Pope Francis ‘afraid’ of nuclear fallout

At the start of his week-long visit to Peru and Chile, Pope Francis admitted he was frightened by the prospect of an accidental nuclear war.

“I think we are at the very edge,” the Pope told reporters aboard the papal plane when asked about the threat of a nuclear war in the wake of a recent string of tests by North Korea and a false missile alert last week that sparked panic in the US state of Hawaii.

“I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things,” he said

Pope Francis has often talked about the danger of nuclear warfare.  Last November he appeared to harden the Catholic Church’s stance against nuclear weapons, saying that international relations can no longer be “held captive” by fear-based nuclear deterrence policies. He instead urged government leaders to pursue a utopian future of a world free of nuclear weapons.

As reporters boarded his plane bound for Chile, Vatican officials handed out a photo taken in 1945 that shows a young Japanese boy carrying his dead brother on his shoulders following the United States dropping a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki.

“I was moved when I saw this. The only thing I could think of adding were the words ‘the fruit of war’,” the Pope said, referring to a caption on the back of the photo.

“I wanted to have it reprinted and distributed because an image like this can be more moving than a thousand words. That is why I wanted to share it with you,” Pope Francis said.

Read more about Pope Francis’ trip to Chile and Peru here.


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