"The world economic system inevitably promotes military conflict as a way to enrich the most powerful nations." - Pope Francis
I thought of that as I watched BBC Nightly News last evening. They ran a piece on how France is going through with the sale and shipment of one of two warships made for Russia - despite sanctions imposed upon Russia in the form of an arms embargo. The French defend the transactions, insisting the warship will not be armed, and Russia has already paid.
France says it will go ahead with the sale of a warship to Russia despite calls for an arms embargo against the country, highlighting how Europe's strong business ties are hindering its ability to punish Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.Western powers say Russia is supporting the insurgents in eastern Ukraine who allegedly shot down a Malaysian Airliner last week, killing all 298 people on board.European Union foreign ministers met Tuesday to consider more sanctions against Russia but agreed only to impose more asset freezes on individuals, leaving economic relations untouched.Some countries, like Britain, argue the plane crash has raised the stakes and Europe should not go soft on Russia.But other countries are more cautious, mindful of the potential costs of harming business relations. Among other things, Germany imports a third of its oil and natural gas from Russia. France's commercial deals include the delivery of two warships, the biggest ever sale by a NATO country of military equipment to Moscow.German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said an arms embargo on Russia was discussed Tuesday, pushed for by the UK and others, but that EU members only agreed to restrictions on "future contracts" — meaning France would get to go ahead with its sales of warships. - AP
The story reminded me of how some Catholics have been upset over Pope Francis speaking out about a world economy kept afloat by arms trade and war: "Pope Francis said the world economic system inevitably promotes military conflict as a way to enrich the most powerful nations."
"We are in a world economic system that is not good," Pope Francis said. "A system that in order to survive must make war, as great empires have always done. But since you cannot have a Third World War, you have regional wars. And what does this mean? That arms are made and sold, and in this way the idolatrous economies, the great world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money, obviously keep their balance sheets in the black." - CNW
Some Catholics didn't like that - and they still don't like it. However, if we pay attention to how Europe has responded to the Ukraine airline tragedy, as well as how most of the world seems to ignore the persecution and expulsion of Christians from Iraq and the Syrian conflict, we may understand what the Holy Father has been saying is exactly right.