Last weekend, Pope Francis gave a speech to an international penal law association. The religious leader noted how hateful speech and laws against “people with homosexual tendencies” mirrored Nazi rule from the last century.
“It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism,” Francis said in the address to participants.
“And I must confess to you that when I hear a speech (by) someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936,” he said, departing from his prepared 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. That is what was done in those days and today it is happening again.”
While this support of LGBTQ people, gypsies, and Jewish people is a happy surprise, it’s less of a surprise for the latter group. In fact, Francis has lately been expressing his distaste for rising anti-Semitism in Europe.
This past Wednesday, the religious leader also improvised away from his prepared speech at a general audience meeting while discussing the matter.
“Today the habit of persecuting Jews is beginning to be reborn,” he noted. “Brothers and sisters: this is neither human nor Christian; the Jews are our brothers and sisters and must not be persecuted! Understood?”