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1945: Destruction of Hiroshima by atomic bomb

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6 August 2020 All day

“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 possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral, as I already said two years ago.  We will be judged on this. Future generations will rise to condemn our failure if we spoke of peace but did not act to bring it about among the peoples of the earth.  How can we speak of peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war?  How can we speak about peace even as we justify illegitimate actions by speeches filled with discrimination and hate?”

Pope Francis, Address at the Peace Memorial, Hiroshima, 24 November 2019.

The hibakusha, as the survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known, are becoming fewer. You can read the story of Junko, who now lives in Sydney, here.

Pope John Paul II was the first Pope to visit Hiroshima. You can read his address from 1981 here. It was in response to this address that the Catholic Bishops of Japan established the 10 Days for Peace which run from 6 to 15 August. This is a good time to pray for peace and nuclear disarmament.

You can find more information about the atomic bombs here.