Europe

Pope calls delivery of weapons, not food a 'strange paradox'

  • Pope Francis delivers his speech during a visit to the United Nations World Food Program headquarters in Rome,  Monday, June 13, 2016.  Pope Francis said it is a "strange paradox" that food often cannot get through to those suffering due to war but weapons can. (Tony Gentile/ Pool Photo vi AP)

    Pope Francis delivers his speech during a visit to the United Nations World Food Program headquarters in Rome, Monday, June 13, 2016. Pope Francis said it is a "strange paradox" that food often cannot get through to those suffering due to war but weapons can. (Tony Gentile/ Pool Photo vi AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis listens to Ertharin Cousin, executive director of World Food Program, during a visit to the headquarters in Rome,  Monday, June 13, 2016.  Pope Francis said it is a "strange paradox" that food often cannot get through to those suffering due to war but weapons can. (Tony Gentile/ Pool Photo vi AP)

    Pope Francis listens to Ertharin Cousin, executive director of World Food Program, during a visit to the headquarters in Rome, Monday, June 13, 2016. Pope Francis said it is a "strange paradox" that food often cannot get through to those suffering due to war but weapons can. (Tony Gentile/ Pool Photo vi AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis delivers his speech during a visit to the United Nations World Food Program headquarters in Rome,  Monday, June 13, 2016.  Pope Francis said it is a "strange paradox" that food often cannot get through to those suffering due to war but weapons can. (Tony Gentile/ Pool Photo vi AP)

    Pope Francis delivers his speech during a visit to the United Nations World Food Program headquarters in Rome, Monday, June 13, 2016. Pope Francis said it is a "strange paradox" that food often cannot get through to those suffering due to war but weapons can. (Tony Gentile/ Pool Photo vi AP)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis says it is a "strange paradox" that food often cannot get through to those suffering due to war but weapons can.

Francis said Monday during his first visit to the World Food Program that while aid is often obstructed, weapons are trafficked freely. "As a result, wars are fed, not persons. In some cases hunger itself is used as a weapon of war," he said.

The pope also lamented that the speed and volume of information in today's world has inured many to those in need. Francis said that as long as poverty no longer has a face "we run the risk of bureaucratizing the suffering of others."

He also noted another paradox: that hunger persists despite a surplus of food, and global waste.