While speaking at the Vatican, Pope Francis condemned both the arms industry and those who profit off war, the Catholic Herald reported.
Speaking as part of The Peace Factory, an Italian initiative to “promote peace, tolerance and inclusion among the multi-ethnic, socially-diverse and differently-abled children attending Italian elementary schools,” one of the 7,000-plus children in attendance asked the Pope why powerful people don’t help schools.
Francis responded by saying the question should really be, “Why do many powerful people not want peace?”
“Because they live off war — the arms industry,” he said. “Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms and sell them to one country for them to use against another country … It’s the industry of death, the greed that harms us all, the desire to have more money.”
“When we see that everything revolves around money,” the Pope continued, “the economic system revolves around money and not around the person, men and women, but money — so much is sacrificed and war is waged in order to defend the money.
The Pope was also asked by the children about the world’s’ prison systems and if he believed kids should be held for prolonged periods of time in juvenile detention facilities.
“No, I do not…” said Francis, adding that people who make mistakes need to be helped by others “with education, with love, with being close.” He also said that prison is often the easy way out for society because it allows us “to forget about those who suffer.”
Watch video of Pope Francis from The Peace Factory event.