Pope Francis has said that politicians lashing out at homosexuals, gypsies, and Jews remind him of Hitler. He hasn’t specified, though, who exactly he means.
“It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism", Francis told an international conference on criminal law.
He went on to “confess” that hearing “a speech of someone responsible for order or for a government” triggers in his memory historic accounts of “Hitler’s speeches in 1934 and 1936", the pontiff said in a digression from the topic of his address.
“With the persecution of Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies, today these actions are typical (and) represent 'par excellence' a culture of waste and hate", the Pope said, drawing a line between today and then:
“That is what was done in those days and today it is happening again", he contended, calling on his audience "to be vigilant, both in civil and religious society, to avoid any possible compromise...with such degeneration".
The pope didn’t bring up any particular incident, but recently an 89-year-old senator and Holocaust survivor was placed under police protection after receiving online and offline death threats in Italy, according to local reports.
The jabs followed his Wednesday’s address, in which he branded today’s anti-Semitism as something “neither human nor Christian".
In improvised remarks directed at his general audience, he said: “Today the habit of persecuting Jews is beginning to be reborn. Brothers and sisters: this is neither human nor Christian; the Jews are our brothers and sisters and must not be persecuted! Understood?” he queried.