03/16/2010, 00.00
JAPAN
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Bishops of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to world leaders: End Nuclear Proliferation

The two bishops write an appeal to the Japanese and to the United States governments and other nations to promote the total disarmament of nuclear weapons. The world "needs to move towards peace, not to destruction." The pilgrimage of the "Bombed Virgin Mary" from Nagasaki to Guernica.

Nagasaki (AsiaNews) – Mankind "has taken steps towards madness, when he abused the progress in science and technology to build and sell weapons capable of destroying in a moment hundreds of thousands of lives. It is time that world leaders bravely put a stop to all this, forever banishing nuclear weapons".  This is the sense of the appeal issued in recent days by the bishops of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities destroyed by the atom bombs during the Second World War.

The Archbishop Mitsuaki Takami, who leads the Archdiocese of Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bishop Atsumi Misu write: " the responsibility of the sin should be born not only by the United States which actually dropped the atomic bombs, but also the other countries including Japan which have kept on waging wars throughout their history. In this sense, while reflecting on our past conduct, we wish to advance together toward the common aims for the future, which are the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of a world without wars”.

The bishops letter notes that currently, “there are over 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Under such circumstance, in addition to holding up an ideal to realize a world free of nuclear weapons, it is essential that we reduce such weapons practically. That is because the abolition of these weapons will never be achieved without accumulating such efforts. In the Nuclear Security Summit in April and the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May, we sincerely hope that the world leaders will reach an agreement to take a secure step toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, beyond their own interests”.

After an initial appeal to Barack Obama - who "has the greater possibility to disarm” - and the Japanese government – that "has to walk the path of peace with courage "- the bishops turn to world leaders: "All nations are committed to achieve this goal, even those who do not possess nuclear weapons. We must build a world in which human beings can live with love and confidence in others. " Archbishop Takami, in this regard, has launched a pilgrimage that will take him from his diocese to Guernica, Spain. He will make this journey together with the "Bombed Mary", a wooden statue of the Virgin that survived the bombing of 1945, this will be "virtually united" to Our Lady of Guernica, that too was hit, but also survived the Spanish Civil War.

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