Pope launches book in Italy against war and rearmament

Pope Francis launches Thursday in Italy an anti-war book in which he calls for disarmament and dialogue as “the art of politics” and condemns the hundreds of billions spent on weapons.

Under the title “Against the war. The courage to build peace,” The book will be distributed in bookstores on the peninsula and by the newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, which published the introduction this Wednesday.

“From the beginning of my service as Bishop of Rome, I spoke of the Third World War, saying that we are already living it, although still ‘in parts.’ to each other”, laments the Argentinian Pope, who since his arrival on the throne of Pedro in 2013 has presented himself as a convinced pacifist, against the current of the idea of ​​a “just war”.

“The wars will only stop if we stop ‘feeding’ them,” cries the pontiff in his essay, in which he mentions not only the war in Ukraine, but also those that are forgotten and distant.

“There are many forgotten wars which, from time to time, reappear before our inattentive eyes”, to acknowledge.

“These wars seemed ‘distant’ to us. Until now, almost suddenly, war broke out close to us. Ukraine was attacked and invaded,” he said.

Francis told reporters who accompanied him earlier this month on his trip to Malta that he spoke frequently with Elisabetta Piqué, a correspondent for the Argentine newspaper La Nación, a historical war correspondent who currently covers the conflict in Ukraine and has followed by others in the Middle East. , Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Faced with the heartbreaking images we see every day, with the cries of children and women, we can only shout: ‘Stop!’ War is not the solution, war is madness, war is a monster,” the pontiff said.

“A year ago, during my pilgrimage to bruised Iraq, I was able to touch the disaster caused by the war, fratricidal violence and terrorism, I saw the rubble of houses and the wounds of hearts, but also seeds of hope to be reborn. I would never have imagined that a year later a conflict would break out in Europe,” he recalls.

Francis, who has offered himself as a mediator and promoter of dialogue directly or indirectly in many conflicts, condemns above all the real winners of wars: “the arms market and trafficking”.

The pope recalls that military expenditure reaches nearly two billion dollars a year, according to a major research center in Stockholm.

“If we had memory, we would not spend tens, hundreds of billions on rearmament,” he writes.

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