Pope Francis denounces “culture cancellation” and condemns “baseless information” on vaccines

Pope Francis aimed to cancel the culture during his annual address on Monday, warning that it is a kind of “one-way thinking” that risks silencing important voices.

“The culture of cancellation pervades many circles and public institutions,” said the Pope in his address to 183 countries accredited to the Holy See. “As a result, programs are increasingly driven by a mindset that rejects the natural foundations of humanity and the cultural roots that constitute the identity of many people.”

Pope Francis. (AP Photo / Gregorio Borgia)
(AP Photo / Gregorio Borgia)


The Pope added that “under the pretext of defending diversity, it ends up nullifying any sense of identity”, which risks silencing those who “defend a respectful and balanced understanding of various sensibilities”.

He also cautioned against attempts to rewrite history without understanding the context of the era in which people lived, arguing that “any historical situation must be interpreted in accordance with a hermeneutics of that particular era.”

“Diplomacy is called to be truly inclusive, not to cancel but to cherish the differences and sensitivities that have historically marked various peoples,” the Pope said.

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis.
((Filippo Monteforte / Pool photo via AP))

But Francis also targeted what he called “baseless information or poorly documented facts” about the COVID-19 vaccine, encouraging governments to continue their efforts to get their populations vaccinated.

“Vaccines are not a magical cure,” the Pope said. “Yet they surely represent, in addition to other treatments which need to be developed, the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease.”

Francis noted that countries that have seen widespread use of the vaccine have also seen a reduction in severe cases.

“It is therefore important to continue the effort to immunize the general population as much as possible,” said the Pope.

Pope Francis meets with US President Joe Biden.

Pope Francis meets with US President Joe Biden.
(Photo by Vatican Media via Vatican Pool / Getty Images)

The Pope also criticized the closure of schools to in-person instruction and the choice of virtual learning, arguing that the isolation could harm student development.

“In making this point, I do not in any way mean to deny the usefulness of the technology and its products, which allow us to connect to each other easily and quickly,” said the Pope. “But I make an urgent appeal that we be vigilant lest these instruments substitute for real human relations.”

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