Pope: All Dictatorships Begin the Same Way
All dictatorships begin the same way: media outlets are put in the hands of “unscrupulous” people who spread lies and weaken democracy, Pope Francis said.
Typical standards, norms and laws in regard to communications are first eliminated, the pope said in his homily during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Then an entire media or communication outlet is handed over “to a firm, a business that slanders, tells lies, weakens democracy, and then the judges come to judge these weakened institutions, these destroyed, condemned people and a dictatorship makes progress this way”, he said.
“All dictatorships, all of them, began like this,” he added.
Jezebel and King Ahab
The pope’s homily focused on the day’s first reading in which Jezebel succeeds in her plot to help her husband, King Ahab, take possession of their neighbour’s land. Jezebel arranged for two men to accuse the neighbour Naboth of cursing God and the king, for which Naboth was stoned to death.
Pope Francis said it is similar to what happened to Jesus, St Stephen and all martyrs who were condemned as a result of lies and falsehoods.
Today, many people, “many heads of state or government”, forge the same scenario: start with a lie and “after you destroy both a person and a situation with that falsehood”, there is a judgment and a conviction, he said.
But individuals, too, are also tempted to destroy others by talking behind their backs, telling lies or spreading scandalous news, the pope said.
Lies Destroy People
Talking about scandals is enormously seductive, he said, and “one is seduced by scandals. Good news isn’t a seductress.”
There have been “so many people, so many countries destroyed by evil and calumnious dictatorships”, he said, including the ones that persecuted the Jews with “calumnious communication” so they ended up in Auschwitz.
“Oh, it was a horror, but it’s a horror that happens today — in small communities, to people, in many countries. The first step is to seize communications, and later destroy, judgment and death,” he said.— By Carol Glatz, CNS