SUBSCRIBE NOW
$1 for 3 months. Save 97%.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
$1 for 3 months. Save 97%.

Pope blames Europe, US weapons for children killed in wars

Giada Zampano
Associated Press
In this Monday, April 16, 2018 photo, people gather in front of a hospital that locals referred as Point One, left, just meters away from where the alleged chemical weapons attack occurred in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria. The survivors blamed the attack on the Army of Islam, the powerful rebel group that controlled the town before it was taken over by Syrian government forces this week, although they did not offer evidence to back up their claims.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis blamed Europe and the United States for the deaths of children in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, saying Saturday that wealthy Western countries fuel conflicts by selling weapons in war zones.

Speaking to students and teachers of Milan’s San Carlo Institute, Francis said the reason there are so many wars around the world is “the rich Europe and America sell weapons … used to kill children and kill people.”

Without such firepower, the pope added, there wouldn’t have been war in countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. .

“A country that produces and sells weapons has on its conscience the death of every child and the destruction of each family,” Francis said.

Talking about the need for countries to welcome and integrate migrants, the pope refuted the crime concerns governments cite to keep out asylum-seekers.

Foreigners aren’t the source of most crime in Italy because “we also have lots of them,” Francis said.

“The Mafia has not been invented by Nigerians. Mafia is ours,” he said. “All of us have the possibility of being criminal. Migrants bring us wealth because Europe has been made by migrants.”