“Many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off war,” he said, according to Ansa.
The pope was speaking at the Vatican, and his comment was a part of a stark indictment of the arms industry and a larger call for peace.
Francis, who is known for being outspoken, pointed to the vast amounts of money spent in the arms sector, saying the “industry of death” is driven by greed, which is “very harmful,” according to the Catholic Herald.
“When we see that everything revolves around money — 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 said.
Pope Francis condemned the arms industry while speaking to the boys and girls of the “Fabbrica della Pace” groups at the Vatican, May 11, 2015.
Francis was addressing a group of about 7,000 children, parents and teachers linked to the Peace Factory, an Italian organization that promotes tolerance in schools.
His speech centered on the ideals of forgiveness, stopping injustice and ending greed, and he used an expression he learned from a priest to describe why greed is evil and why people might not want peace: “The devil comes in through the wallet,” he said, according to the Catholic Herald.
The relatively hard-hitting comments on the arms industry from Francis are not entirely irregular for the Argentine. The pope has spoken out in the past against judging homosexuality and birth control and has critiqued unchecked capitalism. Just last week, he took on the divisive topic of abortion.