Monday, April 14, 2008

Pope urges crackdown on handguns

Pope Benedict XVI called for nations to cut military spending and try to stop the spread of handguns.

"I renew my appeal so that nations reduce their military spending for arms and seriously consider the idea of creating a worldwide fund for peaceful development projects for peoples," said Pope Benedict.

He spoke of his concern in a message to a Vatican seminar about disarmament, development and peace, which wrapped up two days of discussions. The message was read by a Vatican official.

"Huge material and human resources employed for military expenditures and for armaments are in fact subtracted from development plans for peoples, especially those poorest and neediest of aid," Pope Benedict said.

The pontiff also said he was urging "every effort against the proliferation of light and small-calibre weapons, which fuel local wars and urban violence, and unfortunately kill too many people every day in all the world."

The pope did not single out any specific countries in his message on disarmament.
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