Pope in Hiroshima: nuclear weapons are immoral

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The pope visited Japan's other icon of the atomic bomb, Hiroshima.

Pope Francis went to the peace memorial, at the hypocenter of the atomic bomb that killed 80,000 people on Aug. 6, and later caused the death of another 60,000.

There, he greeted some elderly survivors. Some could not hold back their tears.

The pope prayed before the arch where the names of the victims are engraved.

Later, they all prayed in silence for world peace.

“Here, in an incandescent burst of lightning and fire, so many men and women, so many dreams and hopes, disappeared, leaving behind only shadows and silence. In barely an instant, everything was devoured by a black hole of destruction and death. From that abyss of silence, we continue even today to hear the cries of those who are no longer.”

The pope said he came to remember the victims of violence and the strength of those who work for peace. This is why he criticized political leaders who speak of peace but promote nuclear proliferation as a weapon of intimidation. He says fear does not resolve conflicts.

“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. The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral. Just as the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral.”

Pope Francis listened to this woman's testimony, who is a survivor of the tragedy and saw her friends and family die within a few hours.

Before leaving, the pope approached survivors and bowed down before them and their pain. This gesture was a plea for tragedies like this to never be repeated.

Javier Martínez-Brocal
Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski

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