Turning from nuclear message, Pope urges youth to battle for the earth

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TOKYO (Information) – Pope Francis wrapped up a four-day journey to Japan on Tuesday by turning from the anti-nuclear message that was the spine of his go to to different key campaigns of his, urging college students to defend the earth and present higher compassion.

Pope Francis receives a flower after giving a speech at Sophia College in Tokyo, Japan November 26, 2019. Information/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool

Nuclear disarmament has been a key theme of the pope’s journey to Japan, a rustic not solely haunted by the reminiscence of the 2 assaults that ended World Warfare Two but additionally alarmed by the nuclear program and missile exams of close by North Korea.

However on Tuesday he turned to a different message, telling college students gathered at Sophia College, one among a handful of Catholic universities in Japan, that know-how is nugatory until it’s used to carry a couple of extra humane and less complicated society.

“For all of the effectivity and order that mark Japanese society, I’ve sensed a craving, too, for one thing higher: a profound want to create an ever extra humane, compassionate and merciful society,” he stated in his final occasion earlier than departing for Rome.

Noting that Asian cultures are recognized for his or her love of nature, he urged them to battle for the way forward for the earth, echoing the main encyclical he issued in 2015 making environmental safety an ethical crucial.

Francis, within the first go to to Japan by a pope for 38 years, additionally sought to deal with a rising sense of isolation in Japan regardless of its wealth.

Bullying stays pervasive in Japanese colleges, as a bunch of younger individuals described to Francis on Monday, and there’s a rising variety of individuals generally known as “hikikomori,” who refuse to depart the security of their homes, generally for years.

“Increasingly we see that an individual, a neighborhood or perhaps a complete society will be extremely developed on the skin, however have an inside life that’s impoverished and under-developed, missing actual life and vitality,” he stated in remarks on Monday at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Tokyo.

Japan’s suicide charge, whereas improved, nonetheless stays excessive, and there has just lately been an alarming leap in teen suicides.

Combating this “non secular poverty” was one thing everybody was referred to as to, Francis stated.

“It means recognizing that crucial factor is just not what I’ve or can purchase, however with whom I can share it.”

He additionally urged Japan settle for greater than the handful of refugees it does yearly regardless of its falling, getting old inhabitants.

“I ask you to increase the hand of friendship to those that come right here, usually after nice sufferings, in search of refuge in your nation,” he stated.

Throughout his 4 days in Japan, Francis met with survivors of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in addition to these of the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, embracing a teen pressured to flee his house as a result of radiation.

He additionally stated two Lots and met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Naruhito, to whom he described the deep impression made on him as a nine-year-old boy in Argentina by his dad and mom’ tears at information of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings.

Reporting by Elaine Lies and Philip Pullella. Modifying by Lincoln Feast.