Pope says weapons manufacturers can't call themselves Christian

by Reuters
Sunday, 21 June 2015 18:37 GMT

By Philip Pullella

TURIN, Italy, June 21 (Reuters) - People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.

"If you trust only men you have lost," he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.

"It makes me think of ... people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn't it?" he said to applause.

He also criticised those who invest in weapons industries, saying "duplicity is the currency of today ... they say one thing and do another."

Francis also built on comments he has made in the past about events during the first and second world wars.

He spoke of the "tragedy of the Shoah," using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

"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. Why didn't they bomb (the railway lines)?"

Discussing World War One, he spoke of "the great tragedy of Armenia" but did not use the word "genocide".

Francis sparked a diplomatic row in April calling the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians 100 years ago "the first genocide of the 20th century," prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican. (Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Rosalind Russell)

Latest News
Comments Close
Pope says weapons manufacturers can't call themselves Christian

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus