VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis expressed his opposition to nuclear weapons and the threat they pose to the world during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the Vatican said.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told journalists that during the pope’s 25-minute meeting with Kishida May 4, “nuclear weapons were discussed and how their use and possession is inconceivable.”
In a statement released after the meeting, the Vatican press office said the two leaders discussed 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.”
Not long after his meeting with the pope, the Japan Times newspaper reported that Russia announced sanctions against 63 Japanese officials, including Kishida, for their “unacceptable rhetoric” against Moscow.
Since beginning its attack on Ukraine in late February, Russian officials have spoken of a possible nuclear conflict if Western countries continue to supply Ukraine with weapons.
In an interview with Russian state television in April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused NATO of using the conflict in Ukraine to engage in a proxy war with Russia and said the threat of nuclear war should not be underestimated.
Most recently, Rossiya 1, a Russian news channel known for spreading state propaganda, drew outrage after it featured a simulation of a nuclear strike against Britain and Ireland, the Washington Post reported May 3.
Pope Francis gave a subtle warning of the threat posed by nuclear weapons stemming from the conflict in Ukraine during his Easter blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the city and the world”) April 17.
Calling on world leaders to commit to peace, the pope quoted the 1955 manifesto written by English philosopher Bertrand Russell and German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein in which they warned of the dangers posed by nuclear weapons.
“May the leaders of nations hear the people’s plea for peace,” the pope said. “May they listen to that troubling question posed by scientists almost 70 years ago, ‘Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war?'”
Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103