The Archbishop of Bombay (Mumbai) prays for world peace, remembering the visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Pope Francis (2019) and Pope John Paul II (1981).
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Card Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay (Mumbai), celebrated a memorial Mass this morning to mark the 75th anniversary of the first atomic bomb dropped on the city of Hiroshima (Japan).
"May nuclear weapons never again be used, [after causing] so much so much devastation, destruction, loss of lives, suffering, and tragedies,” he said during the service, which could only be followed via streaming because of the pandemic.
Card Gracias’s celebrations are among the most popular in the English-speaking world. Speaking from a country that is a nuclear power, along with its neighbour Pakistan, the prelate called on the faithful to “pray for peace, peace in the world".
In his homily, he mentioned Pope Francis’s visit to Japan in November of last year, during which the pontiff visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both struck by atomic bombs on 6 and 9 August 1945, respectively.
At that time, the pontiff said that the use of atomic energy for the purpose of war was " a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home.” The pope called "immoral" even the mere possession of nuclear weapons.
After the final blessing, the Archbishop of Bombay invited everyone to recite a prayer that John Paul II had composed and recited at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on 25 February 1981:
And to the Creator of nature and man, of truth and beauty, I raise a prayer:
Listen to my voice because it is the voice of the victims of all wars and violence between individuals and nations;
Listen to my voice, because it is the voice of all the children who suffer and will suffer whenever peoples put their trust in weapons and war;
Listen to my voice, when I pray to You to instill in the hearts of all human beings the wisdom of peace, the strength of justice, and the joy of friendship;
Listen to my voice, because I speak for the multitudes of every country and every period of history who do not want war and are ready to walk the path of peace;
Listen to my voice and give us the ability and strength to always be able to respond to hatred with love, to injustice with a complete dedication to justice, to need with our own participation, to war with peace.
O God, listen to my voice and grant the world your peace forever.