Pope Francis: ‘Don’t be afraid to speak out against injustice, unless if it’s about China.’

VATICAN CITY—In his Wednesday audience last week, Pope Francis spoke to the faithful crowds about the importance of courage in condemning injustice. 

“The Devil seeks to make us afraid—but the Spirit always tells us, ‘Do not be afraid!’” the pontiff said in a gloss on the Gospel of Luke. “Of course, the unstated exception is if you’re dealing with China. Then, be very afraid.” 

A Communist-controlled superpower, China has come under increasing international scrutiny for its growing human rights abuses, notably the alleged genocide of the Uyghur Muslim minority. Of special concern for the Holy See are the millions of Chinese Catholics who face persecutions and restrictions by the Chinese State. 

“Injustice pervades all around us—from the abuse of nature, to our family pain, even to our highest levels of government,” the Pope said in his Argentinian accent. “We must never be afraid to speak out against injustice, once again unless if it’s against China.” 

Historians note that the Church’s influence is waning in global politics, with Pope Francis’ words on key issues of gender and sexuality largely ignored. But for some reason, this particular address has seemed to take the world by storm, with multiple governments and corporations taking notice. 

“We’ve been pleased to see a generous response to the Holy Father’s words, particularly in the United States,” Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said. “Their government has heard the message loud and clear, and are fighting injustice wherever they see it, except for in China,” he continued. “And not just the State, but many others too!” he said. 

“Even Disney!” 

Originally published Sep 4, 2020