08 May 2017, The Tablet

Pope lambasts US military's 'Mother of all Bombs' nickname ahead of US president's visit

Francis’ criticism comes ahead of a meeting with Donald Trump, which will take place on 24 May in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace

Pope Francis has criticised the US for naming the largest non-nuclear explosive in its arsenal as the "mother of all bombs", saying it is offensive to use the word mother in relation to deadly weapons.

US President, Donald Trump, authorised the use of the 21,600lb (9,800kg) Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) explosive - nicknamed the “Mother Of All Bombs” - against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan last month.

"I was ashamed when I heard the name," Pope Francis told an audience of students on 6 May. "A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this device a mother. What is happening?"

Francis’ criticism comes ahead of a meeting with President Trump, which will take place on 24 May in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the Holy See announced last week.

In February of last year, the pontiff questioned Donald Trump’s Christian faith over his plans to build an impenetrable wall along the border between the United States and Mexico.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel," he told reporters on a flight from Mexico City to Italy.

Trump retaliated by describing Francis’ remarks as “disgraceful”.

More than 90 Islamic State militants were killed when the US military dropped the 11-ton bomb on a complex of tunnels and bunkers used by Isis militants in eastern Afghanistan.

The bomb is the biggest non-nuclear device to be used in warfare.

In a speech in front of European Union Leaders in May last year, Francis compared Europe to a “grandmother” which had become weary, ageing and was no longer fertile. 


PICTURE: Afghan army soldiers have been deployed to Achin district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, after the US military dropped the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb on an Islamic State cave complex in Achin district, on April 14, 2017.

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