To Robert Farago, Sara Tipton, et alia:
As it seems you are not inclined to do real research on the matter, below you can find the translated transcript of the relevant section of the Holy Father’s extemporaneous address to young adults during his recent visit to Turin, Italy. It isn’t short or methodical, but it doesn’t say what you have said it says . . .
And thanks to you, Sara, passionate about theater. Thank you. “I think of Jesus’ words: To give one’s life.” We spoke about this now. “Often we breathe a sense of mistrust in life.” Yes, because there are situations that make us think: “But, is it worthwhile to live like this? What can I expect from this life?” We think, in this way, of wars. Sometimes I have said that we are living the Third World War, but in pieces. In pieces: there is war in Europe, there is war in Africa, there is war in the Middle East, there is war in other countries … But, can I have confidence in such a life? Can I trust the world leaders? When I go to give my vote for a candidate, can I trust that he won’t lead my country into war? If you only trust men, you have lost!
It makes me think one thing: people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! “No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no …. I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.” Ah! And why? “Because the interest is somewhat higher …” And a double face is also a current coin today: to say something and do another. Hypocrisy …l But let’s see what happened in the last century: in ’14, ’15, in ’15 in fact. There was that great tragedy in Armenia. So many died. I don’t know the figure: more than a million certainly. But where were the great powers of the time? Were they looking elsewhere? Why? Because they were interested in war: their war! And those that died were persons, second class human beings. Then, in the 30s and 40s the tragedy of the Shoah. The great powers had photographs of the railroad lines that took trains to the concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also Christians, also the Roma, also homosexuals, to kill them there. But tell me, why didn’t they bomb that? Interest! And shortly after, almost contemporaneously, were the lager in Russia: Stalin … How many Christians suffered, were killed! The great powers divided Europe among themselves as a cake. So many years had to pass before arriving at “certain” freedom. It’s that hypocrisy of speaking of peace and producing arms, and even selling arms to this one who is at war with that one, and to that one who is at war with this one!
I understand what you say about mistrust in life, also today when we are living in the throwaway culture, because whatever is not of economic usefulness is discarded. Children are disposed of, because they are not developed or because they are killed before they are born; the elderly are disposed of, because they are not useful or are left there, to die, a sort of hidden euthanasia, and they are not helped to live; and now young people are disposed of: think of that 40% of young people who are without work. It is in fact a rejection! But why? Why are man and woman not at the center of the global economic system, as God wants, but the god of money. And everything is done for money.
The full text of the address can be found here. It’s a little long, so I have not quoted it in its totality.
It is quite clear that he was not addressing the manufacture of guns per se. He was addressing a distrust in government and the industrial-military-complex, to borrow a phrase from Eisenhower. He sympathizes with a generation that has lost faith in society because of the influence of the war profiteers in government and in business, including the investors, that do not care about the people that suffer in war. (One only need look back to your June 20th article on the $1B in military surplus sales over 2 years for an example of this.) And then he goes on further to condemn the overall mindset of pursuing wealth instead of God especially at the expense of others, much as you would expect a holy man to do.
Now we may agree or disagree as to said influence, the bombing strategy he refers to, his reasoning, and the overall tone of his statement. But it cannot be said that he is carte blanche condemning weapons and violence. This is corroborated by statements he has made in the past about the obligation of the strong to protect the weak, particularly in light of the violent advances of ISIS and subsequent persecution of the Christian (mostly Catholic and Orthodox) population in the Middle East.
In full disclosure, I am a gun owner (Beretta 92A1), I am a Catholic, one heavily involved in my local church, and someone who gets weekly headaches from the sitting pontiff because of what he either says or does.
I get it; I really do. It was low hanging from from other news sources that confirms preexisting biases about the situation and provides effective click-bait. I think we can all agree that that sort of stuff belongs at BuzzFeed, not TTAG.