Pope Francis weighed in on the spate of recent global conflicts, describing them as a third world war being fought incrementally.
The Pope made the comments in a homily delivered during a visit to Italy, NBC News reports. After praying in a cemetery containing 15,000 soldiers who died during the first world war, Francis visited Italy's largest war memorial, where 100,000 victims of that war are buried. He spoke in front of the memorial, made of 22 steps in the side of a hill, with three crosses placed on top.
War 'is madness', says Pope Francis http://t.co/yKVchWWpJP pic.twitter.com/R2Ovul6ptv
— Times of Malta (@TheTimesofMalta) September 13, 2014
"War is madness," The Pope intoned during his mass. "Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction."
Francis has repeatedly called for an end to conflicts raging in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and Africa. As Business Insider notes, he asserted last month that the use of force by the international community against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria would be justified. Although the Pope has previously decried the concept of war in the name of God, he accused ISIS of "unjust aggression" in their actions, which have killed or uprooted thousands, many of whom are Christians.
Pope Francis Warns Against Third World War: 'War Is Madness' http://t.co/5hSSQSPsJ9 pic.twitter.com/m3ZYJ2qbSy
— HuffPost Religion (@HuffPostRelig) September 13, 2014
"War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying," Francis said. "Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology..."
Fears of a third world war are nothing new. Earlier this year, several high-profile economists and financial advisers made reference to war as it applied to the future of economics, as The Inquisitr noted. International aggression from Russia, directed toward the Ukraine, has also stoked fears of impending war, highlighted by a nuclear weapons test conducted last Wednesday from a Russian submarine, the Vladimir Monomakh. A Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was launched in what was widely believed to be a show of force.
Russia test fires Bulava #SLBM nuclear missile from sub http://t.co/c2L2U7Tl2t pic.twitter.com/YwTjAecXh9
— KP's PowerfromSpace (@powerfromspace1) September 12, 2014
"Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep," The Pope said.
During his homily, Pope Francis condemned "plotters of terrorism," although he did not specify any by name. His sermon was delivered in the rain to thousands who attended the mass amid the memories of the first world war.
[Image via The Toronto Star]