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© L'Osservatore Romano

Santa Marta: Cultural Colonization Doesn’t Tolerate Differences

Reflection on Eleazar’s Martyrdom

Cultural and ideological colonization doesn’t tolerate differences and makes everything equal, ending by persecuting believers,” said Pope Francis in his homily of the Mass celebrated this morning, November 21, 2017, in the chapel of Santa Marta Residence.

In his homily, the Holy Father said that “ideological and cultural colonizations only see the present, they deny the past and don’t see the future. They live in the moment, not in time, and that’s why they can’t promise us anything.”

“And with this attitude that all be the same and erase differences, they commit the very bad sin of blasphemy against God the Creator,” he explained. “Every time there is a cultural or ideological colonization, one sins against God the Creator because one wants to change Creation as He made it,” he continued.

The Pontiff based his reflection on the Eleazar’s martyrdom, narrated in the Book of the Maccabees proposed in the First Reading (2 Maccabees 6:18-31).

Persecution

Francis pointed out that there are three main types of persecutions: one that is only religious; another that is politico-religious, such as, for instance, the “Thirty Years War” or “Saint Bartholomew’s Night,” and a third that is purely “cultural,” namely, when “a new culture arrives that wants to make everything new and sweeps away all traditions, history, and even a people’s religion.” This last type of persecution is the one Eleazar met, condemned to die because of his fidelity to God.

“Everything new,” “modernity” is a real ideological colonization, which wants to impose on the people of Israel “this unique custom,” in virtue of which everything is done like this and there is freedom for other things. And some accepted it because it seemed a good thing to them to be like the rest, and thus traditions are eliminated and the people begin to live in a different way, explained Francis.

Some resistances are born to defend the “true traditions,” such as that of Eleazar, a worthy and very respected man, clarified the Bishop of Rome, who pointed out that the story of these martyrs, of these heroes is told in the Book of the Maccabees.

A persecution stemming from ideological colonization always goes on thus: it destroys, “makes everything the same, isn’t capable of tolerating differences,” stressed the Pontiff.

Francis ended his homily hoping that Eleazar’s example “will help us in moments, perhaps, of confusion, given the cultural and spiritual colonizations proposed to us.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

 

JF

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