Pope Francis is no stranger to having his public remarks distorted by the media, but when the Holy Father implied this weekend that real Christians shouldn't make or sell weapons, the press got it mostly right.
"There is an element of hypocrisy [for a Christian] to speak of peace and then manufacture weapons," Francis said Sunday, according to three separate Italian-to-English translations obtained by the Washington Examiner's media desk.
The press was quick to react.
"Pope says weapons manufacturers can't call themselves Christian," Reuters reported. Several other media outlets, including the Guardian, Newsmax, Quartz, CBS News, TheBlaze, the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast, followed suit.
Francis did not outright use the word "hypocritical," and he did not say that it's impossible for a Christian to deal also in weapons. Both points, however, were heavily implied.
Engaging in an imaginary conversation with a Christian who is involved in the weapons business, the pope said, "'No, no Father, I do not manufacture weapons. No, no. I have only invested my savings in the weapons' manufacturers.' Ah! And why? 'Because personal interests are highest.'"
Francis continued, saying in a colloquial manner that the behavior of these men calls into question their ability to be good Christians and to follow Christ's example. These remarks came on the heels of Francis instructing his audience on the need to serve others.
Rather than serving their neighbor, Francis suggested, self-proclaimed Christians who sell and manufacture weapons, which can later be used to fuel conflicts, appear instead to be sacrificing others for their own gain.
The point of his remarks, according to one of the Examiner's sources, was to exhort his audience, which was comprised specifically of children and young people, to put their faith in God, and not in man.
"If you trust only men, you have lost," he said.
"We think, in this world, of the wars. There's war in Europe, there's war in Africa. In the Middle East, there is war. In other countries there is war, but I'm supposed to have faith in a life like this?" he asked. "What can I expect from this life? I have said sometimes that we are living in the third World War, but in pieces."
"I'm supposed to put trust in world leaders?" he asked, addressing his young audience's concerns. "When I go to vote for a candidate, I can trust that my vote won't bring my country to war?"
Being "two-faced" today is "normal," Francis remarked, "saying something and doing something different."
It was here that Francis transitioned to the topic of self-proclaimed Christian executives and entrepreneurs involved in the manufacture and sale of weapons.
The Holy Father also spent a large portion of his remarks criticizing world leaders who have in the past done little to prevent infamous slaughters, including the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust and the Soviet purge of Christians.
"The biggest powers had photographs of railway lines carrying trains headed for concentration camps like Auschwitz to murder the Jews, and the Christians, and the gypsies, and the homosexuals so they can be murdered there," he said. "But tell me, why didn't they bomb [the camps]?"
He explained why things like the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide were allowed to go on for as long as they did: World leaders "were watching another place. Why? Because they were interested in war -- their war!"
He also took world leaders to task for allowing Soviet Russia to run roughshod over much of Eastern Europe.
"[T]here were the leaders in Russia," he said, "many Christians suffered. They were murdered! But the biggest powers of the world divided up Europe like it was a cake. Many years had to pass before arriving at certain liberation. That is the hypocrisy of of talking peace while manufacturing arms, and even selling arms to this who is in a war with that, and to that who is in a war with this!"