Pope Francis took to Twitter Sunday to offer his prescription for “peace”: “Ban all weapons.”
The head of the Roman Catholic Church tweeted: “Do we really want peace? Then let’s ban all weapons so we don’t have to live in fear of war.”
Do we really want peace? Then let’s ban all weapons so we don’t have to live in fear of war.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 29, 2018
The tweet left many people wondering: Did he mean nuclear weapons? Firearms? Anything that can be used as a weapon?
However, the pope never indicated exactly what specific type of weapons he’d like to see banned. His tweet merely stated “all weapons.”
The tweet was liked more than 90,000 times and retweeted at least 20,000 times. But many people criticized the idea as too general, overly idealistic and even hypocritical.
“Devout Catholic here,” tweeted Karl Zimmerman, “but honest question, if the Pope really wants this, will he lead by example and order the Vatican security to lay down their own arms?”
The Vatican is guarded by the Pontifical Swiss Guard, a military force made up of former Swiss soldiers and established in 1506 under Pope Julius II. The Pontifical Swiss Guard is armed with traditional firearms – pistols, rifles and even submachine guns. They also carry pepper spray and halberds, or ax-like weapons mounted on long poles.
Twitter user P’Challa speculated that Pope Francis must have been referring to nuclear weapons in his tweet.
“I don’t think walls and guards are what the Pope refers to as weapons that can result in war,” he wrote. “Nuclear warheads on the other hand …”
Others weighed in with their own opinions of banning “all weapons,” if, in fact, that’s what the pope intended to propose.
“With all due respect Pope Francis,” tweeted Sass, “What a ridiculous thing to say! I’m sure EVERY bad person out there would have NOOOOO problem with an unarmed world! Weapons aren’t the problem, lack of humanity and morals are. You might start there.”
Bowhunter_Va added: “Speaking as a devout Catholic, I would like to remind you that the sword was a[n] assault weapon during biblical times. MY God expects me to defend myself and my family against all evil. Only good people comply with gun bans, not evil people.”
And what about the horrors committed against people who have had no weapons to defend innocent lives?
“Apparently you’ve forgotten about all the genocides that have taken place around the world when people are unable to defend themselves,” tweeted gebringsgoodthings.
Twitter user Victrey called for a better definition of the term “weapon” in the pope’s tweet.
“That would have been wonderful if ‘weapon’ was clearly and specifically defined,” he wrote. “If guns are removed, kitchen knives are also weapons, knives removed, then it’s broken bottles. Peace is not gotten from removing materials; it’s gotten from fixing men’s hearts.”
Razor noted that the real problem is as old as time: “Man is fallen and full of sin. Cain will kill Abel as long as there are rocks.”