Pope Francis said "the world is at war" on a flight to Poland on Wednesday to take part in the World Youth Day celebrations in the city of Krakow.
"We should not be afraid to say it: The world is at war because it has lost peace," Francis said. "It is a war about interests, a war about money, a war about natural resources ... I am not talking about a war of religions." All religions want peace, he said.
The pope's Alitalia plane touched down in the southern Polish city for the event for which more than half a million pilgrims from 187 different countries have registered.
Organizers estimate there will be at least 1.5 million participants by the time the event ends on Sunday.
An attack on Tuesday by two self-styled Islamist extremists on a church in northern France when a priest was killed during Mass had shocked the public. Francis said he had spoken to French President Francois Hollande about the attack "like with a brother."
During the Argentinian-born pontiff's five-day trip he is expected to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau former Nazi extermination camp and the Polish national shrine at Czestochowa, which houses the Black Madonna icon.