Pope Francis leads a Mass marking the World Day of Peace in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, January 1, 2020.(Photo: Reuters/Remo Casilli)

The Pope has warned against cancel culture and attempts to deny or re-write history through a modern lens.

In his ‘state of the world’ address to diplomats at the Vatican on Monday, Pope Francis said that cancel culture was “invading many circles and institutions”.

He spoke of the emergence of “a form of ideological colonization” in which there is “no room” for freedom of expression.

The result is censorship and a lack of diversity, the Pope warned. 

“Under the guise of defending diversity, it ends up cancelling all sense of identity, with the risk of silencing positions that defend a respectful and balanced understanding of various sensibilities,” he said. 

Instead of re-writing history, the Pope suggested that historical events needed to be judged by the standards of their time.

“A kind of dangerous ‘one-track thinking’ 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,” he said. 

While speaking of the importance of unity, he said that to be “truly inclusive” meant “starting from different viewpoints” and “not canceling but cherishing the differences and sensibilities that have historically marked various peoples”.

This could be achieved, he said, by “reciprocal trust” and a “willingness to dialogue”, and – quoting his message for the 2022 World Day of Peace –  by “listening to one another, sharing different views, coming to agreement and walking together”.





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