Hiroshima, May 13, 2023

Holy Father Frances

Request for an Encouragement Message for Nuclear Disarmament
and the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons at Occasion of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima

+ Alleluia,

I apologize for sending you this sudden letter and for its delay. I am the bishop of Hiroshima Diocese in Japan. I remember your visit of the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima in November 24, 2019 and you proclaimed a beautiful encouragement message for nuclear disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons, not only for the Japanese people, but also for all the peoples of the world. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to you for your powerful message.

Nuclear threats are intensifying. In the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, threats have been made to use nuclear weapons. North Korea has also been repeatedly conducting tests of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. In response, many other countries, including China and Japan, are accelerating their procurement of armaments. There is even a momentum for reversing the course of nuclear disarmament and boosting nuclear capabilities for deterrence. In this international climate, we are eager to join you in your call for dialogue towards nuclear disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons.

  As you know we will have the G7 Summit from the 19th to the 21st of May in Hiroshima, and I received wishes from many persons and organizations that an encouragement message from you at the occasion of the G7 Summit might help promote the way for the nuclear disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons in the world.

 The Archdiocese of Nagasaki and the Diocese of Hiroshima have taken very seriously the Call for World Peace, and especially the call for the abolition of nuclear weapons, made in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Saint Pope John Paul II in February 1981 and Pope Frances in November 2019, respectively. On the anniversaries of the atomic bombings, we have been annually conducting Masses for Peace and holding special activities for Peace.

 In response to your message of November 24, 2019 in the Archdiocese of Nagasaki and in the Diocese of Hiroshima, on July 7, 2020 to mark the third anniversary of the adoption of the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings, in collaboration with nongovernmental organizations, including the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), we created the “Nuclear-Free World Foundation”. Our objectives are: to support activities that promote the signing and ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; to provide assistance for victims of nuclear weapons and nuclear tests; and to help restore the damage to the environment done by nuclear weapons. We would like to go together with you.

  Sincerely in Christ, the King of Peace

Alexis-Mitsuru Shirahama
Bishop of Hiroshima Diocese


2023年5月19日~21日まで広島(日本)で開催されているG7サミットを機会に、教皇フランシスコが、広島司教アレキシオ白浜 満(スルピス会)に宛てた手紙。

 アレキシオ 白浜 満 広島司教 様へ








To the Most Reverend Alexis-Mitsuru Shirahama
Bishop of Hiroshima

As the G7 Summit meets in Hiroshima to discuss urgent issues currently facing the global community, I wish to assure you of my spiritual closeness and my prayers for the fruitfulness of the Summit. The choice of Hiroshima as the site of this meeting is particularly significant, in light of the continuing threat of recourse to nuclear weapons. I recall the overwhelming impression left by my moving visit to the Peace Memorial during my 2019 visit to Japan. Standing there in silent prayer and thinking of the innocent victims of the nuclear attack decades ago, I wished to reiterate the firm conviction of the Holy See that “the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is, today more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings, but against any possible future for our common home” (Address at the Peace Memorial, 24 November 2019).

It is to that future to which responsible men and women now look with concern, particularly in the wake of our experience of a global pandemic and the persistence of armed conflicts in various regions, including the devastating war now being fought on Ukrainian soil. The events of the past few years have made it clear that only together, in fraternity and solidarity, can our human family seek to heal wounds and build a just and peaceful world.

Indeed, it has become increasingly evident that in the multipolar world of the twenty-first century, the pursuit of peace is closely related to the need for security and reflection on the most efficient means for guaranteeing it. Such reflection must necessarily consider the fact that global security needs to be integral, capable of embracing issues including access to food and water, respect for the environment, health care, energy sources and the equitable distribution of the world’s goods. An integral concept of security can serve to anchor multilateralism and international cooperation between government and nongovernment actors, on the basis of the profound interconnection between these issues, which makes it necessary to adopt, together, an approach of responsible multilateral cooperation.

Hiroshima, as “a symbol of memory”, forcefully proclaims the inadequacy of nuclear arms to respond effectively to today’s great threats to peace and to ensure national and international security. We need but consider the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impact that will result from the use of nuclear weapons, as well as the waste and poor allocation of human and economic resources involved in their development. Nor should we underestimate the effects of the continuing climate of fear and suspicion generated by their mere possession, which compromises the growth of a climate of mutual trust and dialogue. In this context, nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction represent a multiplier of risk that offers only an illusion of peace.

Assuring you of my prayers for you and for those entrusted to your pastoral care, I join you in praying that the G7 Summit at Hiroshima will demonstrate farsighted vision in laying the foundations for lasting peace and stable and long-term sustainable security. With gratitude for your efforts in the service of justice and peace, I cordially send my blessing.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 19 May 2023




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