A person cannot describe himself as a Christian and declare he practices values related to the faith if he is involved or invested in the manufacture of weapons that claim lives and destroy nations and civilizations, Pope Francis said over the weekend.
At a rally attended by thousands of young people, the pontiff of the 1.2-billion strong Roman Catholic faith blasted weapons manufacturers and those who invest in the weapons industry.
He labelled such people as hypocrites for describing themselves as Christians, yet they are engaged in an industry that severs the lives of the people. “Duplicity is the currency of today… they say one thing and do another.”
His harsh criticism is hurled not just to the owners of weapons manufacturing, but also to its investors and even the low-life workers.
“It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons,” he said. “That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?”
Pope Francis’ hard-hitting unscripted speech happened at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin. But it wasn’t the first time the spiritual pontiff targeted the arms industry. At St Peter’s Square in 2014, he told a crowd that those who produce and sustain weapons of war are “merchants of death and make death into a trade.”
He said investors cannot say they are just in for the investment or for the money. That is “hypocrisy.” The pope knows the interests are a bit higher in the particular industry that’s why it attracts investors and the people.
Pope Francis mentioned the cases of the First and Second World Wars to strengthen his disgust against the global arms manufacturing industry. He mentioned the Holocaust and “the great tragedy of Armenia.”
“The great powers, they divided Europe like a cake,” he said. “Everything is done for money.”
He likewise nitpicked the present crop of politicians running the global political arena. It seems he doesn’t trust any of them because “in Europe there is war, in Africa there is war, in Asia there is war.”
He urged the crowd of mostly young people to scrutinize well the politicians who court them for their precious votes. He told them it is important for them to discern if their future leaders have insinuations of bringing their country to war in the future.
“Can I trust the world’s managers? When I go to give my vote for a candidate, can I trust that they will not bring my country to war? If you put trust only in people, you lose.”