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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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New ideologies bigger threat to Europe than guns and bombs, say Pope

Pope Francis has warned Catholics of the rise of destructive new ideologies.

Without naming the ideologies, the Holy Father described them as “atheistic” as those which were advanced during the 20th century.

Such ideologies, he said, were taking young people in particular away from their Christian heritage and the faith of their forefathers.

The new ideologies “attempt to assert themselves and to uproot our peoples from their richest cultural and religious traditions”, said Pope Francis during a visit to Romania.

“Forms of ideological colonisation that devalue the person, life, marriage and the family, and above all, with alienating proposals as atheistic as those of the past, harm our young people and children, leaving them without roots from which they can grow,” he said.

Pope Francis returned to the theme during an interview with journalists on his return flight to Rome, urging Europe not to be “overcome by pessimism and ideologies”.

“Europe is attacked not with cannons or bombs at the moment, but yes, with ideologies,” said Pope Francis, “ideologies that are not European, that come from outside and hide in small groups in Europe. They are not big.

“Think of the divided and belligerent Europe of 1914 and of 1922-23 until 1939, when the war broke out.

“But let’s not go back to this, please. We learn from history, we do not fall into the same hole.”