End all useless slaughter, halt arms race – Pope Francis to G20 leaders
Pope Francis has urged the heads of G20 countries to end “useless slaughter” and halt the arms race, in a written address to world leaders who have gathered for a two-day summit in Hamburg, Germany.
The pontiff sent the message to the world leaders, saying that “war is never a solution,” and that he feels the responsibility to demand that the world put an end to all these “useless slaughters.”
The aim of the G20, Pope Francis pointed out, is “to resolve economic differences peacefully and to agree on common financial and trade rules to allow for the integral development of all.”
“Yet that will not be possible unless all parties commit themselves to substantially reducing levels of conflict, halting the present arms race and renouncing direct or indirect involvement in conflicts, as well as agreeing to discuss sincerely and transparently all their differences,” the pontiff wrote.
He emphasized that “there is a tragic contradiction and inconsistency in the apparent unity expressed in common forums on economic or social issues, and the acceptance, active or passive, of armed conflicts.”
Pope Francis also called on all the government leaders to consider the “need to give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded, without distinction of nation, race, religion or culture.”
In particular, the pontiff mentioned the tragic situation in South Sudan, the Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa and Yemen.
Protests have been raging in Hamburg over the G20 summit being held on July 7-8, with 45 people already detained and over 150 policemen injured in the clashes during the “Welcome to Hell” protest on Thursday.
Some 30 events and marches have been scheduled to take place during the summit, with 20,000 police deployed to provide security.