National Catholic Reporter

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War

Pope to traffickers, arms manufacturers: God's judgment will come

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Pope Francis denounced those responsible for human trafficking, slave labor and arms manufacturing, saying people producing weapons of war are "merchants of death."

"One day everything comes to an end and they will be held accountable to God," the pope said at his weekly general audience Wednesday.

The pope also launched an appeal to the international community to help safeguard children from forced labor, highlighting the plight of an estimated 160 million child workers worldwide.

Vatican official voices opposition to automated weapons systems

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No matter how sophisticated and how many algorithms are programmed to help a drone or other machine make calculations before firing on a target, autonomous weapons systems could never comply with international human rights law, a Vatican official said.

"Meaningful human involvement is absolutely essential in decisions affecting the life and death of human beings," Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva, told experts meeting May 13-16 to discuss lethal autonomous weapons systems.

A look at the military from another angle

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Last week, I reviewed Breach of Trust by Andrew Bacevich, an analysis of the impact of our failure to support our troops on the military and democracy. Then on Tuesday, I read George Packer's literary criticism of recent war fiction, "Home Fires," in the April 7 New Yorker. Packer says the writing reflects the essential falseness of our claims of support of our volunteer army.

South Sudan church leaders urge serious talks to end country's violence

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Church leaders in South Sudan have called on their country's warring groups to stop fighting and begin serious peace negotiations.

In a pastoral statement released Sunday in Juba, nearly four months after fighting broke out in the newly independent African country, officials of the South Sudan Council of Churches lamented that face-to-face negotiations have yet to begin.

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In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

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