Pope Francis Visits Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Says Owning Nuclear Weapons is “Immoral”
“Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction, or the threat of total annihilation.”
While visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pope Francis said that building and using atomic weapons is “immoral.”
As part of his tour of Japan, the Pope visited the two cities, which were largely destroyed by the U.S. from atomic bomb blasts during World War II. He met with survivors and also gave an address about the wastefulness and counterproductivity of stockpiling nuclear weapons.
“Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction, or the threat of total annihilation," he said in Nagasaki. “In a world where millions of children and families live in inhumane conditions, the money that is squandered and the fortunes made through the manufacture, upgrading, maintenance and sale of ever more destructive weapons are an affront crying out to heaven."
During his visit to Hiroshima, the Pope also met Yoshiko Kajimoto who was only 14 years old when the bomb was dropped, causing the factory she was working in to collapse. Though she survived the blast, she has since suffered from stomach cancer and leukemia.
Upon meeting her and hearing her story, the Pope reiterated that the use of atomic weapons for war is “immoral.”
Pope Francis’ visit was the first by a pontiff in 38 years, when Pope John Paul II visited. Pope Francis first openly condemned the possession and creation of nuclear weapons in 2017, which went against the Roman Catholic Church’s prior views on global weapons stocking and mutually assured destruction.