Just months after a 9,000-pound atomic bomb known as “Fat Man” exploded over Nagasaki, Japan, the city’s current Catholic archbishop was born. Archbishop Mitsuaki Takami, raised in a city bearing the bomb’s imprint, teamed up this spring with Bishop Atsumi Misu of Hiroshima to publicly demand that world leaders reverse the “madness” of the nuclear age by abolishing nuclear weapons.
In a joint statement, the two prelates point out that their intent is not to assign blame to weapon-wielding nations; instead, they write, all countries—including Japan—that “have kept on waging wars throughout their history” should share responsibility for “the sin” of nuclear proliferation. Their message came ahead of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review in New York City in May.
“The world is waiting” for deliberate steps toward disarmament, Marie Dennis, co-president of the Catholic peace group Pax Christi International, told Sojourners. “The urgent message from the Catholic bishops of two cities devastated by these horrific weapons is a cry that must be heard and heeded.”