Pope Francis told a group of young people this week that politics is “the highest and greatest form of charity” but warned that war “defeats” politics.
“Love is political, that is, social for everyone. And when this universality of love is missing, politics fails, and becomes sick or bad,” said the pope.
The pontiff was speaking via a live teleconference with members of Scholas Occurrentes communities on Thursday, May 20.
Scholas Occurrentes is a pontifical foundation established in 2015 that aims to support poor and underserved communities around the world through education.
In his address to the young people, the pope said the “test of politics is war.” He said “the test of the honorability of a nation” is whether one is for war or peace.
“Do you make weapons? Do you promote wars? Do you earn your wealth because you sell weapons so others can kill themselves?” said the pope.
“It is there that we can see if a nation is morally sound,” he said.
He said it “hurts my heart when I see priests blessing weapons,” which the pontiff described as “instruments of death.”
Pope Francis then called for dialogue because “different opinions” are “the key in politics” that must always aspire for “unity and harmony.”