Dearest Pope Francis,
I cannot begin to imagine how difficult your position is as the most public religious leader in the world. I understand that the decisions you make affect many people, parts of the Catholic Church, and regions of the world. As fascism is growing and becoming dangerous in various places like Russia, Poland, the USA, and even in conservative parts of Africa, I want to focus particularly on Catholic politicians, Church leadership, and even laity who support fascism. As we both know, fascism is dangerous to the Common Good of various societies, especially historically-marginalized populations, and it’s dangerous to democracy. Fascism is also antithetical to Catholic Social Teaching, the Gospel itself, and Jesus’ second greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. As it says in Catholic Teaching, all lives are equally-sacred and of equal value as the US Constitution also says.
Right now, we have some dangerous fascist acts being committed right here in the USA and especially in places like Texas where we live. In certain states, fascist Catholic politicians are trying to ban drag queens from existing while they are simultaneously increasing gun violence by lifting reasonable gun restrictions. Reasonable gun restrictions have been proven over time to reduce gun violence. According to the Center for Disease Control and the Prevention Wonder Database, gun violence is the number one cause of death among American children. This has been true since 2020 which surpasses car accidents and all childhood diseases now. Yet, many right-winged Catholic politicians, clergy, and laity support lifting gun restrictions against the Common Good and safety of all.
Then, we have anti-trans bills which have skyrocketed since Roe vs. Wade was overturned. Since I am an Educational Therapist and a lay minister in LGBTQIA+ ministry, I personally know innocent families with transgender children who are fleeing their home states for their lives, especially when life-saving gender-affirming care is banned as it just was in Texas. According to the most current and collective research, children who are neurodivergent, like children with Autism, are more likely to have variances in gender and sexuality, therefore identifying as LGBTQIA+. The toll of marginalization is increasing suicides and causing great harm to trans children and their families. I know of some personally.
In addition, Catholic fascist-leaning politicians are supporting anti-immigrant moves such as abuse and family separation from anti-immigration forces in states like Texas and Florida. Catholic Social Teaching and the Gospel welcome the stranger and care for the immigrant (sojourner), not marginalize and oppress them.
If you are able, please act upon these matters and ask fascist-leaning Catholic politicians, clergy, and laity to support a platform for the Common Good of all people, not one of hatred, violence, and death. Once a political power turns to genocide, which is exactly what they are doing right now to trans children and with gun violence in certain states, we have stepped into the early stages of fascism. I believe that the current legislative actions of some far-right Republican politicians (not all) are now falling in fuller alignment with fascism, especially in Texas, Ohio, and Florida. According to Encyclopedia Britannica and The Washington Monthly, I close with these primary traits of fascism once again. I believe we are now inside the outskirts of a fascist state and moving closer to a variation of the Holocaust, at least in Texas.
1. sources and capitalizes on economic woes and anxieties
2. shifts political blame on to scapegoat groups like minority groups, the Democrats,
immigrants, and other groups while taking away blame from where it belongs, on the leadership
3. propagates extreme nationalism going hand-in-hand with racism and militarism
4. a melding of church and state when there should be a separation
5. subjugation of women and sexism
6. a disdain for human rights except those of the elite, especially a disdain for those who identify as LGBTQIA+
7. obsession with crime and punishment
8. identification of enemies as a unifying cause for political action
9. disdain for intellectualism, science, history, and the arts
10. control of different types of media, including books
11. rampant cronyism and government corruption
12. attempt to control elections, like through voter suppression