Pope: 'cancel culture' is the new face of colonialism

Speaking to the civil authorities in Canada Francis issues a warning against "ideological colonisation that clash with the reality of life". "The indigenous peoples have much to teach us about care and protection for the family". New appeal to counter the drama of war: "We do not need to divide the world into friends and enemies".


Quebec City (AsiaNews) - "Residential schools" for the assimilation of indigenous peoples are a "deplorable system" of the past for which we must ask forgiveness. But we cannot fail to see that even today there are forms of "ideological colonisation" that suffocate the deepest values of peoples in the name of new "cultural fashions".

Pope Francis yesterday evening addressed these words to the Canadian political world from Quebec, the French-speaking province where he is continuing his apostolic journey. The pontiff arrived in the afternoon from Edmonton and - after private visits to Governor General Mary Simon and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - immediately addressed the country's civil authorities, in the presence of representatives of the Indigenous peoples and the diplomatic corps.

"In the past, the colonialist mentality disregarded the concrete life of people and imposed certain predetermined cultural models; yet today too, there are any number of forms of ideological colonization that clash with the reality of life, stifle the natural attachment of peoples to their values, and attempt to uproot their traditions, history and religious ties," Francis told them.

The pope warned against the mentality that "presumptuously thinking that the dark pages of history have been left behind, becomes open to the “cancel culture” that would judge the past purely on the basis of certain contemporary categories. The result is a cultural fashion that levels everything out, makes everything equal, proves intolerant of differences and concentrates on the present moment, on the needs and rights of individuals, while frequently neglecting their duties with regard to the most weak and vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, migrants, the elderly, the sick, the unborn… They are the forgotten ones in “affluent societies”; they are the ones who, amid general indifference, are cast aside like dry leaves to be burnt".

Among the most concrete fields in which this is happening today is the family, 'the first concrete social reality, threatened by many factors: domestic violence, work frenzy, individualistic mentality, unbridled careerism, unemployment, loneliness of the young, abandonment of the elderly and the sick...'. "Indigenous peoples," Francis commented, "The indigenous peoples have much to teach us about care and protection for the family; among them, from an early age, children learn to recognize right from wrong, to be truthful, to share, to correct mistakes, to begin anew, to comfort one another and to be reconciled. May the wrongs that were endured by the indigenous peoples, for which we are ashamed, serve as a warning to us today, lest concern for the family and its rights be neglected for the sake of greater productivity and individual interests.'

The meeting with the civil authorities and the diplomatic corps was also an opportunity to once again condemn the war that today is bloodying and starving the world, starting with Ukraine: "We have no need to divide the world into friends and enemies, to create distances and once again to arm ourselves to the teeth: an arms race and strategies of deterrence will not bring peace and security. We need to ask ourselves not how to pursue wars, but how to stop them. And to prevent entire peoples from once more being held hostage and in the grip of terrible cold wars that are still increasing. What we need are creative and farsighted policies capable of moving beyond the categories of opposition in order to provide answers to global challenges." said the Pontiff.

Peace, climate change, pandemic effects, international migration,' the pope listed, 'are global challenges, they concern everyone. And if they all speak of the need for the whole, politics cannot remain a prisoner of partisan interests. It is necessary to be able to look, as indigenous wisdom teaches, to the seven future generations, not to immediate convenience, electoral deadlines, or the support of lobbies. And also to value the young generations' desires for fraternity, justice and peace'.

On multiculturalism, the pope expressed appreciation for the generosity shown by Canada in welcoming Ukrainian and Afghan refugees, but he also added that it is necessary to work "to overcome the rhetoric of fear towards immigrants", recalling that "clife in common is based on presuppositions that the political system cannot produce on its own".

"These days," he added, In these days, I have heard about the many needy persons who come knocking on the doors of the parishes. May the emblem of the maple leaf... serve as an incentive to everyone to make economic and social decisions that foster participation and care for those in need' he concluded.