Pope compares racism to a virus
Pope Francis compared racism to a virus on Sunday, writing on Twitter that it is “always lurking,” even if it appears to disappear at times.
“Racism is a virus that mutates easily and instead of disappearing it hides, but it is always lurking. Expressions of racism renew our shame by showing that the progress of society is not guaranteed once and for all,” the pope tweeted.
Il razzismo è un virus che muta facilmente e invece di sparire si nasconde, ma è sempre in agguato. Le espressioni di razzismo rinnovano in noi la vergogna dimostrando che i progressi della società non sono assicurati una volta per sempre. #FightRacism #FratelliTutti
— Papa Francesco (@Pontifex_it) March 21, 2021
As the AP notes, “#FratelliTutti” is the name of a special teaching document that Pope Francis issued last year calling for solidarity in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pope did not mention any specific incidents of racism that spurred his statement, though the AP notes that March 21 is the anniversary of the day in 1960 that South African police shot and killed 69 people demonstrating against apartheid.
The Vatican has fallen under criticism recently after declaring last Monday that the Roman Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin.”
A decree from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that the declaration was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination” against gay people, adding the church has been “motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons.”
A group of Catholic priests called the Parish Priests Initiative has vowed to bless same-sex unions in defiance of the Vatican.
“We members of the Parish Priests Initiative are deeply appalled by the new Roman decree that seeks to prohibit the blessing of same-sex loving couples. This is a relapse into times that we had hoped to have overcome with Pope Francis,” the group said.
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