On anniversary of WWII, Pope Francis has a warning for the world.
When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, world was was uncertain. But within days, the entire world found itself sliding into the largest war in history. Could the same thing be happening now? Pope Francis has a warning.
Pope Francis, speaking on the anniversary of WWII, expressed a stark warning to all, “Tomorrow you are experiencing the anniversary of outbreak of the Second World War, which so painfully marked the Polish nation. Today, we are experiencing the third.”
He added, “May the memory of past experiences spur you to cultivate peace in yourselves, in families, and in social and international life.”
The warning is direct, and is grounded on several past experiences. World War I began as a regional conflict between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the much smaller nation of Serbia. The Austro-Hungarians blamed Serbia for the assassination of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand during an official visit to Sarajevo. He was shot by the 19 year old Gavrilo Princip, who was a member of a terrorist organization. The Austro-Hungarian Empire delivered a set of almost impossible demands to Serbia and when the demands were not met, war was declared. This activated a series of alliances which included Germany and Russia, and set in motion war plans. As part of their plans, Germany invaded the Low Countries and France, which drew even more nations into the conflict. Eventually, the war would be fought around the globe.
The conflict was sparked by an incident that should have never resulted in war, and certainly not world war, yet the sin of pride led each nation to commit its armies and fleets to a war which cost 20 million lives, and wounded another 21 million people.
World War II was more deliberate, yet it was also the result of pride and hubris, particularly in Germany where the people were keen to erase the humiliation of their loss in World War I.
And these sins, which sparked two world wars a century ago, seem to have started a third, and it is only a matter of time before conflicts in Ukraine, Taiwan, and in other troubled places drag the world into another global conflict. Such things are rarely seen in advance, yet appear obvious in hindsight.
Pope Francis is right to warn the world of the dangers of international conflict. This danger arises from our own pride and lack of love towards one another. This is what happens when the world turns away from Jesus Christ.
Sadly, if Pope Francis is correct, then the world is about to become a lot more troubled. It is time for us to pray, to Confess, and worthily receive the Eucharist, then go forth to evangelize so that peace may be restored.