‘Everything I have done was neither my invention nor a dream I had after a night of indigestion. I picked up everything that we the Cardinals had said at the pre-Conclave meetings, the things we believed the new Pope should do.’
In an interview published Friday, Pope Francis said that he believes it is time to rethink the concept of “just war.”
“I believe it is time to rethink the concept of a ‘just war.’ A war may be just, there is the right to defend oneself. But we need to rethink the way that the concept is used nowadays,” Pope Francis said.
“I have said that the use and possession of nuclear weapons are immoral. Resolving conflicts through war is saying no to verbal reasoning, to being constructive. … War is essentially a lack of dialogue.”
The pope spoke in an interview that was conducted on June 20 by Télam, Argentina’s national news agency. A 1-hour video of the interview was published on July 1.
In response to a question about how the lack of dialogue is an aggravating factor in the current state of world affairs, the pope said that there is “an entire infrastructure of arms sales” that supports war today.
“A person who knew about statistics told me, I don’t remember the numbers well, that if weapons were not manufactured for a year, there would be no hunger in the world,” he said.
Pope Francis described how he cried during visits to war cemeteries in Europe, including the Redipuglia World War I memorial and Anzio World War II cemetery in Italy.
“And when the anniversary of the landing in Normandy was commemorated, I thought of the 30,000 boys who were left dead on the beach. They opened the boats and said, ‘get off, get off,’ they were ordered while the Nazis waited for them. Is that justified? Visiting military cemeteries in Europe helps one realize this,” he said.
The pope also said that the situation in Europe today shows that the United Nations “has no power” to stop a war.
“After World War II, trust was placed in the United Nations. It is not my intention to offend anybody, I know there are very good people working there, but at this point, the UN has no power to assert,” he said.
You can read more of the interview at this link. At one point, he reflects on his papacy:
2023 will mark the 10th anniversary of your election as Pope, an ideal time to take stock. Were you able to achieve all your objectives? What projects are still pending?
Everything I have done was neither my invention nor a dream I had after a night of indigestion. I picked up everything that we the Cardinals had said at the pre-Conclave meetings, the things we believed the new Pope should do. Then, we spoke of the things that needed to be changed, the issues to tackle. I carried out the things that were asked then. I do not think there was anything original of mine. I set in motion what we all had requested.
For example, the Curia reform concluded with the new Apostolic Constitution Praedicate evangelium, which—after eight-and-a-half years of work and inquiries—managed to include what the Cardinals had asked, changes that were already in motion.
Nowadays, it is a missionary-style experience. “Praedicate evangelium”, that is, “be a missionary”. Preach the word of God. It means that the essential thing is going out.
Something curious: at those meetings, one of the Cardinals said that in the text of Revelation, Jesus says “I am at the door and call; if someone opens the door, I will enter”. So the Cardinal said: “Jesus is calling, but this time He wants us to let Him out, because we are imprisoning Him”. That is what was asked at those meetings with the Cardinals.
When I was chosen, I set things in motion. A few months later, inquiries took place and we published the new Constitution. Meanwhile, changes were being made. I mean, these were not ideas of my own. I want that to be clear. These were ideas born from the requests of the entire College of Cardinals.