Francis condemns Weapons Manufacturers
On Sunday, June 21, 2015, while speaking off-the-cuff to youths in the Italian city of Turin, Francis condemned those who manufacture weapons as unchristian, thereby demonstrating his own intellectual brilliance once more:
It makes me think one thing: people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! “No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no …. I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.” Ah! And why? “Because the interest is somewhat higher …” And a double face is also a current coin today: to say something and do another. Hypocrisy …l But let’s see what happened in the last century: in ’14, ’15, in ’15 [sic] in fact. There was that great tragedy in Armenia. So many died. I don’t know the figure: more than a million certainly. But where were the great powers of the time? Were they looking elsewhere? Why? Because they were interested in war: their war! And those that died were persons, second class human beings. Then, in the 30s and 40s the tragedy of the Shoah. The great powers had photographs of the railroad lines that took trains to the concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also Christians, also the Roma, also homosexuals, to kill them there. But tell me, why didn’t they bomb that? Interest! And shortly after, almost contemporaneously, were the lager in Russia: Stalin … How many Christians suffered, were killed! The great powers divided Europe among themselves as a cake. So many years had to pass before arriving at “certain” freedom. It’s that hypocrisy of speaking of peace and producing arms, and even selling arms to this one who is at war with that one, and to that one who is at war with this one!
(“Pope’s Off-the-Cuff Address to Youth of Turin”, Zenit, June 22, 2015)
While of course not everything Jorge Bergoglio says here is wrong, nevertheless his comments are quite amusing. The making and using of weapons is not wrong in itself — obviously — and he knows it. Otherwise, how could he call in the same breath for the bombing of railroad lines? Francis’ comments are, furthermore, contrary to Catholic teaching, since just war and self-defense are quite permissible, sometimes obligatory, and weapons are needed for both, so the making of weapons cannot be wrong in itself. Lastly, Bergoglio’s remarks are also hypocritical, because of course his own security and protection can only be guaranteed in and outside of the Vatican through the threat of weapons and people willing to use them.
Quite appropriately, thus, Donald McClarey at The American Catholic asked when the Vatican’s Swiss Guard was going to disarm, and when Francis would give up the protection of the Italian police and military. Inspired by this fitting comment, we decided to create a meme to drive home the point:
Image sources: shutterstock.com / meme using element from apimages.com (Alessandra Tarantino)
Licenses: paid / rights-managed