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Pope Francis Says People in Weapons Industry Cannot Be Christian; Makes Comments on WWII, Immigration, Exploitation

( [email protected] ) Jun 22, 2015 10:43 AM EDT
Pope Francis made surprising comments on Sunday directed at people who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries, describing them as hypocrites if they decide to call themselves as Christian. He also commented on the events of World War II, immigration, and exploitation.
Pope Francis will be addressing Congress during his U.S. visit this September. Photo: Osservatore Romano Press Office/EPA

Pope Francis made surprising comments on Sunday directed at people who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries, describing them as hypocrites if they decide to call themselves as Christian. He also commented on the events of World War II, immigration, and exploitation.

According to Philip Pullella of Reuters, the pope issued his toughest condemnation of the weapons industry to date. He made the scathing comments during a rally of thousands of young people at the Italian city of Turin.

"If you trust only men, you have lost," Francis said. "It makes me think of ... people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit [of] distrust, doesn't it?"

Pullella reported that Francis talked about war, trust and politics during the rally. He also singled out investors in the weapons industries for criticism.

"Duplicity is the currency of today," Francis said. "They say one thing and do another."

The pope then turned his focus to the events of World War II. Pullella reported that he spoke about the "tragedy of the Shoah," or the Hebrew term describing the Holocaust carried out by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis of Germany.

"The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody," Francis said. "Why didn't they bomb (the railway lines)?"

According to a report in the Associated Press, the pope also lamented on "how many Christians suffered" and died in gulags in the former Soviet Union, which was then led by Joseph Stalin. He added that he understood the sentiment of why many young people find it difficult to trust the world.

"The great powers, they divided Europe like a cake," Francis said of the events that occurred in the 1930s and 1940s. "Everything is done for money."

According to the Associated Press, the pope also denounced the exploitation of workers, particularly women, young people and immigrants. Many auto manufacturers in Italy have factories in Turin.

"Immigration increases competition, but migrants shouldn't be blamed because they themselves are victims of the injustice, of this throw-away economy and of wars," Francis said.

The Associated Press reported that Francis made comments that seemed to be directed at Italy and other European countries for ineffectively dealing with the migration crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Associated Press, many migrants were rescued from "overcrowded, unseaworthy smugglers' boats."

"It makes one cry to see the spectacle of these days in which human beings are treated as commercial goods," Francis said.

According to the Associated Press, the pope also visited the cathedral housing the Shroud of Turin. Although some believe it is the actual cloth used to bury Jesus after crucifixion, others thought it was a mere medieval forgery.

"Icon of this love is the Shroud, that, even this time, has attracted so many people here to Turin," Francis said. "The Shroud draws (people) to the tormented face and body of Jesus and, at the same time, directs (people) toward the face of every suffering and unjustly persecuted person."


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