On January 10, Pope Francis warned against the growing cancel-culture trend, calling it "one-track thinking" that can alter historical accounts. Speaking to diplomats from more than 180 countries, the pontiff effectively endorsed mandated vaccination while condemning vaccine misinformation.
The pope's speech to the diplomats was aimed at opposing "baseless” ideological misinformation against the COVID-19 vaccine. The pope eventually talked about trust issues leading to agendas "that are increasingly dictated by a mindset that rejects the natural foundations of humanity and the cultural roots that constitute the identity of many peoples."
The pontiff's comments came after a draft of a European Union communications manual,” Union of Equality”, which encouraged inclusive language and to refrain from using the word Christmas.
In an earlier interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State, accused the EU of "not knowing how to respect even rightful differences." The cardinal contended that Europe owes its identity to Christianity and the cancellation of its roots is "against reality." "This is not the way to fight discrimination," he added.
Unveiled in October last year, the 30-page guide aimed to create more gender-neutral language in support of the LGBTQ community. The document also included recommendations for inclusive languages on holidays. "Not everyone celebrates the Christian holidays, and not all Christians celebrate them on the same dates," the document explained.
The pope warned that these attempts at sidelining Christian languages are "a form of ideological colonization, one that leaves no room for freedom of expression." "Taking the form of the 'cancel culture' invading many circles and public institutions," the pontiff added.
The pope consistently used the English terms "cancel" and "culture" while delivering his speech in Italian. According to him, this unceasing cancel-culture is a "one-track thinking" that is poised to deny or rewrite history in the context of the present day. They risk canceling an identity "under the guise of defending diversity," he said.
While not using any specific cancel culture examples, he insisted that history must be interpreted in the context of its own time.