Pope Francis Has Some Harsh Words About Using "Mother" to Describe a Bomb

When the United States military dropped the largest nonnuclear bomb in its arsenal, dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs," on April 13, the reaction was mixed among the press and politicians. Some outlets praised the detonation as a stunning show of strength, while others admonished the glorification of war. Pope Francis, a consistent critic of populist rhetoric around the world, is the most recent to denounce the weapon and its label.

On May 8, the pope was speaking to an audience of students at the Vatican when he criticized how the weapon was described by the military. Though officially called a Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), the pope took issue with its nickname.

"I was ashamed when I heard the name," Pope Francis said of bomb dropped on an eastern province of Afghanistan. "A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this device a mother. What is happening?"

Pope Francis has staunchly defended immigrants and religious freedom, and cautioned against an abundance of power. Without naming him directly, the pope has also censured President Donald Trump's many controversial policies. The two are scheduled to meet at the Vatican on May 24.