On September 13, during a visit to the Italian Military Memorial of Redipuglia, a monument in Italy where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War I are buried, Pope Francis said that World War III has begun in a “piecemeal” fashion.
“War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying,” Francis said. “Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology ….”
Of the 100,000 Italian soldiers buried at Redipuglia, the identities of 60,000 remain unknown. The visit was personal because Francis’ grandfather, Giovanni Carlo Bergoglio, fought in the Italian military in World War I before emigrating to Argentina.
“Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep,” said Francis. “Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said.