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Vigil as bishops call for end to nuclear weapons

Pax Christi supporters in Cambridgeshire will he joining an online vigil on Thursday to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


It coincides with a joint statement from the Bishops’ Conferences of England of Wales and of Scotland, which draws attention to the anniversary. The bishops write:

“During his historic visit to Japan last year, Pope Francis declared that ‘the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possession of atomic weapons is immoral’. Seventy-five years on from the unprecedented and horrific destruction of life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are called to reflect prayerfully upon the UK’s own possession of nuclear weapons.

“Pope Francis…also reminded us that it is unjust to continue squandering precious resources on manufacturing, maintaining and upgrading ever more destructive technology. The cost of nuclear weapons should be measured not only in the lives destroyed through their use, but also the suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable people, who could have benefited were such vast sums of public money invested in the Common Good of society instead. The Scottish and English and Welsh bishops’ conferences have in the past called on the UK government to forsake its own nuclear weapons.

“We therefore recommit ourselves to the abolition of these weapons and to the Holy Father’s call to pray each day ‘for the conversion of hearts and for the triumph of a culture of life, reconciliation and fraternity. A fraternity that can recognize and respect diversity in the quest for a common destiny.’”

The statement is signed on behalf of the Bishops’ Conferences by William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway, Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton and William Kenney, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham.

The Anglican Pacifist Fellowship (APF) is hosting the hour-long vigil, which will include reflections, prayers, readings and songs. Trustees, members and friends of the APF will be making contributions, including Bishop Paul Bayes and Canon Paul Oestreicher.

Members of the diocesan inter-religious group will also be joining the event, which will take place on Zoom on Thursday August 6 at 4pm.

To attend, please follow this link:

zoom.us/webinar/register/2615961191352/WN_XsFCGsoeT9iPlsbChoIesQ

Image of Hiroshima from Pixabay

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