On Monday, the head of the Roman Catholic Church called out “cancel culture” by decrying what he named “ideological colonization” that leads to the ostracization of certain individuals and cultures, such as those who take a pro-life stance, from all global conversations and solutions to a vast array of problems. These comments from Pope Francis came out during his annual address to ambassadors and diplomats from around the globe who gathered at the Vatican this past Monday morning.
The speech from the Pope spoke about a large array of topics such as migration and the “moral necessity” of taking steps to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In regards to international decision making, Pope Francis stated that “for some time now, multilateral diplomacy has been experiencing a crisis of trust, due to the reduced credibility of social, governmental and intergovernmental systems. Important resolutions, declarations, and decisions are frequently made without a genuine process of negotiation in which all countries have a say.”
“This imbalance, now dramatically evident, has generated disaffection towards international agencies on the part of many states; it also weakens the multilateral system as a whole, with the result that it becomes less and less effective in confronting global challenges,” he continued.
“The diminished effectiveness of many international organizations is also due to their members entertaining differing visions of the ends they wish to pursue,” he went on. “Not infrequently, the center of interest has shifted to matters that by their divisive nature do not strictly belong to the aims of the organization. As a result, agendas are increasingly dictated by a mindset that rejects the natural foundations of humanity and the cultural roots that constitute the identity of many peoples.”
“As I have stated on other occasions, I consider this a form of ideological colonization, one that leaves no room for freedom of expression and is now taking the form of the ‘cancel culture’ invading many circles and public institutions,” warned the Catholic leader.
“Under the guise of defending diversity, it ends up canceling all sense of identity, with the risk of silencing positions that defend a respectful and balanced understanding of various sensibilities,” he stated. “A kind of dangerous ‘one-track thinking’ [pensée unique] is taking shape, one constrained to deny history or, worse yet, to rewrite it in terms of present-day categories, whereas any historical situation must be interpreted in the light of a hermeneutics of that particular time, not that of today.”
“Multilateral diplomacy is thus called to be truly inclusive, not canceling but cherishing the differences and sensibilities that have historically marked various peoples,” stated the Pope.
The pope then claimed that the various world leaders and their countries must take steps to come together under the idea of a dialogue for solutions, which is only able to happen through “reciprocal trust and willingness to dialogue,” which requires “listening to one another, sharing different views, coming to agreement, and walking together.”
“Dialogue is the best way to realize what ought always to be affirmed and respected apart from any ephemeral consensus,” he continued. “Nor should we overlook ‘the existence of certain enduring values. Those are not always easy to discern, but their acceptance makes for a robust and solid social ethics. Once those fundamental values are adopted through dialogue and consensus, we realize that they rise above consensus.”
“Here I wish to mention in particular the right to life, from conception to its natural end, and the right to religious freedom,” commented the pope.