CBCJ hopes Pope Francis would visit Japan

The Japanese Church reiterated its request for a papal visit in the statement issued on June 7. The CBCJ had sent the Pope a letter in October 2013 with the request.

Japan
Jun 13 2014, 2:44 PM
CBCJ hopes Pope Francis would visit Japan
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks with Pope Francis in the Vatican on June 6.

President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ), Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo, has issued a statement expressing the Japanese Church’s desire for a papal visit during the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Hidden Christians.

Japanese Church will celebrate the anniversary on March 17, 2015. The existence of the Hidden Christians who had kept their faith under severe persecutions of more than 200 years was revealed at Oura Catholic Church in Nagasaki.

The interest on Catholic Church has now renewed in Japan with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Vatican last week and the recent launching of a government website for raising awareness on the history of Christianity in Nagasaki. 

During his meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican on June 6, Abe had invited the Pope to visit Japan.

Archbishop Okada said, “Japan has long valued its diplomatic relations with the Vatican City State, and this invitation can be regarded as a part of that attitude on the part of Japan.”

The Japanese Church reiterated its request for a papal visit in the statement issued on June 7. The CBCJ had sent the Pope a letter in October 2013 with the request.

“We wish that the Pope would visit the East Japan Great Earthquake disaster area and pray with people there. We desire from the bottom of our hearts that the Pope will listen to the voices of those who are suffering from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Accident that occurred due to the earthquake. We hope that the Pope will join us in praying for divine support and assistance for the decades-long work of reconstruction and coping with the accident. Based on our belief that the nuclear accident was ultimately caused by human arrogance, we have begun a campaign to abolish nuclear power plants. We hope that Pope Francis will bless our efforts and convey this appeal to the world,” the CBCJ statement said.

Expressing regret over Japanese conduct in the past that led to the Second World War, the statement reminded that since then Japan refuses to wage war, have contributed to world peace and forever renounces war as promulgated by the Constitution of Japan, known as the Peace Constitution.

“The Catholic Church in Japan hopes that the beatification of Ukon Takayama, a Christian feudal lord, will be realized in the near future. We would be overjoyed if the Pope could preside at the beatification ceremony in Japan,” the statement said.

Source: CBCJ website

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