Pope Francis also considered persecution of Christians in general.
The Pope distinguished between two kinds of persecution: the first is clear and explicit, targeting someone who confesses the name of Jesus Christ. The other form of persecution is “disguised as culture, disguised as modernity, disguised as progress.”
“It is a kind of – I would say somewhat ironically – ‘polite persecution’.”
“When someone is persecuted not for confessing Christ’s name, but for wanting to demonstrate the values of the Son of God,” he said.
“We see every day that the powerful make laws that force people to take this path,” he lamented. “Countries that do not want to follow these laws are accused and “politely persecuted.”
This kind of persecution includes taking away the right to conscientious objection.
“God made us free, but this kind of persecution takes away freedom!”
“If you don’t do this, you will be punished: you’ll lose your job and many things or you’ll be set aside,” he continued. “This is the persecution of the world.”
The Pope said “the prince of this world,” the devil, heads this “polite persecution.”
He said it is the “great apostasy” when “the powerful want to impose attitudes, laws against the dignity of the children of God, persecute them and oppose God the Creator.”
Pope Francis reminded the faithful that God promised not to distance himself from them and promised to be with them. He prayed to God for “the grace to understand that a Christian’s path must always continue forward amid two kinds of persecution.”
A Christian must suffer many times, but “Jesus is always beside us, with the consolation of the Holy Spirit.”
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.