By Vatican News
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, said on Sunday, “The development of atomic energy for war and the possession of atomic weapons is immoral and incompatible with our faith.”
Speaking at St Patrick’s Church in Pennyburn, Derry, the Archbishop lamented that, 75 years after the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, “several countries continue to hold, develop or test weapons of mass destruction which are capable of unleashing many times over the horrors of 1945.”
Archbishop Martin recalled Pope Francis’s visit to Japan “as a pilgrim for peace” in 2019. He echoed the Holy Father’s plea “for an end to the development and threat of such armaments,” and his assertion that it is “incompatible” to try to build and sustain peace “upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation.”
He also noted Pope Francis’s forceful denunciation of the arms race as “an affront crying out to heaven.”
In his address Archbishop Martin looked to Sunday’s Scripture readings, which speak of the presence of God in a gentle breeze, rather than in the earthquake, wind, or fire, and of the encouragement Jesus offers to Peter when He invites him to walk on the water.
Archbishop Martin also pointed to the example of Irishman John Hume, who died last week, and who “throughout his whole life urged people never to see violence as a way to solve differences and achieve aspirations.”
Recalling Pope Francis’s appeal to all “to pray and work every day for the abolition of nuclear weapons,” and “for the conversion of hearts and for the triumph of a culture of life, reconciliation, and fraternity,” Archbishop Eamon concluded his address by leading those present in prayer, “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.”