Pope Francis continues to be outspoken on hot button issues. Following up on the June 18 release of his environmental encyclical “Laudato Sii,” Pope Francis told a crowd of young people on June 21 that those who either manufacture weapons or invest in the arms industry are hypocrites if they call themselves Christians. Speaking in the Italian city of Turin, the Pope said "If you trust only men you have lost," in a rambling speech about war and politics. In his encyclical, the pontiff appeared to place much of the blame for climate change and environmental degradation on human activity.
Having put aside his prepared remarks, the pontiff said  to applause "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?" As for those who invest in the arms trade, the pontiff said that "duplicity is the currency of today ... they say one thing and do another."
In the past, Pope Francis has denounced instances of grave human cruelty found in history. During his June 21 remarks, the pontiff spoke of the “tragedy of the Shoah." Shoah is 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)?" He was referring to the oft-repeated contention that the Allied air powers during the Second World War (viz: the US and Great Britain) did nothing to stop the well-publicized extermination of Jews and other enemies of Germany’s National Socialist state. He also referred to "the great tragedy of Armenia" but did not use the word "genocide.” In the past, however, he has referred to the slaughter of Armenian and Greek Christians by the Ottoman Empire in Turkey as the world’s first genocide of the 20th century. His remarks prompted the current government of Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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