Francis's video message on the eve of the trip he will take in the Land of the Rising Sun and Thailand. "I trust that my visit will encourage you along the path of mutual respect and encounter that leads to a secure and lasting peace, which never turns back upon itself. Peace is beautiful. And when it is real, it does not retreat: it defends itself with every ounce of strength."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The immorality of the use of nuclear weapons and the hope for a secure peace, " which never turns back upon itself " are at the center of the video message that Pope Francis sent the Japanese on the eve of the journey that tomorrow will perform in the land of the rising sun and in Thailand.
In the message, in Spanish, Francis states that the theme of the visit, "protect all life", besides affirming "the value and dignity of every human person" also extends to the protection of the earth.
"This strong instinct, which resonates in our hearts – to defend the value and dignity of every human person – takes on particular importance in light of the threats to peaceful coexistence that the world faces today, especially in armed conflicts. Your country is well aware of the suffering caused by war. Together with you, I pray that the destructive power of nuclear weapons will never be unleashed again in human history. The use of nuclear weapons is immoral”.
The message then focuses on dialogue. " I trust that my visit will encourage you along the path of mutual respect and encounter that leads to a secure and lasting peace, which never turns back upon itself. Peace is beautiful. And when it is real, it does not retreat: it defends itself with every ounce of strength." And it is precisely the "the culture of dialogue of fraternity, especially among different religious traditions, which can help to overcome division, promote respect for human dignity, and advance the integral development of all peoples."
Finally, Francis says he will have the opportunity "to appreciate the vast natural beauty that characterizes your nation, and express our shared desire to promote and strengthen the protection of all life, which includes the earth, our common home, which your culture beautifully symbolizes with cherry blossoms.”
The Pope will arrive in Japan, coming from Thailand, on Saturday November 23. Sunday 24 will be marked by visits to Nagasaki and Hiroshima. In the first, where he will arrive by plane from Tokyo, there will be his "Message on nuclear weapons" at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park and a "Tribute to the Holy Martyrs" at the Monument of Martyrs Nishizaka Hill, with his greeting and the recitation of the Angelus. In the afternoon, he will celebrate Mass. He will then depart for Hiroshima where he will address a message to the Peace Meeting at the Peace Memorial.
In the capital, on the 25th, the Pope will meet the victims of the Triple Disaster (as the Fukushima catastrophe is called in Japan) and, later, he will make a private visit to Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace. On the last day the Pope will visit the Sophia University where he will have several meetings, then there will be a farewell ceremony and departure for Rome where he will arrive on the afternoon of Tuesday 26 November.