The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan released the theme song for Pope Francis’ upcoming papal visit, the second pope to do so after John Paul II.
In 1981, Pope Saint John Paul II became the first pope ever to come to Japan. Now, 31 years later, Pope Francis will become the second in his upcoming papal visit later this month from November 23rd to the 26th.
The theme for his visit to Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki is Protect All Life, quoted from the final prayer concluding Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. Japanese bishops said “the Church in Japan is making every effort to protect each life and respond to the various issues related to human life.” However,
“There is a multitude of problems related to life and peace in addition to the issues of economy, environment and relations with neighboring countries. Moreover, recovery from natural catastrophes and nuclear plant accidents remains a persisting problem.”
Their commitment to the theme expresses their “determination to proclaim the Gospel of life brought by Christ, and to pray and work for the peace of Christ.”
The issue central to the visit will be an appeal by Pope Francis for nuclear disarmament, who will give a speech on peace at Hiroshima Peace Memorial and a speech on nuclear weapons at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park in Nagasaki.
“I believe that in Japan, the Holy Father will insist, above all, on the theme of disarmament. This insistent appeal just to take disarmament seriously. Because today we are in very real danger, we are in danger because the tendency is to re-arm ourselves.”
Japanese bishops also released the official song for the visit inspired by the theme, to be used as background music at each venue and presented to Pope Francis at Mass in Tokyo and Nagasaki.