June 1, 2009. During the Mass for Pentecost Sunday, Benedict XVI recalled the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedies, citing them as examples of what can happen when man distances himself from God.
"Hiroshima and Nagasaki continue to be perennial tragedies where atomic energy was used for purposes of war, sowing death of unspeakable proportions."
Pentecost Sunday marks the last day of Easter and celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit, as recounted in the Gospels. The pope explained that the Holy Spirit is to spiritual life what air is to biological life. That’s why, he said, when the heart is impure, so is the soul.
"People become used to impure products of the mind and heart that circulate in society. They include images that sensationalize pleasure, violence or hatred for men and women, something no longer considered a serious problem."
On hand in St. Paul’s Basilica were an orchestra from Cologne, Germany, and the chorus of the city’s cathedral. The pope’s brother also attended the celebration.
They performed some pieces by Joseph Haydn to mark the 200th anniversary of his death. The pope thanked the musicians and said Haydn’s work was “magnificent music for the glory of God.”