Pope Francis laments ‘culture of insults,’ decries church propaganda

Pope Francis walks past cardinals after celebrating a Pentecost Mass in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, June 9, 2019. The Pentecost Mass is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday lamented what he called a "culture of insults" enabled by social media and warned against nationalism and other "exclusivist ideas" that he said contrast with a Christian mission to foster harmony.

In his homily during Pentecost Mass Sunday in St. Peter's Square, Francis also decried that "the more we use social media, the less social we are becoming."

"The more we use social media, the less social we are becoming."

"In today's world, lack of harmony has led to stark divisions," Francis said. "There are those who have too much and those who have nothing, those who want to live to a hundred and those who cannot even be born."

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

He warned of the temptation to cling to "our little group, to the things and people we like," concluding that it's only a "small step from a nest to a sect, even within the church."

The pope said that "nowadays it is fashionable to hurl adjectives and, sadly, even insults" in what's tantamount to "a culture of insults." He recommended responding "to malice with goodness, to shouting with silence, to gossip with prayer, to defeatism with encouragement."

He also warned against the Catholic church's neglecting its mission to spread joy, instead becoming an organization with propaganda as its mission.

The Vatican after Mass released a papal message about the church's mission in the world. In it, Francis echoed a call a century ago by Pope Benedict XV, right after the devastation of World War I, for "an end to all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism." He also cited a reminder by that same pope that "the church's universal mission requires setting aside exclusivist ideas of membership in one's own country and ethnic group."

Said Francis as he defined the church's mission today: "No one ought to remain closed in self-absorption."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Dr.Cajetan Coelho
1 year 5 months ago

Social media can help us to be human and social towards fellow humans and the environment.

Nora Bolcon
1 year 5 months ago

"Pope Francis on Sunday lamented what he called a "culture of insults" enabled by social media and warned against nationalism and other "exclusivist ideas" that he said contrast with a Christian mission to foster harmony."

You mean like making exclusionary statements to media referring to certain groups of people's input on important theological discussions, as the "strawberry on the cake", rather implying that the necessary and important input came from the people outside of this group. Or perhaps Pope Francis means when leaders in the world refer to certain governments, as elderly females in a derogatory fashion, such a referring to them, as infertile grandmothers when seeking to scold and insult them. Or perhaps Pope Francis means when people describe only certain groups of people in a demeaning and insulting manner when they seek to be treated the same as everyone else, both in and out of their religions? This reminds of when a leader stated such people are acting unnatural because their wanting to be treated the same as others, and then described them as acting like an example of "Machismo in a skirt." Or maybe Pope Francis is referring to leaders who, without any gospel, or moral, or scientific reasoning, describe the subversion and oppression of half our population as "Just Discrimination" simply because they don't want to face the discomfort of having to change their ways and admit their sins and their organization's sins of senseless abuse and hatred for centuries.

Again Pope Francis - it is time to start taking your own advice and the sooner the better!

[Explore America’s in-depth coverage of Pope Francis.]

The latest from america

Viola Davis as Ma Rainey in ”Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” (David Lee/Netflix).
Chadwick Boseman also appears in his final performance before his untimely death.
Rob Weinert-KendtDecember 04, 2020
As Covid-19 vaccines become available, is crucial that all government agencies work through the ethical conundrums of vaccine distribution beforehand—and be prepared to make hard decisions.
The EditorsDecember 04, 2020
Public health experts said that faith leaders can leverage the trust of their congregations when it comes to encouraging the use of vaccines.
Michael J. O’LoughlinDecember 04, 2020
Israeli police arrested a Jewish man after he allegedly threw a firebomb inside the Basilica of All Nations at Gethsemane Church on the Mount of Olives Dec. 4.
Judith SudilovskyDecember 04, 2020