Pope denounces nuclear weapons in Nagasaki speech

Pope Francis has implored world leaders to renounce atomic weapons, condemning their “unspeakable horror”, during a visit to the Japanese city of Nagasaki, destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II.

Denouncing the Cold War-era doctrine of deterrence, the Pope on Sunday said the stockpiling of nuclear arms decreases security, wastes money and threatens humanity.

“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,” he told hundreds of people on the second day of the first papal visit to Japan in 38 years.

After laying a wreath of flowers and praying at the foot of a memorial to victims of the 1945 bombing, Pope Francis said the place stands as a stark reminder “of the pain and horror that we human beings are capable of inflicting upon one another”.

The pontiff also travelled to Hiroshima where he delivered a nighttime prayer at Hiroshima’s peace memorial, saying the use of atomic energy for purposes of war was immoral.