Hiroshima G7, Pope Francis: “Lay foundations for stable peace and security”

The G7 lays the foundations for “lasting peace and stable and sustainable long-term security”. This is Pope Francis’ appeal contained in the letter that the pontiff sent to the bishop of Hiroshima, Monsignor Alexis Mitsuru Shirahama, on the occasion of the summit underway in the Japanese city (THE SPECIAL ON THE G7). “Hiroshima, as a ‘symbol of memory’, forcefully proclaims the inadequacy of nuclear weapons to respond effectively to today’s great threats to peace and to guarantee national and international security”, wrote the pope, emphasizing the hope that the G7 summit in Hiroshima “demonstrates a farsighted vision”.

“Nuclear weapons would have catastrophic impact”

For the Pope, in order to realize the dangers humanity incurs, “it is enough to consider the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impact that would result from the use of nuclear weapons”, not forgetting, however, also “the waste and misuse of human and economic resources that their production entails”. Furthermore, we must not “underestimate the effects of the persistent climate of fear and suspicion generated by the mere possession of them, which jeopardizes the growth of a climate of mutual trust and dialogue”. In this context, the pontiff explains, “nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction represent a risk multiplier that only gives an illusion of peace”.

The memory of the trip to Japan

The choice of Hiroshima as the meeting place is for the pope “particularly significant” precisely “in the light of the continuing threat of recourse to nuclear weapons”. The pontiff then recalled “the deep impression left on me by the moving visit to the Peace Memorial during my trip to Japan in 2019”. Pope Francis wrote in the letter that “standing there in silent prayer and thinking of the innocent victims of the nuclear attack that occurred decades earlier, I wanted to reaffirm the Holy See’s firm conviction that ‘the use of atomic energy for war purposes is , today more than ever, a crime, not only against man and his dignity, but against any possibility of a future in our common home’ (Speech at the Peace Memorial, 24 November 2019)”.

The audience in the Vatican

This morning Pope Francis also received in audience in the Vatican the participants in the 38th General Chapter of the Company of Mary (Monfortani). “Last year I wanted to consecrate the Church and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, especially Ukraine and Russia – said the pope -. And I ask you, who are the Company of Mary, to renew this act of trust and this supplication. May Heavenly Mother help us all to seek with courage and creativity paths of forgiveness, dialogue, acceptance and peace for all humanity”. Recalling the mission of the Montforts and the charism of their founder St. Louis Maria Grignion de Montfort, the pontiff underlined that “even today there is no shortage of pastoral challenges: for example, individualism which closes each one in his own little world, relativism and hedonism that makes pleasure or personal gain the measure of every choice, consumerist selfishness that dries up the hearts of the rich and creates unjust inequalities to the detriment of the poor”.