'Wars are fed, not people'
Pope Francis yesterday hit out at the "brazen" free circulation of arms worldwide, a day after a gunman used an assault rifle to kill 50 people in an Orlando gay nightclub.
On a visit to the headquarters of the World Food Programme (WFP), the pontiff contrasted the ease of obtaining lethal weapons with the bureaucratic obstacles often encountered by organisations trying to deliver humanitarian aid.
"Whereas forms of aid and development projects are obstructed by involved and comprehensible political decisions, skewed ideological visions and impenetrable customs barriers, weaponry is not," Francis said.
"It makes no difference where arms come from; they circulate with brazen and virtually absolute freedom in many parts of the world.
"As a result, wars are fed, not people."
Francis did not explicitly refer to the Orlando shooting in his speech at the UN agency. On Sunday he condemned the killings as an act of "homicidal folly and senseless hatred."