When visiting Bahrain
Pope criticizes “warmongering” by the powerful
During a visit to the Gulf state of Bahrain, Pope Francis denounced the “warmongering” of a few states, which weighs heavily on humanity as a whole.
Pope Francis is outraged by the “childish” behavior of some rulers. In concrete terms, he means the new assertion of old particular interests. Photo: Marco Bertorello/Pool France Press/AP/dpa
A large part of the world’s population is affected by food, environmental and pandemic crises, the Catholic Church leader said on Friday at a congress in Awali. At the same time, “a powerful few focused on a determined struggle for particular interests, digging up outdated idioms and redefining zones of influence and opposing blocs.” The pope did not name states or individual rulers.
Francis seemed to be referring to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. But he didn’t go into detail. The 85-year-old Argentinian basically spoke of a “childish scenario”. Mankind plays “with fire, with rockets and bombs, with weapons that cause tears and death”. The aim is to enforce “their own despotic, imperialist, nationalist and populist models and visions”. Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa called for an end to the war between Russia and Ukraine and for serious negotiations to begin.
In his speech, the Pope called on the representatives of different religions to “set a good example”. “It is our job to encourage and help humanity, which is as interdependent as it is separate, to walk together.” The interreligious forum in Bahrain was the main focus of Francis’ 39th trip abroad. Islam is the state religion in the Gulf state. A pope has never been there before.