Japan's Bishops Remember A-Bombs

In 60th-Anniversary Message of Peace

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HIROSHIMA, Japan, JULY 24, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Japan’s bishops called for an intensified commitment to peace in a message marking the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The message was issued on the occasion of the «Catholic Period for Peace in Japan,» which will take place from Aug. 6-15. The dates coincide with the first atomic explosion over Hiroshima, and the end of World War II in 1945.

«The Catholic Church in Japan must be conscious of its prophetic role, both in the protection of human life as well as in asking forgiveness from God and from all those people who had to endure immense suffering during World War II,» wrote the bishops in their message, and reported on Vatican Radio.

During the period the bishops invite all Japanese faithful «to intensify their prayers for peace in the world, and to promote concrete initiatives for peaceful solutions to conflicts.»

«The Japanese people have learned to accept their history, made up of invasions and violent colonizations. Let us reflect on all this and again undertake the journey,» the message added.

Bishop Joseph Atsumi Misue of Hiroshima will preside at a solemn Mass on Aug. 6 in the city’s cathedral for the eternal repose of the victims of the atomic bombs.

The Mass will be attended by Catholics from all of Japan’s dioceses, especially from Nagasaki, which was bombed on Aug. 9, 1945.

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