Catholic authorities have been warning about the threat of nuclear war for decades. St. Paul VI in 1968 called for “putting an end to the nuclear arms race,” while St. John Paul II in 1981 urged humanity to “make a moral about-face” in order to avoid “nuclear annihilation.”
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The Vatican released a letter on May 20 that the Pope wrote to Bishop Alexis Mitsuru Shirahama of Hiroshima, assuring his prayers.
The Holy See Press Office said the two also spoke of ‘the war in Ukraine, stressing the urgency of dialogue and peace and expressing the hope, to this end, for a world free of nuclear weapons.’
Pope Francis noted that arms are used in wars not only in Ukraine, but also in places in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
The United States and Russia, as the two countries controlling most of the world's nuclear weapons, Cardinal Cupich said, “have unique responsibilities in taking the lead to eliminate the nuclear threat."
The world's only wartime uses of nuclear weapons took place in 1945's Aug. 6 U.S. attack on Hiroshima and Aug. 9 U.S. attack on Nagasaki.
The Holy Father continued to pray for peace Sunday, calling for an end to war and the threat of nuclear weapons.