Pope Francis Calls On Nations to ‘Ban All Weapons’

Swiss Guard barracks

If people are really serious about world peace, the solution is to “ban all weapons,” Pope Francis said in a tweet this week.

For decades, the Catholic church has criticized the arms race and consequent build-up of nuclear arsenals, but this is the first time a pope has actually called for the banning of all weapons. If the pontiff were to be taken at his word, this would imply outlawing everything from rifles to hand grenades to the halberds carried by the Swiss Guards in the Vatican:

The existence of weapons leads humanity to live “in fear of war,” the pope declared, and the only way to remove this fear is to eliminate all weapons.

Francis’s tweet followed up a statement on Sunday in which he praised the recent agreement between North and South Korean leaders aimed at reconciliation and denuclearization as well as praying for a successful outcome to the peace process on the peninsula.

“I accompany with prayer the positive success of the Inter-Korean summit last Friday and the courageous commitment assumed by the leaders of the two parts to carry out a path of sincere dialogue for a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons,” the pope told pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for the prayer of the Regina Caeli.

Last Friday, leaders of North and South Korea signed a historic peace agreement after North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un crossed the military demarcation line within the Demilitarized Zone to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on southern soil. The Korean peninsula has been divided between north and south since 1953.

The Panmunjom Declaration states that “there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.”

In the statement, the leaders further agree to “the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula” as well as actively pursuing further meetings with the United States, and possibly China, to secure a more permanent peace.

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