Pope Francis used a ceremony to mark the outbreak of World War I 100 years ago to warn about a kind of “third war” being fought today.
Pope Francis on Saturday morning celebrated Mass at the Italian Military Memorial of Redipuglia. The visit to the area, which was the scene of fighting between Italy and the forces of the Central Powers during World War I, was to mark the centenary of the beginning of the war. The Mass was said for the fallen and victims of all wars.
Here lie many victims. Today, we remember them,” said Pope Francis, during his homily. “There are tears, there is sadness. From this place we remember all the victims of every war.”
Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a “piecemeal” Third World War, condemning the arms trade and “plotters of terrorism” sowing death and destruction.
“Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy’s largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.
“War is madness,” he said in his homily before the massive, sloping granite memorial, made of 22 steps on the side of hill with three crosses at the top.
“Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said.
His warning is an important one, but many would disagree that our other World Wars were a failure. The alternative would have allowed a genocidal dictator to rule the world. Pope Francis has in the past, however, talked about a “good war” and does see the need to beat back ISIS as one example of what a good war would be. That’s how I see World War II – it was a very good war.