As Republicans Go to Bat for Catholics, the Pope Criticizes Personal Possession of Firearms

As Republicans Go to Bat for Catholics, the Pope Criticizes Personal Possession of Firearms

Republicans and conservative media have spent time in the past few days pre-emptively accusing Democrats of anti-Catholic bias in preparation for the expected Supreme Court nomination of a Roman Catholic judge. However, the head of the church, Pope Francis, caused conservative outrage overnight by criticizing the personal possession of weapons.

“We need to dismantle the perverse logic that links personal and national security to the possession of weaponry. This logic serves only to increase the profits of the arms industry, while fostering a climate of distrust and fear between persons and peoples,” the Pope’s official twitter account tweeted on Friday.

Conservatives online reacted with fury, mockery and at times open anti-Catholic bigotry. Pope Francis sent another tweet later in the day that appeared to call for nuclear disarmament – another policy that will find little support among Republican voters.

“Let us ask the Lord for the gift of peace, for a world without arms of mass destruction! Let us dedicate ourselves to free humanity from nuclear arms, this serious threat to the human race,” he said.

The Pope’s comment on weapons is unlikely to have been specifically aimed at an American audience, though there are just 38 days until the presidential election. Meanwhile, conservatives have begun attacking opponents of Trump’s new Supreme Court pick as biased against Catholics.

The President is expected to nominate devout Catholic Amy Coney Barrett to the court. Her views on abortion and other social issues have raised serious concerns for Democrats, while the Pope’s remarks show the tension between the Catholic Church and its erstwhile defenders.

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is Political Media Editor