During his homily on Tuesday in Casa Santa Marta, the Pope recounted the history of the persecution of Christians, which, he said, is the daily bread of the Church.
Pope Francis differentiated between the bloody persecutions and "velvet-gloved” persecutions that are"camouflaged by culture, by modernity, by progress in disguise.” The Pope said that the martyrs are not the only ones killed by lions in the Colosseum, but men and women of every day.
"Every day, we see the powers that promulgate laws that oblige one to take certain routes and that nations that do not follow these indications or do not want them to be part of their legislation, are accused and politely persecuted. It’s the kind of persecution that deprives one of freedom, and of the possibility of conscientious objection.”
The Pope said it is a persecution just for wanting to have and express the values that represent Jesus.
EXCERPTS FROM PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"There are bloody persecutions, like being torn to pieces by wild beasts to the delight of the audience in the stands or being blown up by a bomb at the end of Mass” and there are "velvet-gloved” persecutions that are "cloaked in politeness": the ones that marginalize you, take your job away if you fail to adapt to laws that "go against God the Creator. Persecution, I would say, is the daily bread of the Church. Today, on Easter Sunday, just three weeks ago… Those Christians who were celebrating Easter in Pakistan were martyred because they were celebrating the Risen Christ. Thus, the history of the Church goes ahead with its martyrs”.
"But there is another persecution which is not much spoken about," a persecution "camouflaged by culture, by modernity, by progress in disguise: It is a persecution I would 'ironically describe as polite. It’s when someone is persecuted for wanting to manifest the values of the Gospel: "It’s persecution against God the Creator in the person of his children!”And the Pope said that every day the powers that be promulgate laws that oblige one to take certain routes and that nations that do not follow these indications or do not want them to be part of their legislation, are accused and politely persecuted.”
"It’s the kind of the persecution that deprives one of freedom, and of the possibility of conscientious objection. This is the persecution of the world" that "takes away freedom" whilst "God made us free" to bear witness to "the Father who created us and to Christ who saved us. Be careful, to not fall into the spirit of the world, Pope Francis assured us of his closeness: "I will be with you”.