- The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Pope Francis told Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that the possession and use of nuclear weapons is “inconceivable,” the official Vatican News agency reported.

Mr. Kishida met with the pontiff Wednesday morning to mark the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Holy See.

Vatican News quoted press office director Matteo Bruni as saying the conversation lasted about 25 minutes and included a nuclear weapon discussion. Francis “reiterated his position of total opposition to the use and possession of nuclear armaments,” the news service reported.

The pope’s comments come amid reports that Russia might use low-yield tactical nuclear weapons inside Ukraine and against European nations.

It’s not the first time Francis has condemned nuclear weaponry.

During a 2019 visit to Japan, he met with survivors of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In 2017, he told a disarmament symposium: “Unless this process of disarmament be thoroughgoing and complete, and reach men’s very souls, it is impossible to stop the arms race, or to reduce armaments, or — and this is the main thing — ultimately to abolish them entirely.”

• Mark A. Kellner can be reached at mkellner@washingtontimes.com.

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