I am Reminded of Hitler's Speeches…Today’

By Michael W. Chapman | November 15, 2019 | 1:38pm EST
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) -- In a talk before members of the International Association of Criminal Law at the Vatican on Friday, Pope Francis said some political speakers today -- he didn't name names --  remind him of Hitler's speeches in the 1930s. He added that he sees "typical actions of Nazism" being "reborn today," particularly "persecutions against Jews, Gypsies and people of homosexual orientation." 

On another point, the Pope said he is considering adding "ecological sin" against our "common home" to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. "Ecocide," he said, includes such things as air pollution, destruction of fauna, and damage to the water. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"The culture of waste, combined with other psycho-social phenomena widespread in welfare societies, is showing the serious tendency to degenerate into a culture of hatred," said Pope Francis  to participants in the XX World Congress of the International association of Criminal Law. (Translated at Vatican Website.) 

"There are unfortunately not isolated episodes, certainly in need of a complex analysis, in which the social problems of both young people and adults find their outlet," he added.  "It is no coincidence that emblems and actions typical of Nazism sometimes reappear."


"I confess that when I hear some speech, some person in charge of the order or government, I am reminded of Hitler's speeches in '34 and in '36," he said. "Today. These are typical actions of Nazism which, with its persecutions against Jews, Gypsies and people of homosexual orientation, represent the negative model par excellence of a culture of waste and hatred."

"This was done at that time [1930s] and these things are reborn today," said the Pope.  "We need to be vigilant, both in the civil and in the ecclesial sphere, to avoid any possible compromise -- which is assumed to be involuntary -- with these degenerations."

Poland's President Andrzej Duda (R) and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (2ndR), US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and wife Karen Pence (2ndL) lay a wreath in front of a train during a visit at the former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, on February 15, 2019 in Oswiecim, Poland. (Photo by Janek SKARZYNSKI / AFP) (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Poland's President Andrzej Duda (R) and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (2ndR), US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and wife Karen Pence (2ndL) lay a wreath in front of a train during a visit at the former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, on February 15, 2019 in Oswiecim, Poland. (Photo: JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 6 million Jews were killed between 1933 and 1945 by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. In addition, out of an estimated 1.2 million homosexuals in Germany, some 100,000 were arrested between 1933-45. 

Among those, about 50,000 were sentenced. "Most of these men spent time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of the total sentenced were incarcerated in concentration camps," said the museum. It is not known how many of the 5,000 to 15,000 homosexuals died in the camps. 

"The vast majority of homosexual victims were males; lesbians were not subjected to systematic persecution," according to the museum. In addition, "Unlike Jews, men arrested as homosexuals were not systematically deported to Nazi-established ghettos in eastern Europe. Nor were they transported in mass groups of homosexual prisoners to Nazi extermination camps in Poland."

Flag of the European Union.  (YouTube)
Flag of the European Union. (YouTube)

In his speech, Pope Francis did not name the political speakers who reminded him of "Hitler's speeches" and Nazism. He also did not name any countries where this nascent Nazism is occurring. 

As for the environment, Pope Francis referenced his 2015 encyclical letter Laudato Si, On Care of Our Common Home, in which he sets guidelines for combating pollution, climate change, and economic injustice.

Speaking to members of the International Association of Criminal Law, he condemned "market idolatry" and the "principle of profit maximization, isolated from any other consideration," which can automatically exclude people.  In the long term, he added, this idolatry condemns future generations "to pay environmental costs."

"Global financial capital is at the origin of serious crimes not only against property but also against people and the environment," said His Holiness. "This is organized crime responsible, among other things, for the over-indebtedness of states and the plundering of the natural resources of our planet."

Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, left, and Germany's Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. (National Archives.)
Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, left, and Germany's Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. (National Archives.)

"These are crimes that have the seriousness of crimes against humanity, when they lead to hunger, poverty, forced migration and death from avoidable diseases, environmental disaster and the ethnocide of indigenous peoples," said the Pope. 

Some crimes, usually committed by corporations, he said, must be punished. These are crimes of "ecocide," he explained. "[T]he massive contamination of the air, of the resources of the earth and water, the large-scale destruction of flora and fauna, and any action capable of producing an ecological disaster or destroy an ecosystem."

"We must introduce -- we are thinking -- into the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, the 'ecological sin' against the common home, because a duty is at stake."

The Pope explained that this "ecological sin" can be defined as "an action or omission against God, against others, the community and the environment. It is a sin against future generations and is manifested in the acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the harmony of the environment...."

The Pope's speech can be read here

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