Pope Francis defended the Black Lives Matter protests that unfolded in the wake of George Floyd’s death while denouncing those protesting the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
In a new book, “Let Us Dream,” the Roman pontiff decried police brutality as an affront to human dignity and encouraged people to march in opposition.
“Abuse is a gross violation of human dignity that we cannot allow and which we must continue to struggle against,” he wrote, as reported by Fox News.
Regarding the protests against the COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe and elsewhere, Pope Francis said the people were striking against “measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom!”
The Holy Father got even more direct by comparing the two groups of people, failing to note that the Black Lives Matter protests gave way to riots and looting in the streets. Anti-lockdown protests do not appear to sparked similar widespread violence, at least in the United States.
“You’ll never find such people protesting the death of George Floyd, or joining a demonstration because there are shantytowns where children lack water or education,” he wrote. “They turned into a cultural battle what was in truth an effort to ensure the protection of life.”
In another segment, Pope Francis decried those in the media who “used this crisis to persuade people that foreigners are to blame, that the coronavirus is little more than a little bout of flu, and that restrictions necessary for people’s protection amount to an unjust demand of an interfering state.”
“There are politicians who peddle these narratives for their own gain. But they could not succeed without some media creating and spreading them,” he wrote.
Pope Francis also expressed empathy for those sick with COVID-19, citing his own health experiences when he had one of his lungs removed in his youth.
“I know from experience the feeling of those who are sick with coronavirus, struggling to breathe as they are attached to a ventilator,” he said.
“For months I didn’t know who I was, if I would live or die, even the doctors didn’t know. I remember hugging my mother one day and asking her if I was about to die,” he added.
As reported by The Daily Wire, Pope Francis met with NBA players this past Monday to discuss social justice activism in sports.
“A delegation of NBA players and executives from their union met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday as training camps are set to open next week and a new season is scheduled to tip-off in less than a month,” reported The Daily Wire. “The private gathering was reportedly initiated by His Holiness and hurriedly planned. According to a statement issued by the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) afterward, ‘the meeting provided an opportunity for the Players to discuss their individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic justice and inequality occurring in their communities.'”