Pope Francis calls for a world free of nuclear weapons

Visiting Japan, Pope Francis has railed against atomic weapons, the nuclear deterrent and the growing arms trade.

He said the money spent on weapons should be used to eradicate poverty and protect the environment.

In a highly symbolic visit to Nagasaki, one of the two Japanese cities devastated by nuclear strikes during the closing days of World War II in August 1945,

Pope Francis said nuclear weapons were “not the answer” for global security, peace and stability.

“Convinced as I am that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary, I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security,” Francis said in Nagasaki on Sunday.

“Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation,” Francis noted. “They can be achieved only on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation.”

After laying a wreath of flowers and praying in the rain at the foot of the memorial to the atomic bomb victims, the somber pontiff said the place stands as a stark reminder “of the pain and horror that we human beings are capable of inflicting upon one another.”

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