» 08/10/2012, 00.00
Peace is "love and respect for human life", looking at Fukushima
The Archbishop of Osaka, and President of the Japanese Bishops Conference, Msgr. Leo Ikenaga, sends a message to the annual "ten days for peace" organized by John Paul II in 1981: "The Fukushima disaster is still present in our hearts. But we walk the path of respect for human life. "
- The path to peace "is nothing less than the path to cherish and respect life: the great earthquake
of March 11 and the subsequent atomic disaster destroyed large swathes of
national territory. It is my desperate
hope that this surge will bring about the earliest possible reconstruction of
the afflicted areas",
writes Msgr. Leo
Ikenaga, Archbishop of Osaka and president of the Japanese Episcopal Conference
on the occasion of the ten days for peace, which the country celebrates August
6 to 15.
year, the Japanese Church observes ten days of special prayer for peace. These are the days between
August 6 to 15. The
decision to celebrate these days was taken after the visit of late Pope John
Paul II, who came to Japan in 1981: on that occasion he made a special appeal
for peace to the world from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
ten days begin each year with the anniversary of the atomic bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki and continue until a commemoration day for the end of
World War II. It
is a special period for Japanese Catholics, to learn and pray for peace and to
the text, the bishop invites all people to respect human life and returns to a theme
very dear to the local church: "After the disaster in Fukushima, as
bishops we have asked for the immediate abolition of nuclear power plants. The
issues relating to inactive plutonium and nuclear waste have not yet been
resolved, yet the Government has decided to reactivate the Oi center. This we
believe is wrong. "
In conclusion, Msgr. Ikenaga
emphasizes: "The way to peace, however, is far from these topics. It is precisely the path to cherish
and respect life. Therefore, let us make every effort to appeal anew to abolish
nuclear plants immediately and to create a society where people protect life
and seek peace".
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In front of about 40 thousand people, gathered in the Peace Memorial Park, the mayor and the Japanese Prime Minister call for the abolition of such "absolute evil and inhuman" weapons. 15 thousand warheads currently on the planet. Thousands of lanterns are lit along the Motoyasu River to symbolize the souls of those who died in 1945.
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