Pope Francis compared the persecution of gays to Hitler and Nazism

(PINK NEWS) – Pope Francis has condemned the persecution of gay people and compared the “hatred” to “Nazism” during a speech at the World Congress of the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP).

The Pope gave a lengthy speech during the three-day conference, which brings together specialists on criminal law from around the world.

According to Reuters, he said: “It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism. And I must confess to you that when I hear a speech [by] someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936,” he said, departing from his prepared address.

“With the persecution of Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies, today these actions are typical [and] represent ‘par excellence’ a culture of waste and hate. That is what was done in those days and today it is happening again.”

“Jews, gypsies and people of homosexual orientation”, as well as other categories of people like communists and the mentally ill, were persecuted and killed in concentration camps in Nazi Germany starting in 1933 through the end of World War II.

It is estimated that the Nazis and their collaborators murdered around six million Jewish people, and between 5,000 and 15,000 LGBT+ people. Gay men were also used in medical experiments but the Nazis to try to find a “cure” for homosexuality.

The Pope’s comments addressing the persecution of gay people come the same week that he met with Jayne Ozanne, a British evangelical Anglican, who said the Pope was “concerned” about conversion therapy. 

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