Pope warns against populism, brings up Hitler comparison


I understand that a lot of people are concerned, but it seems to me that the Hitler comparison is not especially helpful. Some would say it instantly disqualifies one from the conversation.


American MSM is a very dangerous thing. What is it Trump has said that has people genuinely believing he has a Hitleresque agenda? Is it the wall that Israel and Hungary and even Kenya have either proposed or built? I can understand belief that he is a very very bad choice. I happen to think so, myself. Not that I think Hillary was a good choice. But many people believe something far darker than just a poor president.

He has not even attacked anyone’s race or gender or religion or sexuality directly. He has said a lot of worrisome things about immigration and immigrants. He is also crude and undiplomatic and does not behave in a presidential manner and frankly a straight and out bullsh----r in many ways, perpetually overselling himself and making outlandish promises. Not the humblest bloke. Yet I cannot find the thing about HIM that has people going to “Hitler”. I actually think it very disrespectful of the victims of Nazism to compare their issueS to modern non issues (in comparison). Surely, deporting illegal non-citizens while not charitable in some cases is not at all like concentration camps. Neither is building a wall. Neither even, is registration of incoming migrants.

Why do people feel justified in making that comparison? My answer is a propagandist media. Rather than offer true and vicious criticism of who Trump actually is, and there is a lot of material there, they have created a strange boogeyman of a modern day Hitler that does not seem remotely realistic. An irresponsible media can cause hate crimes, unrest and probably civil war. They have been very destructive in my opinion.


This happens every election cycle and the insult has lost its meaning among those who choose to act mostly dignified.

As Daniel Hannan once noted “friends, if everyone is Hitler, then no one is”.


PF is way off base on this name calling and should not point fingers so soon. There is nothing at all stopping PF from setting an example and saving these migranats in their own homeland so they do not have to leave.

Sometimes the problems have to be resolved over several years but with prayer, Faith in God, vision and some political will the Catholic Church could lead these countries to change so there would be limited or no wars.

If the Vatican would have started education and training programs in the 90’s there would be no need to leave their homes now. PF can start in 2017 and by 2030 just about all these countries would be stable. They all have some resources to build from, cheap labor and can grow enough food for themselves.

I hate that PF does not bring specific solutions to the world stage, only dreams, nebulous high-level thoughts and finger-pointing.:shrug: If he is going to be so focused on temporal issues I would have hoped he would have brought some solid plans to the forefront by now.:blush:

By the way the reason countries have immigration laws in the first place is so other countries don’t empty there prisons in the host countries and they wind up like Sweden were the women and children are to scared to go out in public any more.


I think it is worth remembering the difference between patriotism and nationalism. American exceptionalism is a dangerous philosophy, not that I am accusing President Trump of this.


Not saying/typing something when you want to counts as small penance, right…?


Cactus,do you speak Spanish?
If you do,the whole interview in Spanish has been published in El Pais. I ve just read it…
This presentation is biased as it is.
He said we cannot be prophets of calamity…that.Christians work upon something concrete. He said sth like we will see.
Also that countries have a right to take care of borders and he mentioned terrorism,but that no one has a right to impede dialogue with the neighbours.
He referred to Hitler in terms of populism,and he even said that in Latin America populism means sth different so that it took a bit for him to understand that Europeans used it differently.

The interview is long and touches base on many issues.
So in other words,this presentation of the interview does not reflect what the Pope said.

Holy moly,and I was planning to quit…
PS: Job opening: Spanish speaker willing to translate bits and pieces into context.:)please,wave your hand


My first question would be are we certain this is what Pope Francis said?

This wouldn’t be the first time the western mass media has construed his comments incorrectly and provided us with sound bites to further a polical agenda.


So interesting it’s actually the leftists are using violence. We have entered a bad era of socialist ideology which always brings violence to meet political ends.


Here is the whole speech in English from El Pais magazine online:


His Holiness never said anything directly about Trump except, “wait and see” - indeed he encouraged people not to freak out or feel overjoyed until he actually did something. To me, that’s pretty even-handed. Look:

Q. Your Holiness, about the world’s problems that you have just mentioned, Donald Trump has just become the president of the US, and the whole world is tense because of it. What do you think about that?

A. I think that we must wait and see. I don’t like to get ahead of myself nor judge people prematurely. We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion. But being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite unwise. It would be like prophets predicting calamities or windfalls that will not be either. We will see. We will see what he does and will judge. Always on the specific. Christianity, either is specific or it is not Christianity.

It is interesting that the first heresy in the Church took place just after the death of Jesus Christ. The gnostic heresy, condemned by the apostle John. Which was what I call a spray religiousness, a non-specific religiousness. Yes, me, spirituality, the law… but nothing concrete. No, no way. We need specifics. And from the specific we can draw consequences. We lose sense of the concrete. The other day, a thinker was telling me that this world is so upside down that it needs a fixed point. And those fixed points stem from the concrete. What did you do, what did you decide, how do you move. That is what I prefer to wait and see.

