(Pope Francis) Pope Francis on Sunday recalled the 70th anniversary of the "terrible" atomic bomb attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, saying this tragic event "still arouses horror and revulsion" in us many years later. The Pope said these attacks have become the symbol of the enormous destructive power of humanity when it makes a distorted use of scientific and technical progress and serves as a lasting warning to us. Turning to the situation in El Salvador, Pope Francis spoke of his deep concern for the suffering of the population there as a result of the famine, the economic crisis and growing violence.
His remarks came in an appeal following the Angelus prayer addressed to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square. In his earlier Angelus address, the Pope spoke of how faith only blooms if we allow our hearts to be opened by God’s love.
Please find below a translation in English of the Pope’s appeal and a summary of his earlier Angelus address:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“Seventy years ago, on the 6th and the 9th of August 1945, the terrible atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place. Even after so many years, this tragic event still arouses horror and revulsion. This (event) has become the symbol of mankind’s enormous destructive power when it makes a distorted use of scientific and technical progress and serves as a lasting warning to humanity so that it rejects forever war and bans nuclear weapons and all arms of mass destruction. Above all, this sad anniversary urges us to pray and strive for peace, to spread brotherhood throughout the world and a climate of peaceful coexistence between peoples. May one cry rise up from every land, ‘No’ to war and violence and ‘Yes’ to dialogue and to peace. With war one always loses. The only way to win a war is never to wage it.
I am following with deep concern the news coming from El Salvador where recently the suffering of the population has worsened owing to the famine, the economic crisis, social clashes and growing violence. I encourage the beloved people of El Salvador to persevere united in hope and urge everybody to pray in order that justice and peace can flower once again in the land of the Blessed Oscar Romero.”
During his earlier Angelus address, Pope Francis said faith only blooms if we allow our hearts to be opened by God’s love. Taking his inspiration from the gospel reading of John where Jesus tells the crowd that “no one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me,” the Pope said Christ’s words introduce “the dynamics of faith.” He stressed that “it’s not enough to meet Jesus to believe in Him, it’s not enough to read the Bible, the Gospel, it’s not even enough to witness a miracle.”
The Pope said many people were in close contact with Jesus and “still did not believe in him and actually even despised and condemned him.” He explained that this occurred because “their hearts were closed to the work of the Holy Spirit. Instead, faith, which is like a seed in the depths of our heart, blooms when we allow ourselves to be drawn by God towards Jesus, and we go to Him with an open mind and with no prejudices.”
Pope Francis said with “this attitude of faith” we can also understand Jesus’s words when he describes himself as the “bread of life.” Whoever is drawn by this love of God goes towards Jesus with faith and receives from him eternal life. The Pope concluded by saying the person who lived through this experience “in an exemplary fashion was Mary, the virgin of Nazareth, the first human person who believed in God by welcoming the flesh of Jesus.” "Let us learn from her example.”
Listen to this report on the Pope's Angelus address by Susy Hodges: