Funeral of late former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, in Tokyo Funeral of late former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, in Tokyo 

Tokyo Archbishop mourns Abe Shinzo: 'Violence is a challenge to God'

Archbishop Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo, the President of Japan's Bishops' Conference, mourns late Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, and says differences of opinion can never justify violence against life, which is an offence against God.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

In the wake of the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, Archbishop Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo, has sent prayers for the former Premier's eternal rest, and has recalled that committing violence against life is a challenge against God.

The Archbishop of Tokyo's strong words came in an 11 July statement reacting to the tragedy, in his capacity as leader of the Asian nation's bishops.

A challenge to God, Creator of life

"The news that former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo had been shot and killed was a sad shock," Archbishop Kikuchi said, noting he prays for his eternal rest.

“Attempting to achieve one’s own will by committing violence against life is a challenge to God, the creator of life. For Christians who believe that God has given life, it is a gift that must be protected from its beginning to its end.”

The Japanese Archbishop recalled the Pope's encounter with Japan's government and diplomatic corps in Tokyo in November of 2019,  where the Pope reiterated "the inviolable dignity of all life, and the importance of showing solidarity and support to our brothers and sisters in all hardships."

Former Prime Minister Abe, Archbishop Kikuchi highlighted, "had made every effort to foster the Pope’s visit to Japan, which conveyed the message 'Protect all life.'"

Differences in opinion cannot justify force and violence

The Japanese Archbishop admitted "it is natural" that when many people exercise freedom to better their lives, there are differences in opinions, thinking, and ways of living.

“No one can suppress those differences by force, much less by violence.”

Prayers of comfort and peace to Abe's family

The leader of the Japanese Bishops reflected that the motives for this particular crime will be clarified eventually.

"In any case," he continued, "we must pray and act in the hope for a society dominated by God’s mercy where mutual compassion and support will be realized, rather than a society dominated by violence."

Archbishop Kikuchi concluded by again offering his heartfelt prayers for Abe  Shinzo and that the Lord give comfort and peace to his family.

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

12 July 2022, 11:18