The world keeps finding out what we all got when the Vatican chose its current Pope. His words today to our members of Congress took that chamber to a deeper place than it is accustomed to going — to the extent anybody was actually listening.
But he didn’t give them just philosophy. It turns out the Pope is also pretty good at bait-and-switch politics, like when he got them to applaud his charge to protect life in all stages of its development, and then gave them an example they weren’t expecting: the death penalty.
But it was when he got to the part about the causes of war that I heard words I really wasn’t expecting:
Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.
I’m not much of a “Pope watcher”, so I didn’t know he’s been saying this for a while now. He said it in May in response to a child’s question at the Vatican:
“Why so many powerful people do not want peace? Because they live off wars!” he said, explaining to these children that some people make money by producing and selling weapons. “And this is why so many people do not want peace,” he said. “They make more money with the war!”
Today, Pope Francis boldly called out the military industrial complex to members of Congress who — according to the Center for Responsive Politics — took $25 million from those producers and sellers of weapons in the last election cycle. Amazing.
I can’t wait to hear what he says next.