Pope Francis today called on arms manufacturers to stop doing so because the war “is engulfing the children of the homeland,” Reuters reported.
The Holy Father celebrated a liturgy on Catholic Day to commemorate the dead at the French Military Cemetery in Rome, where nearly 1,900 French and Moroccan soldiers killed during World War II are buried.
Pope Francis stopped to pray in front of some of the tombstones and read the inscription on one of them: “Unknown, died for France, 1944.”
“There is not even a name. But all our names are in the heart of God. This is the tragedy of a war,” the Holy Father said in his impromptu sermon.
“But… Are we fighting hard enough to have no wars so that there are no economies of countries fueled by the military industry?” He asked rhetorically.
Francis has made many calls for disarmament and said nuclear weapons should be banned because even their possession is a deterrent and unjustified for deterrent reasons, Reuters notes.
When the venue was announced last month, a group of Italians protested and described the choice as an insult to the victims of Moroccan soldiers known as goumiers. They were an auxiliary part of the French army at a time when France was still a colonial power.
The Goumiers committed many random killings and raped many Italian women between Naples and Rome as Allied forces moved north across the Apennine Peninsula, Reuters reported.