Francis exhorts world leaders to put an end to the arms trade
The June edition of the The Pope Video, from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, is focused on the elimination of the arms trade. Its release follows just days after Francis met with the president of the United States, asking him to work for world peace.
VATICAN, June 2, 2017 — The much-anticipated monthly release of The Pope Video from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network takes up in June a theme that must be addressed: the elimination of the arms trade.
Pope Francis begins the video declaring, “It is an absurd contradiction to speak of peace, to negotiate peace, and at the same time, promote or permit the arms trade.” He thus alludes not only to the problem itself, but to the hypocrisy of governments that resist a real commitment to resolving this global issue.
During the video, which highlights the double-speak between signing peace agreements and continuing to sell arms to perpetuate unnecessary wars, the Pope puts forward this unsettling question: “Is this war or that war really a war to solve problems or is it a commercial war for selling weapons in illegal trade and so that the merchants of death get rich?”
According to a study from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the commercial arms trade is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War. The increase has been caused by the conflicts in the Middle East, the tensions in the South China Sea, and the perception of the threat Russia poses to its neighbors. The majority of arms sales comes from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom. Germany, Spain and Italy, meanwhile, are among the main manufacturers, while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey are among the main buyers.
“The Pope’s request this month is forceful,” said Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. “We need cooperation and commitment, to urge world leaders to firmly commit to putting an end to the arms trade. There are so many dark strategic, industrial, and political interests that result in the death of so many innocent victims around the world. Do we know which industries in our countries benefit from the arms trade?”
The intentions are entrusted each month to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and The Pope Video is produced by La Machi Communication for Good Causes with the support of the Society of Jesus, IndigoMusic, GettyImagesLatam and the collaboration of the Vatican Television Center. It also has Aleteia as a media partner. Since its launch in January of 2016, it has had more than 14 million views on its networks.
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About The Pope Video
The Pope Video is a global initiative developed by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer) to disseminate the monthly intentions of the Holy Father concerning the challenges facing humanity. The videos seek to unite people in praying with Pope Francis for those challenges. The Project has the support of the Vatican Television Center (CTV), sole owner of the rights. For more information: http://www.thepopevideo.org.
About the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer)
For over a century, the Apostleship of Prayer has been publishing to the world the prayer intentions entrusted to them by popes. Now, in its process of recreation, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network emphasizes its role of communicating the prayer intentions and leveraging new media and tools. Its mission is to unite people in prayer and service in response to the challenges facing humanity which the Holy Father expresses in his monthly intentions. Those who participate in this network are encouraged to become apostles in daily life through a spiritual path called “Way of the Heart,” transforming those who take that path in the service of the mission of Jesus Christ. Founded in 1844 and present in over 98 countries, the Apostleship of Prayer unites more than 35 million people in its network, including its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. For more information: https://www.popesprayer.net/.
About La Machi
The Pope Video is an idea of La Machi, a creative boutique specializing in communication to advance good causes founded in 2012, with offices in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Rome. Its mission is to help companies, NGOs, and religious institutions communicate their philanthropic purposes. It specializes in strategic communication, creative advertising, digital development, and fundraising. La Machi has been recognized as a “Friend of Project Red” (RIIAL) and won the 2015 & the 2016 Mercury Prize for Best International SME of Marketing, awarded by the Argentinian Association of Marketing. For more information: http://www.lamachi.com/en.
Justiniano Vila – La Machi – Communication for Good Causes
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