Pope Francis gave a virtual address for the “Fourth World Meeting of Popular Movements” on Oct. 16 and praised the protests that ended in violent riots by the Marxist Black Lives Matter movement. He called the protestors in the U.S. following the death in police custody of George Floyd “good Samaritans.”
Addressing the “popular movements”—a term usually used by leftist politicians to refer to the mass of low-income people—the Pope greeted them by calling them “dear social poets.”
“So I like to call you, social poets. Because you are social poets, because you have the capacity and the courage to create hope where only discarding and exclusion appear. Poetry means creativity, and you create hope. With your hands, you know how to forge the dignity of each one,” Francis explained.
In May 2020, George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, died as three police officers tried to take him into custody. The officers responded to a call from a store clerk where Floyd had attempted to shop with a counterfeit bill and was acting erratically.
Floyd was tackled to the ground by a police officer who placed his knee on his neck, and while in that position, Floyd alerted the officers that he could not breathe, but the officer kept the pressure on.
Videos from various sources showing the entire sequence of the incident revealed that Floyd did not want to stay in the back seat of the police car where he was initially placed because he was claustrophobic and asked to be restrained on the ground.
Pressure on his neck, coupled with heart problems and a high level of fentanyl in his blood, claimed Floyd’s life.
George Floyd spent five years in prison for assault and robbery in 2009, and before that, he was convicted of charges ranging from robbery with a firearm to drug possession.
In the wake of his death, protests initially broke out in Minneapolis but spread across the country.
While a group of protesters initially peacefully demanded justice, hundreds of people began looting appliance stores, supermarkets and even vandalizing the police station. A policeman was also shot and killed.
According to Axios, based on insurance company reports alone, the protests over Floyd’s death cost at least $1 billion in property damage.
However, the Pope, speaking of what he considers a good Samaritan, a term used to refer to a person who acts selflessly for the good of others, said:
“Do you know what comes to mind for me now, together with the popular movements, when I think of the good Samaritan? You know what comes to mind? The protests over the death of George Floyd!”
The mainstream media reported that the demonstrations were ‘mostly peaceful,’ nevertheless showing images of burning buildings and people stealing appliances, looting luxury clothing stores, etc.
Noting this controversy, the Catholic leader said that actors with ulterior motives could capitalize on protests but maintained praise for the movement.
“It is clear that this type of reaction against social, racial or sexist injustice can be manipulated or instrumentalized for political machinations and the like,” Francis said. Still, he assured that “the essential thing is that there, in that demonstration against that death was the ‘collective Samaritan.'”
The Pope added praise for what the Black Lives Matter movement allegedly accomplished during the Floyd protests:
“That movement did not pass by when it saw the wound to human dignity struck by such an abuse of power. Popular movements are, in addition to social poets, ‘collective Samaritans,'” Francis insisted in his speech.
The pontiff encouraged the “social movements,” which are made up mostly of young people who have a “transformative force” to continue their work of protesting social injustices and at the same time seek to bring more young people into their cause.
“The poor and oppressed of the earth deserve it, our common home demands it of us,” the Pope appealed.
Conservative and Catholic media have criticized the Pope on previous occasions whenever his speeches validate communist or socialist concepts, political ideologies that deny the existence of God.
Francis said people who are “surprised” by his “social” speeches are “ignorant” because it’s all written in a manual called the “social doctrine of the church.” However, he did not specify who wrote this manual and the basis for reaching such conclusions.