Q. Aren’t you worried about the things we have heard up until now?

A. I’m waiting. God waited so long for me, with all my sins…

The address was wide-ranging but the section referring to Hitler was primarily directed towards the growth of populism in Europe:

Q. Both in Europe and in America, the repercussions of the crisis that never ends, the growing inequalities, the absence of strong leadership are giving way to political groups that reflect on the citizens’ malaise. Some of them —the so-called anti-system or populists— capitalize on the fears in face of an uncertain future in order to form a message full of xenophobia and hatred towards the foreigner. Trump’s case is the most noteworthy, but there are others such as Austria or Switzerland. Are you worried about this phenomenon?

A. That is what they call populism. Which is an equivocal term, because, in Latin America, populism has another meaning. In Latin America, it means that the people —for instance, people’s movements— are the protagonists. They are self-organized, it is something else. When I started to hear about populism in Europe I didn’t know what to make of it, I got lost, until I realized that it had different meanings. Crises provoke fear, alarm. In my opinion, the most obvious example of European populism is Germany in 1933. After [Paul von] Hindenburg, after the crisis of 1930, Germany is broken, it needs to get up, to find its identity, a leader, someone capable of restoring its character, and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler who says: “I can, I can”. And all Germans vote for Hitler. Hitler didn’t steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people. That is the risk. In times of crisis, we lack judgment, and that is a constant reference for me. Let’s look for a savior who gives us back our identity and lets defend ourselves with walls, barbed-wire, whatever, from other peoples that may rob us of our identity. And that is a very serious thing. That is why I always try to say: talk among yourselves, talk to one another. But the case of Germany in 1933 is typical, a people that was immersed in a crisis, that looked for its identity until this charismatic leader came and promised to give their identity back, and he gave them a distorted identity, and we all know what happened. Where there is no conversation… Can borders be controlled? Yes, each country has the right to control its borders, who comes and who goes, and those countries at risk —from terrorism or such things— have even more the right to control them more, but no country has the right to deprive its citizens of the possibility to talk with their neighbors.


It is not the prerogative of the Church to offer “specific solutions” for the workings of temporal authorities:



As she contemplates the various possible solutions to this important European “process” in a way that is faithful to her identity and her evangelizing mission,** the Church applies what she has already said about individual states: that she “is not entitled to express preferences for this or that institutional or constitutional solution” and respects the legitimate autonomy of the democratic order (cf. Centesimus annus, n. 47). At the same time, by virtue of her identity and mission, she cannot be indifferent to the values that inspire the various institutional decisions**. Doubtless,** the various decisions in this regard involve moral dimensions since the deliberations that result from them in a particular historical context inevitably lead directly to conceptions of the person, society and the common good from which they sprang and which are inherent in them. On this precise consciousness are founded the Church’s right and duty to intervene by making her own contribution**, which reflects the vision of human dignity and all its consequences as is spelled out in Catholic social teaching.


Ok. It appears the first report is fake news.






Can we delete this thread please? It’s just more Pope bashing.


Yes, please.


I agrree! Once I hear the Hitler comparison , I hear nothing but noise after that.


I don’t have a problem with the Pope’s full comments in context other then that the analysis is incomplete. He is right of course that Hitler was elected by the people. He didn’t steal power. He was elected by a government created by academics who proclaimed it to be the best democratic government ever. He was elected in a Germany that was unfairly punished after losing a war. He was elected after Germany’s economy had been devastated by reparations, government spending and central banking hyperinflation.

I’d wish the Holy Father would focus on some of the issues that led to the election of Hitler. There was an element of the people being pushed too hard in Germany. Unfortunately this same thing is happening today throughout the West.


Honestly, Yahoo seems to be guilty of this all the time. I have not seen a story of theirs where they haven’t twisted Pope Francis’ words to fit the current American political orthodoxy. They seem to be bending over backwards to say to American Catholics “See? Your pope is on board with the Democratic Party!”

BTW, Vouthon – thanks for posting the actual interview. I love this line and need to remember it myself all too often :slight_smile: :

Q. Aren’t you worried about the things we have heard up until now?

A. I’m waiting. God waited so long for me, with all my sins…


If he compared to Trump to Hitler, than that’s quite wreckless. However it appears he didn’t say that exactly. I mean populism is on the rise all across Europe too.
It’s the media which has been comparing Trump to Hitler for the last 2 years and it’s irresponsible, no wonder all the anarchists and communists have come out the woodwork and causing violence with their hateful ideologies, they believe themselves to be heroes in some fantasy story the media has cooked up about Trump being a Nazi.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.