If you manufacture weapons, or invest in a company that does, Pope Francis says it’s duplicitous to call yourself Christian.
The pope set aside his prepared remarks on Sunday to engage thousands of young people in the Italian city of Turin with what Reuters described as “a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics.”
“If you trust only men, you have lost,” Francis said. “It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit of a distrust doesn’t it?”
The pope went on to criticize those who invest in munitions producers, saying “duplicity is the currency of today … they say one thing and do another.”
This isn’t the first time Francis has aimed criticism at the arms industry. In June of last year, he called weapons dealers “merchants of death.” This past May, Italians News agency AGI quoted the pope as issuing the following condemnation of war profiteers: ”Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms and sell them to one country for them to use against another country … It’s the industry of death, the greed that harms us all, the desire to have more money.”
Between his remarks on Sunday and the Vatican’s recently released encyclical on climate change, the pope has condemned arms exports and oil production as purveyors of sin. In 2014, the U.S. led the world in both industries.