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Francis: Global conflicts amount to ‘piecemeal’ World War III

Pope Francis prays by the gravestones of an Austro-Hungarian cemetery in Fogliano di Redipuglia, northern Italy (CNS)

Pope Francis said on Saturday that current conflicts taking place around the world amount to a “piecemeal” Third World War.

He also condemned the arms trade and “plotters of terrorism”.

“Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” said the Pope in his homily during a visit to Italy’s largest war memorial at Redipuglia cemetery in the north of the country, where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.

“Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” the Pope continued.

The Pope’s began his day by first praying at another, nearby cemetery for more than 15,000 soldiers from five nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire who died in the Great War.

In the past few months, Francis has called for an end to conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, and Gaza.

Last month he said it would be “licit” for the for the international community to use force to stop “unjust aggression” by ISIS militants.