Op-Ed: Pope Francis on a war memorial visit has voiced what many people are fearfully thinking - that a piecemeal World War Three is already underway.
Before the brutal beheading of Scot David Haines was announced the Pope voiced his concerns which echo the thoughts of many at this time.
He was visiting a WWII memorial to 100,000 Italian soldiers at Redipuglia cemetery near Slovenia when he spoke of the futility of world conflict and its obvious huge loss of life.
For the Pope his memorial visit was full of personal poignancy - his grandfather fought in Italy’s 1915-17 offensive against the Austro-Hungarian. Francis was presented with his grandfather’s military record during the commemoration ceremony
He was standing at "the altar beneath Italy's fascist-era Redipuglia memorial - where 100,000 Italian soldiers killed during WWI are buried, 60,000 of them unnamed" when he chose to pay "tribute to the victims of all wars".
BBC News reports he said "Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep."
Those at the ceremony included members of the military - top brass wearing a host of medals on their pristine uniforms - such a different picture to soldiers during the horrors of war, any war. Soldiers still used as 'cannon fodder'.
Whether you are a Christian or Catholic this Pope may be speaking for you - he is more of a genuine man of god than some previous Popes in spite of the papal trappings. His words will have universal appeal except with the brutal Islamic militants causing havoc in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Pope Francis has a broad appeal meaning that he is often admired even by atheists and agnostics.
The Pope hit the nail on the head Saturday when he said "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."
Perhaps he spoke for all of us dragged along into conflict usually without choice when he said "“Today, too, the victims are many,” fallen to behind-the-scenes “interests, geopolitical strategies, lust for money and power.” The Pope obviously has no illusions why mankind so often chooses war, not peace.
For many of us its feels as if we are living through a pre WWIII time. The 'piecemeal' world war may continue or events could rapidly overtake us and before you know it we will be living through the next Great War - no doubt another war to end all wars, 100 years after WWI began.