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Standing Before Congress, Pope Francis Calls Out the ‘Industry of Death’


Standing Before Congress, Pope Francis Calls Out the ‘Industry of Death’

Phyllis Bennis, Manuel Pérez Rocha

Pope Francis’ address to Congress was almost certainly not what John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and other congressional leaders had in mind when they invited the pope to speak.

It probably wasn’t what they were all thinking about during the last standing ovations. But here was Pope Francis, revered as the People’s Pope, calling out war profiteers and demanding an end to the arms trade. Just as simple and as powerful as that.


As he spoke, this atheist found himself saying "God Bless you Pope Francis",


Best Pope Ever!


Best doesn't mean infallible. It doesn't mean he hasn't or won't err.

But he's the best Pope I've ever read about.

Another Atheist for Pope Francis.


Thank you, Common Dreams, for this news report on Pope Francis' address to Congress.

Today, Pope Francis delivers a powerful statement against arms trade and the terrible violence of war.

This contrasts with his encyclical, Laudato Si, where only two brief and innocuous sentences oppose war and violence.

In the context of this historic address to the US Congress, this is a call to action. This begins the serious work of making peace.


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Francis could set the stage by giving full public disclosure of all the church's assets and its income, and he could set an example by divesting the church holdings in fossil fuels and armaments. (Then later, the church could divest from predatory banks and US health insurance companies.)

Someone please call me when this humble, palace-dwelling, infallible man performs these actions, because I wouldn't want to miss it.


He stood looking into the Lion's mouth and said Stop, Shut Up and Listen. The problem is, the Lion is Deaf.


I would argue that the "the church" has a lot of work to do. I'll call out Francis to get his own house in order, and deal with the legacy of violence and death directed toward women, children, and native people. Good grief folks, how many centuries do they get to get it right? I say the clock is up. Pick from some more humane faith traditions, if you are so oriented. This adulation is a bit misdirected, imo.


Check out what Elizabeth May has to say on these issues.


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Of course that remark leads to confusion for those not Catholic. Infallible is very rarely used, it usually is applied to core doctrines of the Church. His statements on the environment and economic justice are not infallible, only when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra, does the term apply. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if down the road this doctrine too might be changed, after all it only became a tenet of the Church at the First Vatican Council in 1868. Scalia and the other Catholics on the court will continue to support the death penalty, the Pope to the contrary notwithstanding. I've been around Catholics all my life, and the notion that he is beyond criticism is simply not the case. Some of the harshest critics of the Church were people I met in Catholic College, myself included.


Looking as I am for a bit of light on this planet of yin and yang, here we have a man that is putting himself out there speaking truth to power.

You can't fault him for that.

A perfect human being on this planet? Not a chance.


Like MLK, Archbp Romero suspected his time on earth would end soon. He believed he would rise again in the Salvadoran people.

Oscar Romero, Presente!


And what about the atrocities that Protestants have committed - from Ireland, to South Africa to the indigenous Americans in the USA?


I really hate to rain on the parade here, as this Pope surely seems to be the real deal, and as many have mentioned, the "Best Pope Ever"- I could not agree more-He is absolutely astounding- But, the real skeleton in the closet here is this Popes absolute priority of denunciating the Papal Bulls/ Doctrine of Discovery- I didn't call it by the age old name "Christian" Doctrine of Discovery because I firmly believe Christ would have denounced the mere mention of such an atrocious idea over 2,000 years ago- This is NOT in any way to do with Christ, just A cruel idea cooked up by sanctimonious, hypocritical religious imposters called Popes for the financial gain of degenerate, depraved and hedonistic heads of state called "Royalty"-
These bulls instilled the Doctrine of Discovery, the papal sanctioning of "Religious enslavement and tyranny over non-Christians"-

"Refute the Doctrine of Christian Discovery: an Open Letter to Pope Francis"

"Our equally long campaign for a contemporary address to the 15th century papal bulls that supported slavery, death, torture and genocide is of even more concern. While the canonization of Padre Serra is an affront to Native people, it is more of a reflexion on the Church than us and will likely have no impact on our future. But the Doctrine of Christian Discovery that owes itself to those early papal edicts still lies at the foundation of laws and policies still affecting Native peoples around the world.
Repudiate, abolish and rescind those papal bulls. Your failure to do so forces us to deny the granting of your request for forgiveness".

"Doctrine of Discovery: A scandal in plain sight"

"The letter called on the pope to “formally and publicly repudiate and rescind the Dum Diversas Bull of 1452, and other related bulls, which grant the Pope’s blessing ‘to capture, vanquish, and subdue the Saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ and put them into perpetual slavery and to take all their possession and their property.’ We also call upon the Pope to repudiate and rescind the Inter Caetera Bull of 1493 that granted authority to Spain and Portugal to ‘take all lands and possessions’ so long as no other Christian ruler had previously claimed them. These bulls instilled the Doctrine of Discovery, the papal sanctioning of Christian enslavement and power over non-Christians.”
(Recently, Pope Francis asked forgiveness in South America “not only for the offenses of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America.”)


Absolutely. Deaf or insane - what does it matter? They are only listening to the extent that his presence legitimises their actions in the eyes of his followers. They sat and pretended respect for his message, whilst we can be sure the future will illustrate that they have none. He has allowed himself to be used as part of their ploy. He didn't say anything people don't say every day here on CDs and elsewhere but he got to say it in a forum where it is otherwise never said... again, exactly because no one wants to hear it. It's all just dealing between different power structures. Mutual back-scratching - although I imagine the man fails to see that. I think an intelligent mind realises all his words are already forgotten in the minds of those he addressed.
It was all pretty amazing, writes the author. Yeah?


Somehow, I think a drone is going to have a 'training accident' over the Vatican after this.

Well, I'm sure the PTB will like to think about it anyhow. I'm sure they're not dumb enough to turn Pope Frank into a Martyr. (unless they can get an 'appropriate' enemy to do the job for them, think of the profits to be made in a 'holy' war.)

If there is a god, some help might be needed. :smile:



I do not belong to any organized religion, but having said that, Pope Francis does seem to be one of the more progressive Popes that the Catholic church has selected; however, in my view, Pope Francis is either woefully uniformed at best, or a complete hypocrite at worst, by canonizing Junipero Serra. I use to live in San Juan Batista, California near one the Missions founded by Junipero Serra so I am probably more aware of his atrocities against the indigenous people of California than most. And what you say about Junipero Serra is absolutely correct.