5-speed listening (Nuclear Weapons - Level 6)

Pope calls for global nuclear disarmament



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Pope Francis has called on nations to end their nuclear arms race while on a tour to Japan. The Pontiff is on the first Papal visit to Japan in 38 years. He visited the only two cities ever to have been subjected to a nuclear attack - Nagasaki and Hiroshima. While speaking in Nagasaki, the Pope condemned the "unspeakable horror" of nuclear weapons. Nagasaki was the second city to suffer widespread death and destruction as it was destroyed towards the end of World War II. Francis laid a wreath and prayed at the foot of a memorial. Over 140,000 people perished in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, while 74,000 people lost their lives in the Nagasaki bombing three days later.

Pope Francis directed his words towards world leaders, who seem to be intent on building instead of reducing their nuclear arsenals. He said: "Convinced as I am that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary, I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security." He condemned the amount of money spent on nuclear weapons. He said: "In a world where millions of children and families live in inhumane conditions, the money that is squandered and the fortunes made through the manufacture, upgrading, maintenance and sale of ever more destructive weapons, are an affront crying out to heaven."

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