Pope Francis shared his fears that the world was on the brink of a nuclear war two days after Hawaiians were mistakenly sent alerts of an impending missile strike.
Francis, speaking to reporters before his visit to Chile and Peru, said, “I think we are at the very limit. I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things.”
On Saturday, Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency accidentally issued a missile alert, sparking panic across the state for 38 minutes before a second alert announced it was a “false alarm.”
While the Pope did not specifically mention Hawaii or North Korea, his comments come after President Trump and dictator Kim Jong Un have been trading barbs for a year.
Pope Francis has often flagged the danger of nuclear warfare and in November he appeared to harden the Catholic Church’s teaching against nuclear weapons, saying countries should not stockpile them even for the purpose of deterrence.
This smartphone screen capture shows a false incoming ballistic missile emergency alert sent from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency system on Saturday.
As reporters boarded his plane bound for Chile, Vatican officials handed out a photograph taken in 1945 that shows a young Japanese boy carrying his dead brother on his shoulders following the U.S. nuclear attack on Nagasaki.
“I was moved when I saw this. The only thing I could think of adding were the words ‘the fruit of war’,” Francis said, referring to a caption put on the back of the image.
“I wanted to have it reprinted and distributed because an image like this can be more moving than a thousand words. That is why I wanted to share it with you,” he said.
With News Wire Services