During a homily at Domus Sanctae Marthae church in Vatican City on Thursday, Pope Francis warned against the “cultural or ideological colonization” that is a threat to religious liberty and the “people of God” because it involves indoctrinating young people, eliminating freedoms, and erasing memory.
As Crux reported, the Pope was reflecting on readings from 2 Maccabees in the Catholic Bible, which describe the Jewish revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the ruler of the Seleucid Empire. The king tried to Hellenize the Jewish people and outlawed various Jewish customs and practices in the process.
Francis likened the plight of the ancient Jewish people to what happens to Christians today when a “dictatorship” of “cultural or ideological colonization” takes hold.
“Freedom is taken away, history, people’s memory is deconstructed, and an educational system is imposed on young people,” he said. “Everyone does this.”
It is similar, the pope said, to a country that is given a loan under the condition that it teach students only pre-sanctioned subjects and ideologies. It results in “books that have erased all that God has created and how he has created it.”
Such demands “eliminate history” and ensure that any differing thoughts or opinions are “erased,” so that all people “start thinking in [the same] way.”
“Those who do not think like this are cast aside, even persecuted,” he warned.
Ultimately, the Holy Father said that it will be up to the faithful—women in particular—to ensure that “the memory of salvation, the memory of God’s people, that memory that strengthened the faith of a people persecuted by this ideological-cultural colonization” is preserved.