Pope Francis issued a warning on Monday to all who participate in “cancel culture,” calling the practice “dangerous one-track thinking.”

Speaking at his annual “State of the World” address to the Vatican’s Diplomatic Corps, the 85-year-old gave a long speech in Italian, pausing only once in English to enunciate the American phrase “cancel culture.”

“Cancel culture is invading many circles and public institutions,” Pope Francis acknowledged. “As a result, agendas are increasingly dictated by a mindset that rejects the natural foundations of humanity and the cultural roots that constitute the identity of many people.”

“Under the guise of defending diversity, it ends up canceling all sense of identity,” he continued, “as well as silencing voices who “defend a respectful and balanced understanding of various sensibilities.”

Without addressing any incident specifically, the pope criticized those trying to “re-write history” by selecting what was good and what was bad through modern-day hindsight. He referred to it as “a form of ideological colonization.”

“Any historical situation must be interpreted in accordance with a hermeneutics of that particular time,” he concluded. “Diplomacy is called to be truly inclusive, not canceling but cherishing the differences and sensibilities that have historically marked various peoples.”

Pope Francis’ comments at the Apostolic Palace’s Hall of Blessings comes after a tumultuous year in world politics full of countless “canceling” and a social reconditioning of what is acceptable behavior.

Pope Francis leads the annual 'Angelus' prayer from his window at the Vatican on Oct. 31, 2021
Pope Francis leads the annual ‘Angelus’ prayer from his window at the Vatican on Oct. 31, 2021. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Over the past few years, a stronger awareness of power dynamics and accountability has led to movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, as well as political lines drawn between matters such as LGBTQ+ support, women’s rights, and Covid-19 vaccination, to name a few.

The pope may have also been alluding to several historical figures who have been stricken from school names and or have had prominent statues removed throughout the United States, especially as he criticized the risks of “rewriting history.”

This past December, Pope Francis criticized the European Commission for telling staffers not to use the word “Christmas” during the holidays to accommodate those who may not be celebrating. The EU’s executive branch later rescinded the notice and issued an apology following backlash.

“Of course, we know that Europe owes its existence and its identity to many influences, but we certainly cannot forget that one of the main influences, if not the main one, was Christianity itself,” Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told Vatican News.

The Catholic Church has also faced much criticism over the years for inappropriate comments and criminal abuse scandals made my priests and cardinals.

Just this past October, an independent commission in France reported that up to 3,200 pedophiles have worked in the French Catholic Church since 1950.

Back in 2019, Pope Francis sought to deal with the longstanding issue by declaring that all priests and nuns had to report any incident of abuse or cover-ups to church authorities. Critics complained at the time that the edict, which still operated under an honor system, also problematically kept the process entirely internal.

During his remarks on Monday, the pope did not mention any developments in their efforts to root out abuse in the church.

He did, however, speak about Covid-19 vaccination, which he said “translates into respect for the health of those around us.”

“Frequently people let themselves be influenced by the ideology of the moment, often bolstered by baseless information or poorly documented facts,” the pope said about Covid-19 misinformation online.

“Vaccines are not a magical means of healing, yet surely they represent, in addition to other treatments that need to be developed, the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease,” he stated, calling healthcare a “moral obligation.”