22 June 2015, The Tablet

Pope lashes out at ‘hypocritical’ Christians with ties to arms trade

Christians who manufacture arms or invest in the arms industry are hypocrites, Pope Francis said during his two-day visit to Turin. 

Diverting from his scripted remarks to young people at a rally in the Italian city on Sunday he strongly condemned “duplicitous” Christians who directly or indirectly prop up the arms trade.

“Managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit of distrust, doesn’t it?” he said.

He hit out at Christians who appeased their consciences by saying they merely invested in arms, rather than manufacturing them themselves

"Why? Because the interests are a bit higher. And so duplicity is the currency flowing today; to say one thing and do the other. Hypocrisy," he added.

His words came after he appealed to the young people to vote for politicians who backed peace over war.

"In Europe there is war, in Africa there is war, in Asia there is war. But can I have trust in a world like this? Can I trust the world's managers?” He asked.

He also condemned the "great powers" of the world for failing to do more to stop the Holocaust.

“They had photographs of the railway routes that the trains took to Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody,” Francis said. “Why didn’t they bomb the railway routes?" He asked.

He mentioned also the deaths of Christians in gulags in Russia and the Armenian genocide, which he referred to as the "great tragedy of Armenia".

The Pope, who was in the city in northern Italy on Sunday and Monday, paused to pray before the Turin Shroud yesterday.

The shroud, which is displayed in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, is believed to be Christ’s burial shroud and to bear an imprint of his face.

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