Address of Pope Francis at the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima

Genbaku Dome - Hiroshima Peace Memorial (photo by Joy Luz rscj)

Pope Francis has spoken strongly against nuclear weapons.  Examples include his messages in Vienna (2014), Rome (2017), and at the United Nations (2017).

During his visits over these past days to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, he has renewed his call for “un mundo en paz, libre de armas nucleares” [“a world in peace, free of nuclear weapons” — message in Nagasaki ~ not yet available in English].

We highlight a few lines from his message on the 24th of November at the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima:

“I felt a duty to come here as a pilgrim of peace, to stand in silent prayer, to recall the innocent victims of such violence, and to bear in my heart the prayers and yearnings of the men and women of our time, especially the young, who long for peace, who work for peace and who sacrifice themselves for peace.  I have come to this place of memory and of hope for the future, bringing with me the cry of the poor who are always the most helpless victims of hatred and conflict….

With deep conviction I wish once more to declare that the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home….

To remember, to journey together, to protect.  These are three moral imperatives that here in Hiroshima assume even more powerful and universal significance, and can open a path to peace.  For this reason, we cannot allow present and future generations to lose the memory of what happened here.  It is a memory that ensures and encourages the building of a more fair and fraternal future; an expansive memory, capable of awakening the consciences of all men and women, especially those who today play a crucial role in the destiny of the nations; a living memory that helps us say in every generation: never again!”

Click here to read the full text of Pope Francis’
message at Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
We make Pope Francis’ prayer our own and together we cry out in our hearts:

“Never again war, never again the clash of arms, never again so much suffering!  May peace come in our time and to our world.  O God, you have promised us that “mercy and faithfulness have met, justice and peace have embraced; faithfulness shall spring from the earth, and justice look down from heaven” (Ps 84:11-12).

Come, Lord, for it is late, and where destruction has abounded, may hope also abound today that we can write and achieve a different future.  Come, Lord, Prince of Peace!  Make us instruments and reflections of your peace!”

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