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Published On: Fri, Nov 22nd, 2019

Pope Francis compares homophobic and anti-Semitic politicians to Hitler

The pope recently spoke out about politicians who are homophobic, or who have disdain against Jews or gypsies, comparing them to the leader of the Nazi party.

Pope Francis greets a baby as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) May 20, 2015. photo courtesy of USCCB

In this increasingly politically-correct world, the leaders of certain countries still rage against homosexuals, Jews and gypsies, threatening them with the death penalty.

Pope Francis spoke out on Friday last week at an international conference about criminal law. He went off his set agenda to speak out strongly against those leaders and other politicians who display homophobic and racial tendencies by saying they remind him of the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler. The Pope said it is no coincidence that at certain times in history there is a resurgence of Nazi symbols and ideologies. When Francis hears such politicians giving a speech to this effect, he compares them to Hitler’s speeches in 1934 to 1936. 

As reported by NBC news, Francis went on to say that the persecution of homosexuals, Jews and gypsies, which is becoming typical of today, represents a culture of waste and hate. He said this was done in the times of Hitler and it is coming to light again. The Nazi regime in Germany killed six million Jews, gypsies and homosexuals in their extermination camps during 1933 to 1945.

DignityUSA applauds Pope Francis for his speech

DignityUSA is an LGBTQ Catholic advocacy organization and its president, Christopher Pett, applauded the Pope for his statement, saying it was “timely and relevant.” Pett said the Roman Catholic Church has a major role to play in fighting the current homophobic political trends in several areas of the world, including the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Pett continued by saying his organization calls on Pope Francis to “continue to be a strong, morally, just voice in support of all human rights.” He went on to stress that this should especially relate to LGBTQ people all over the world. The church should also challenge any injustices related to government-sanctioned violence against LGBTQ people, and to also look inside the church’s teachings, as some bishops have been known to discriminate against LGBTQ Catholics and other people in their communities.

Brunei leader warned by the Commonwealth and United Nations

While Francis made his speech, he did not target particular countries of politicians, but several are well known for their criticism and homophobic tendencies.

In May this year, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei extended that countries moratorium which enforces the death penalty, while prohibiting gay sex. His words have received a backlash from all over the world, including celebrities such as Elton John and George Clooney.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth has spoken out and has requested Brunei to revoke the death penalty. However, LGBT-friendly travel business leaders have also spoken out, saying this is not enough and wishing to boycott Brunei as a travel destination for LGBT travellers. Darren Burn, founder of Out of Office, says Baroness Patricia Scotland needs to go one step further and start a process to remove Brunei from the Commonwealth. Burn said other countries, including Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Fiji and Nigeria had already been removed for this reason. 

The United Nations has also accused Brunei of violating human rights by implementing brutal Islamic laws, including stoning to death for homosexuality and adultery. As reported by CBS News, Brunei has since backed down on its threats of the death penalty.

Other leaders guilty of homophobia and anti-Semitism on the rise

President Jair Bolsonaro took office in Brazil in January this year. In an interview after taking office, Bolsanaro made it clear that he would prefer a dead son to a gay son.

Since US President Donald Trump took office in 2016, there has been a resurgence of Alt-Right and Neo-Nazi groups who feel free to show their anti-Jewish tendencies. 

A study run by the European Union found that young Jewish people in Europe now experience more anti-Semitism than their parents did in the past, with abuse coming via text messaging, emails and social media. In fact, more than 80% of Jewish people of all ages have experienced anti-Semitism in the last five years, with a definite increase on the Internet, as well as 70% who have faced hostility in public.

Author: Anne Sewell

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