In a stinging criticism of policies practiced by the United States and many countries in Europe, His Holiness Pope Francis said, “A country that produces and sells weapons has on its conscience the death of every child and the destruction of each family.”
The pontiff, speaking to students and teachers of Milan’s San Carlo Institute, said the reason there are so many wars around the world is “the rich in Europe and America sell weapons… used to kill children and kill people.”
Pope Francis specifically took to task countries in Europe and US for selling weapons to war zones that that result in the deaths of children in places such as Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. “Without such firepower, there would not have been war in countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria,” said the pontiff.
Pope Francis’ reprimand of arms sales by Western nations, comes in the wake of His Holiness’ known stance in support of migrants and apparent criticism of immigration policies pursued by US President Donald Trump.
He also spoke about the need for countries to welcome and integrate migrants, Refuting crime concerns used by governments to justify denying entry to migrants, the pontiff said, “Foreigners are not the source of most crime in Italy because we also have lots of them.”
He added, “The Mafia has not been invented by Nigerians. Mafia is ours. All of us have the possibility of being criminal… Migrants bring us wealth because Europe has been made by migrants.”
The pope’s defence of immigration follows recent comments which appeared to call out Donald Trump’s proposal for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
In a veiled reference to US President’s attempts to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, Pope Francis said: “Builders of walls, be they made of razor wire or bricks, will end up becoming prisoners of the walls they build.”