Pope Talks Arms Trade and Nuclear Weapons

Tags: Currents Pope Francis, World News

By Melissa Butz

Pope Francis concluded his thirty-second apostolic journey of his pontificate by speaking to journalists aboard the lengthy flight back to Rome.

Highlights were the arms trade, nuclear weapons and the death penalty.

After a week in Thailand and Japan, in areas where sex tourism flourishes and numerous disasters have struck, Pope Francis had much to say reflecting on his trip. He explained the death penalty all the way to possession of nuclear arms is immoral.

“The death penalty has been clearly stated as immoral and that it cannot be carried out. This must be connected to developing consciousness,” Pope Francis said.

“For example, some countries cannot abolish it because of political problems, but they do suspend it, which is a way of sentencing someone to life in prison without declaring so,” he continued

Likewise, he called out Christian countries who live in hypocrisy. Those who talk peace, but participate in the arms trade to benefit their economy.

“Everything that can be done to stop arms production, to stop wars, to encourage negotiation, with the help of mediators, must always be done, and it produces results,” said the Holy Father.

The pope said his time at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial especially moved him. It is the symbol of the most destructive force ever created by humans.

“There I reiterated that the use of nuclear weapons is immoral, that is why it must be added to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Not only their use, but also possessing them.”

The pope reiterated the use of arms should always be the last resort, after dialogue, diplomacy and mediation.

Pope Francis was also asked by journalists if he’d write an encyclical on non-violence. He chuckled saying it will have to be the next pope, as he must pray and discern the way to do it.