Hiroshima nuclear bomb to be remembered

As Japan's Bishops mark tomorrow's 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, the bells of Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral will ring at the precise moment the bomb was detonated.

The Bishops of Japan have issued a statement calling for an intensified commitment to peace. The message was issued ahead of the "Catholic Period for Peace in Japan," which will take place between tomorrow and 15 August. The dates coincide with the first atomic explosion over Hiroshima, and the end of World War II in 1945.

"The Catholic Church in Japan must be conscious of its prophetic role, both in the protection of human life as well as in asking forgiveness from God and from all those people who had to endure immense suffering during World War II," wrote the bishops in their message, which was reported last month.

During the period the bishops invite all Japanese faithful "to intensify their prayers for peace in the world, and to promote concrete initiatives for peaceful solutions to conflicts."

"The Japanese people have learned to accept their history, made up of invasions and violent colonizations. Let us reflect on all this and again undertake the journey," the message added.

Bishop Joseph Atsumi Misue of Hiroshima will preside at a solemn Mass tomorrow in the city's cathedral for the eternal repose of the victims of the atomic bombs.

The Mass will be attended by Catholics from all of Japan's dioceses, especially from Nagasaki, which was bombed on 9 August 1945.

In Melbourne, St Patricks's Cathedral will be ringing its Church Bells at the precise moments the bombs detonated. These are 9:15 am tomorrow (Saturday), and 12:02 pm on Tuesday.

Shaun Cannon, Executive Officer, Melbourne Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace says with the presence of terrorism and conflict in many parts of the world still firmly within our midst, the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki provides a timely reminder of the savagery and devastation of war.

He said: "Two bitter enemies now share peaceful coexistence that provides a sign of hope for all societies. The challenge for each of us in conflict is to resolve our differences through means other than violence."

60th Anniversary Hiroshima & Nagasaki Bombings (Melbourne Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace 4/8/05)
Japan's Bishops Remember A-Bombs (Zenit 24/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Bishops Conference of Jaman
Melbourne Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace | Hiroshima/Nagasaki 60th Anniversary
Pax Christi

Pax Christi stands firm on nuclear weapons (CathNews 19/7/05)

U.S. Bishops Mark Anniversary Of Atomic Bombings, Reaffirm Condemnation Of 'Total War' (US Conference of Catholic Bishops 3/8/05)
[Hiroshima] Lest We Forget (Vatican Radio English Features 4/8/05, audio - requires Real Player)
US bishop condemns nuclear bombing, terrorist attacks (Catholic World News 4/8/05)
Priest recalls horrors of atomic bombing, conversion to Catholicism (Catholic News Service 1/8/05)
Jef Felix: Pax Christi International Advocate for peace (Online Catholics 3/8/05)
Catholic peace activists to mark Hiroshima anniversary (Ekklesia 24/7/05)

5 Aug 2005