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ALA_5409

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Peace Message of Japan's Bishops (1945-2020)

By Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan
June 23, 2020


Tokyo, Japan, 27 June 2020 --On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of War's end and 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean war, the Bishops Conference of Japan has released a strong peace message, based on the current teaching and clear stand of Pope Francis:


75 Years after the War – A Peace Message from the Catholic Bishops of Japan

Protect all life - Peace is the path of hope

"To our Brother and Sister Catholics of Japan and All People of Good Will:


On the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan issued the message “Resolution for Peace” in light of the situation at home and abroad. To mark the 60th anniversary, the bishops’ message was “The Road To Peace Based On Nonviolence – Now Is The Time To Be Prophetic.” Then for the 70th anniversary, the message was “Blessed are the peacemakers – Now especially, peace must not depend upon weapons.”


The Message ponders on the Okinawa Peace Memorial Museum, on the Catholic Church's stance for non violent peace and especially on Pope Francis recent visit Peace Message (November 2019) - appeal for a nuclear weapons' free world...


On the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan issued the message “Resolution for Peace” in light of the situation at home and abroad. To mark the 60th anniversary, the bishops’ message was “The Road To Peace Based On Nonviolence – Now Is The Time To Be Prophetic.” Then for the 70th anniversary, the message was “Blessed are the peacemakers – Now especially, peace must not depend upon weapons.”


"...This year marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean war. The tragedy of one people at war among themselves is not unrelated to Japan’s 35-year rule in Korea. The Korean War remains a source of trouble, and East Asia, including Japan, was dragged into the Cold War and its conflicts between the interests of the great powers, and so progress on peace remains uncertain. How we contribute to peacebuilding in East Asia will reveal whether we, the Church in Japan, can follow the words of Pope Francis. To do so, we renew our determination to face the past unflinchingly and continue to take responsibility for the future.


In this year’s World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis says that the journey to peace is “a journey of hope in the face of obstacles and trial.” “It is a patient effort to seek truth and justice, to honor the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance.” And so, “Hope is thus the virtue that inspires us and keeps us moving forward, even when obstacles seem insurmountable.” Along with the virtue of hope, “We need to pursue a genuine fraternity based on our common origin from God and exercised in dialogue and mutual trust. The desire for peace lies deep within the human heart.” As St. Paul tells us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15).


We ask God to unite the hearts and minds of people who gather in churches and communities in areas of conflict and those at peace. May the will and hope for peace we received from Pope Francis’ visit to Japan be enriched by the resurrection life of Jesus Christ and the breath of the Holy Spirit.



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