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Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg June 20, 2018

Fake news says Pope called for world wide gun confiscation except for the UN

The Common Sense Show, an online program with the tagline "Freeing America one enslaved mind at a time," took Pope Francis to task for his stance on weapons.

"The Pope has said we need to take away all guns -- total gun confiscation across the planet " show host Dave Hodges said May 3, 2018. "But he does say the U.N. should be the only group that has guns."

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We reached out to Hodges through his website to learn the source behind his statement. We didn’t hear back.

We searched the Nexis database of news reports and did not find anything that backed up this claim, but it’s possible that he’s conflated a couple of speeches from the pope.

Address to the United Nations

Pope Francis spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2015. There, he called for a world free of nuclear weapons, and an end to "violence against ethnic and religious minorities."

Speaking of the Middle East and Africa, he decried the situations where innocent people "have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement."

In that speech, Francis spoke of "the negative effects of military and political interventions which are not coordinated between members of the international community."

If that’s the source of Hodges’ statement, it doesn’t match what he described. There’s no call for universal collection of guns, nor did he specify that the United Nations would be the only group that can coordinate military interventions.

In fact, when the pope visited Central African Republic, his call for peace between warring Christian and Muslim factions acknowledged there is an appropriate role for arms.

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"To all those who unjustly use weapons in this world, I appeal: Put down your weapons of death; arm yourselves instead with justice, love, mercy and authentic guarantees of peace," he said August 2015.

Pope Francis opposed the unjust use of weapons, meaning in his eyes, there can be a just use of weapons.

In his 2015 speech to the U.S. Congress, Francis also called for an end to the international arms trade.

Speech to teens in Turin, Italy

Hodges might have also reworked fake news that twisted remarks the pope made three years ago in Turin, Italy, in 2015, when he was at a rally of thousands of young people.

The pope was talking about war, trust and politics. And he singled out the weapons industry.

"People, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons, that leads to a bit of distrust, doesn’t it?" he said, as reported by Reuters.

In the minds of some, that translated into the pope saying that gun owners can’t be Christians.

We rated that interpretation Pants on Fire.

Our ruling

An online program said Pope Francis had called for worldwide gun confiscation, except for the United Nations.

The pope has not said those words or called for such a change. The most generous reading is that this is based on interpretations of remarks the Pope has made about regional and ethnic conflicts.

In keeping with Christian doctrine, one would expect the pope to speak against violence. What is striking is even with that, the pope said that there can be just uses of weapons.

We shoot down another bit of fake news and rate this claim Pants on Fire.

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Pants on Fire
Says the "Pope calls for world wide gun confiscation except for the UN"
In a blog post of a show
Thursday, May 3, 2018

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Fake news says Pope called for world wide gun confiscation except for the UN

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