Pope Francis has already angered many in the Republican party, and on the American right, because he says and does things that tend to make him look like, well, a Christian. Now he is likely to face the ire of one of the major allies of the American right — weapons manufacturers.
The pope greeted some 7,000 children on May 11, spoke to them and answered their questions. The children’s visit was sponsored by Fabbrica della Pace (Peace Factory), which is an educational organization designed to foster cross-cultural understanding among primary school students.
Francis answered some very insightful questions from the children, and he minced no words when he spoke on issues of war and peace. A girl asked the pontiff if there would always be some who would try to prevent peace, and why those in power didn’t do more to promote peace. In a response that will certainly anger the merchants of death in the U.S. and elsewhere, Francis replied:
The things that take away peace are greed, jealousy. Some powerful people earn their living making weapons. For this reason, many people do not want peace. They profit more with the war.
Pope Francis’s comments channel those made by some American warriors, such as President Eisenhower, who warned Americans of the dangers of the military-industrial complex, or General Smedley Butler, who, in his famous commentary, “War Is a Racket,” said without equivocation that war largely exists to protect the profits of certain businesses.
In another comment sure to irritate American conservatives, Francis took a line from U.S. civil rights protests, saying, “Where there is no justice, there is not peace.”
Pope Francis speaks the truth, and American conservatives lose their collective minds. It’s a beautiful thing.
Here’s the video of the pope’s remarks, via YouTube:
Featured image via The Catholic Herald