Pope Francis was sharply critical of the global arms industry in a speech at the Vatican this week, telling thousands of children in Rome that weapons manufacturers are money-hungry opponents of peace.
According to the Italian news agency AGI, the Pope said:
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.
War is waged, the Pope went on, “in order to defend money. This is why some people don’t want peace: they make more money from war, although wars make money but lose lives, health, education.” The devil, he added, “enters through our wallets.”
The arms industry, which had sales of at least $400 billion in 2013, is dominated by US and European firms, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which studies weapons makers. This list does not include China’s mostly state-owned arms manufacturers:
Pope Francis has spoken before against weapons and their impact on war, tweeting in 2013 that he condemned the use of chemical weapons.