HomeNewsJapanese, US bishops ink partnership for a nuclear-free world

Japanese, US bishops ink partnership for a nuclear-free world

Five bishops, representing both Japan and the United States, have pledged their commitment to work towards a world devoid of nuclear weapons. 

The pledge aims for tangible progress in achieving a “world without nuclear weapons”  by August 2025, coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the tragic Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

On the 78th commemoration of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, a formal partnership declaration was signed by Archbishop Peter Michiaki Nakamura of Nagasaki, Bishop Alexis Mitsuru Shirahama of Hiroshima, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, and Archbishop Paul Etienne of Seattle.

The declaration was made at the conclusion of the 9-day Pilgrimage of Peace to Japan by the two US Archbishops on August 9. The pilgrimage was dedicated to honoring the annual remembrance of the 1945 bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Both US archdioceses are strategically located in regions closely associated with nuclear weapons production and deployment. The western Washington state houses a significant portion of the United States’ nuclear arsenal, while New Mexico, the home of Santa Fe, is recognized as the birthplace of the atomic bomb.

Throughout the pilgrimage, the two US archbishops participated in memorial ceremonies and voiced their strong advocacy for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

In their collective declaration, the group emphasized the imperative for substantial progress in this endeavor by August 2025. Echoing Pope Francis’ stance against the mere possession of nuclear weapons, they called upon world leaders to take actionable measures for the complete eradication of these arms.

- Newsletter -

The bishops’ appeal encompasses acknowledging the enduring suffering caused by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, recognizing the environmental repercussions of uranium mining and nuclear weapons production, actively preventing a fresh arms race, instituting safeguards against nuclear weapons usage, advancing nuclear disarmament, and reiterating the irrefutable truth that a nuclear war is unwinnable and should never be waged.

The declaration also delineates practical steps to be taken by the bishops to fulfill their commitment, grounded in the themes of remembrance, unity, and safeguarding. To honor the memory of the past, the bishops intend to engage in dialogue with various stakeholders, including victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, uranium miners, peace advocates, nuclear engineers, military personnel, and diplomats.

The bishops have pledged to hold an annual Mass with a special focus on a nuclear-free world. They will call for special collections to support nuclear victims and rehabilitate the environment impacted by nuclear weapons.

The prelates also vowed to further advocate for world leaders to redirect funds currently allocated for nuclear weapons development and maintenance towards assisting vulnerable populations and addressing environmental challenges. – with reports from Vatican News. 

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