Fratelli tutti

The last section of Chapter Seven deals with ‘War and the Death Penalty’. The Pope deals with these two issues in sixteen paragraphs (nn.255-270). N.255 gives a basic introduction to the section: “There are two extreme situations that may come to be seen as solutions in especially dramatic circumstances, without realizing that they are false answers that do not resolve the problems they are meant to solve and ultimately do no more than introduce new elements of destruction in the fabric of national and global society. These are war and the death penalty”. As he continues to describe the terrible reality of war and what it does, it comes to mind that we can see this happening on our television screens as war takes place in Ukraine and in other parts of the world as well. The mindless bombing of schools, hospitals, shops and supermarkets, childcare centres, and apartment blocks highlights ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. The killing of the innocent and the destruction of the infrastructure necessary for living and protecting life through medicine and developing minds through education is contrary to all that should be central in a world rich in supplies and in knowledge. In n.262 Pope Francis says, “With the money spent on weapons and other military expenditures, let us establish a global fund that can finally put an end to hunger and favour development in the most impoverished countries, so that their citizens will not resort to violent or illusory solutions, or have to leave their countries in order to seek a more dignified life.”