Pope criticises US military for using word 'mother' to describe MOAB bomb

He says that anything that takes life away shouldn't be associated with motherhood

Clark Mindock
New York
Saturday 06 May 2017 21:28 BST
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The pope said that anything that takes life shouldn't be called a 'mother'
The pope said that anything that takes life shouldn't be called a 'mother'

Pope Francis has criticised the United States military and the talking heads who discuss the military for calling a bomb a “mother.”

The pontiff’s comments — referencing the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB), the largest bomb in the American arsenal — came during a speech he gave to an audience of students, and just weeks before he is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump.

“I was ashamed when I heard the name,” the pope said. “A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this device a mother. What is happening?’

The MOAB bomb was used for the first time last month to attack a series of caves with Isis insurgents in tunnels in the Achin district, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Although that was the first time that the bomb had been used by the US military, the explosive had been in the American arsenal for over a decade.

The bomb itself weighs more than 10 kilograms and has a blast radius that is a mile wide. Because it is referred to by it’s acronym instead of it’s official name, people began to refer to it as the “mother of all bombs” colloquially.

It is not the first time that the pope has taken offense from something connected to Mr Trump. The two disagree on a range of subjects and Pope Francis has been critical of the American president several times. For instance, the two have diametrically opposed views on immigration, very different understandings of the impacts and importance of climate change, and do not see eye to eye on how to respond to the ongoing refugee crisis that has stemmed from the civil war in Syria that has torn up families and communities.

The president will stop by the Vatican later this month during a trip to Europe, one of his first overseas ventures since moving into the White House.

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