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VATICAN CITY, November 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis said today that speeches given today by some government leaders remind him of Hitler in the way they treat “Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies.”

The Pope’s remarks, given at the 20th World Congress of the International Association of Criminal Law in Rome, were typically ambiguous without specifying any particular politicians, movements, or regions. But media reports are already implying they are a broad criticism of politicians who oppose the homosexual agenda.

Reuters ran the headline today: “Pope compares politicians who rage against gays to Hitler.”

“It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism,” the pope said, according to a translation by Reuters. (The Vatican has published the original Italian here.)

“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 continued. “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.”

The pope did not offer any examples of the speeches he had in mind. Reuters cites one possible example as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro telling an interviewer he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.

But while the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals must be treated with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” while simultaneously being “called to chastity” and recognizing that same-sex attraction is “intrinsically disordered,” suspicion lingers that, given the pope’s broader record on LGBT issues, his remarks may extend to world leaders who merely express disapproval of homosexuality and oppose the LGBT agenda.

Francis has raised eyebrows by meeting with various LGBT individuals and pro-LGBT groups, including the notorious Jesuit Fr. James Martin, who has touted the meeting as an endorsement of his “ministering with LGBT Catholics.” This summer he appointed Newark archbishop Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who has vocally dissented from Catholic teaching on the subject, to the Congregation for Catholic Education. The pope has also been criticized for sending mixed messages on the permissibility of same-sex relationships.

In an interview six months into his pontificate that began in 2013, Pope Francis recommended that the Church pull back from her perceived emphasis on “abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” saying it is “not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

“This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that,” he said. “But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” he said.

While left-wing activists often compare conservatives and Christians to Nazis for their views on issues such as homosexuality, the Nazi regime in fact sought to supplant Christianity, and its persecution of homosexuals came from its views on Aryan population growth, not out of any Christian understanding of the nature of sex and sin.