Pope Francis has laid into modern cultural trends, especially the casual acceptance of abortion and the persecution of the Christian faithful, calling the present globalist mentality “a perverse new state of affairs.”
“Before, it was a sin, you couldn’t kill little children, but today you can, it’s not seen as a big deal,” the Pope lamented during his homily in the Vatican Tuesday morning. “It is a perverse new state of affairs.”
Commenting on the first biblical reading for the day from the second book of Maccabees, the Pope reflected on “the martyrdom of a man who was condemned to die for his loyalty to God and His law,” drawing lessons applicable to the persecution of Christians in today’s world.
There are various forms of modern persecution, the Pope suggested, such as religious persecution, cultural persecution and the persecution rooted in “ideological colonialism,” which could be the most insidious.
In the first place, there is a strictly religious persecution, where one group attacks another simply because of a difference in religious beliefs, the pontiff noted. In these cases, religion often mixes with historical and political motives, leading even to bloodshed and war.
Then there is cultural persecution, the Pope said, which tries to completely erase “the traditions, history and even the religion of a people,” to make way for a new, secular culture.
Referring back to the prior day’s Bible reading, Francis said that some Israelites of the time, seeing the power and the magnificence of the pagan Antiochus Epiphanes, felt envious and decided to betray their culture and their faith in order to become more “modern.” They were embarrassed and felt behind the times, the Pope said, which led them to abandon their own sacred traditions.
Failing to appreciate the richness of their own religion and traditions, the people sought to “introduce pagan institutions,” the Pope said, in an effort to catch up with modernity.
But “‘modernity’ is a true cultural colonization, a true ideological colonization,” the Pope said, which induced the people of Israel to abandon their uniqueness to become like everyone else. They thought, “we must be like the others” and then they began to persecute all their brethren who stood by the old ways.
Yet the true heroes of the story, the Pope remarked, were the faithful Israelites who resisted this imposition of a new cultural hegemony and stuck to their traditions, their faith and their distinctive culture.
That is how Eleazar became a martyr and a hero, Francis said. “To defend the history and faithfulness of his people, along with its traditions—true and good traditions—they created a resistance.”
The Pope used this example to launch a wholesale critique of a one-world, globalist culture that seeks homogeneity, eliminating differences so that all think, speak, act and believe alike.
“This is how it goes on,” he said, “a persecution born of cultural colonization, ideological colonization, which destroys, making everyone the same, is not capable of tolerating differences.”
This is carried forward to our own day, Francis said, as we can see in the genocides of the last century. “Everyone must be the same, there is no place for differences, no place for others, no place for God,” he said.
Not all change or novelty is bad, Francis conceded, but some novelty has a “perverse root,” such as modernity’s acceptance of abortion, so discernment is required.
“Before, it was a sin, you couldn’t kill little children, but today you can, it’s not seen as a big deal. It is a perverse new state of affairs,” he said.
Cultural and ideological colonization, Francis added, “deny the past and fail to look to the future” and so “can promise nothing.”
And through their attitude of “making everyone the same and erasing differences,” he said, “they commit the gross sin of blasphemy against God the Creator God” in a thinly veiled reference to the gender ideology that wishes to erase real biological and psychological differences between men and women.
Last month, Francis underscored the importance of sexual differentiation, citing the “blessed difference” between men and women as revealed in the biblical book of Genesis. He then went on to condemn attempts to “completely erase this difference,” which he denounced as a “unisex utopia.”
In teaching letter on marriage and the family called “The Joy of Love” (Amoris Laetitia), the Pope denounced gender theory for its denial of “the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman,” and for its dream of “a society without sexual differences.”
Every sort of cultural and ideological colonization “sins against God the Creator because it wants to change the creation that He made,” Francis said Tuesday.
The Pope ended his homily by saying that there is only one remedy to cultural colonization, which is “witness, that is, martyrdom.”
“Yes, I dialogue with those who think differently, but my testimony is what it is, according to God’s law, according to what God has offered me,” he said.
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