Since 1975
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Home
  • Japanese Cardinal pins high hopes on Pope’s visit

Japanese Cardinal pins high hopes on Pope’s visit

Japanese Cardinal Manyo Maeda said Pope Francis is willing to talk to not only Christians but all other people during his visit to Japan. (AFP file)
Japanese Cardinal Manyo Maeda said Pope Francis is willing to talk to not only Christians but all other people during his visit to Japan. (AFP file)
16 Nov 2019 09:11:10 GMT9
16 Nov 2019 09:11:10 GMT9

Osaka

Japanese Cardinal Manyo Maeda has voiced his strong hope for Pope Francis to issue a strong message for the total abolition of nuclear weapons during his visit to Japan on Nov. 23-26.

"The pope is expected to say 'no' to not only the use of nuclear weapons but also their production and possession," the 70-year-old archbishop of Osaka said in an interview with Jiji Press on Friday in the western Japan city of Osaka. He has played a pivotal role in arranging the first papal visit to Japan in 38 years.

Pope Francis, who is set to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities devastated by the U.S. atomic bombings in the closing days of World War II, has been calling for efforts to be made to realize a world free of nuclear weapons.

As part of the moves, the pope ordered a photo of a Japanese boy standing by a crematorium in Nagasaki after the Aug. 9, 1945, bombing of the city, carrying his dead brother on his shoulder, into cards for distribution.

With far more than 10,000 nuclear weapons existing in the world, Pope Francis "is worried that any of the weapons could be used any time soon and the situation is therefore serious," Maeda said.

The pope is expected to focus especially on the issue of nuclear weapons during a Mass planned in Nagasaki and at a meeting in Hiroshima, according to Maeda. Noting that protecting all lives is the theme of Pope Francis' upcoming Japan visit, Maeda said: "Issues of life are important (for everyone), regardless of which religion people follow. Pope Francis is willing to talk to not only Christians but all other people."

Pope Francis is also expected to discuss recent problems facing Japan, such as youth suicide and lonely deaths, and climate change and other global issues, Maeda indicated.

Maeda, who is from one of the Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture, is a descendant of a hidden Christian and a son of a hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivor.

"Just like hibakusha, I hope Pope Francis will send throughout the world a message showing his opposition to war and his desire to eliminate nuclear weapons," Maeda said.

[Jiji Press]

Most Popular
Recommended

return to top