Nagasaki’s Own Nightmare

The Americans dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima on August 6th, and another one on this day, August 9th – just to make sure they got the message, we may presume – thereby obliterating the most Catholic city in all of Japan, Nagasaki, where countless martyrs had been put to death in the 16th century, and in the centuries that followed.

Otherwise conservative and balanced commentators such as George Weigl have a tragic moral blind spot for the clear horror and objective evil that is the deliberate killing of innocent people, many of them over years of slow death by the effects of radiation. There were other ways to end the war, and certainly other ways to trust in God. We may at least thank the same God that these have been the only uses of nuclear weaponry in war – the thermonuclear hydrogen bombs they have now are exponentially more lethal.

As one reader reminds us in the comment section:

August 9 is the anniversary of the destruction of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, also known as Urakami Cathedral. There were two priests inside and about thirty parishioners waiting for confession.. They were destroyed along with the cathedral and more than 10,000 Christians in the immediate vicinity when the bomb hit Nagasaki.

Ten thousands Christians – sacrificed. At least thirty of them were in the line for confession; we may trust Ecclesia supplet, as those confessions were never heard.