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Pope Francis decries the arms trade as the “industry of death”

by Carlo Marroni

“This economy kills”, said Pope Francis in the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the manifesto of his papacy. And yet there is another theme that is becoming key in the pontiff's doctrine: the economic interests behind conflicts. The Pope came to grips with this issue just two days ago, denouncing the arms industry. “It is a death industry, they are making profits out of it” he said.

Never before a Pope had taken such a strong and clear stance on this topic (although Benedict XVI had already touched on it in 2006). It had always been left more or less in the background, while the principles of peace towered on the center stage. These positions are now putting the Pope in the crosshairs of western circles that fear the Vatican message could in some ways question some stable tenets of capitalism— which are actually already showing their limits, at least in the Pope's opinion. Now Francis is dealing again with the theme of “life”, on the eve of his encyclical on environment, which is going to touch on all the issues regarding the life of man and his relationship with the planet.