Repenting of the Atom Bomb: Prayers, Reading, and Other Resources

On August 6th, 1945, at 8 a.m. the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima instantly killing ~75,000 men, women, and children, mostly civilians. On August 9th, 1945, another nuclear bomb was detonated on Nagasaki, Japan’s most Catholic-populated city, known as the “Rome of the East“. This second bomb landed next to the Urakami Catholic Cathedral, reducing it to rubble and vaporizing all human beings inside, along with ~50,000 others.

Despite the strict limitations of Just War, many Catholics would go on to support the use of nuclear weapons. Notable exceptions were Venerable Fulton Sheen and Servant of God Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. The Americanist Catholics sided with President Truman, a 33rd Degree Freemason, when he stated, in the manner of an antichrist: “We thank God that it [the Bomb] has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes.” 

The saintly Pope John XXIII spoke out fiercely against the arms race and condemned nuclear weapons in an Encyclical (quotation below). This teaching has been repeated by Pope Francis with even greater force. The following resources—prayers, videos, protests, papal messages, and readings—have been compiled for use in Christian homes, parishes, and other communities. Please join us in making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, begging God’s mercy on the United States of America, and repenting of the culture of death which has manufactured eternal and barbarous warfare.

Hence justice, right reason, and the recognition of man’s dignity cry out insistently for a cessation to the arms race. The stock-piles of armaments which have been built up in various countries must be reduced all round and simultaneously by the parties concerned. Nuclear weapons must be banned. A general agreement must be reached on a suitable disarmament program, with an effective system of mutual control. In the words of Pope Pius XII: “The calamity of a world war, with the economic and social ruin and the moral excesses and dissolution that accompany it, must not on any account be permitted to engulf the human race for a third time.” 

—Saint Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris § 112 (1963)




  • “Vigil of Repentance at the Pentagon, the Center of Warmaking on the Planet”
    Beginning at Army Navy Blvd and Eads St. on Thursday, 6 August 2020, at 6:45 AM.
    Hosted by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, D.C. 
  • “A 24/7 Three and a Half Day Vigil of Repentance for United States War Crimes on the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the United States Killer Drones from Des Moines Drone Command Center.”
    The vigil will be held at the Iowa Air National Guard Drone Command Center, 3100 McKinley Ave. Des Moines, Iowa. It will begin on Thursday, 6 August 2020, at 8 a.m. (the time the United States dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima) until Sunday, 9 August, at 11 a.m. (the time the United States dropped the A-bomb on Nagasaki). Report from 2019.
    You can support the Des Moines Catholic Worker, who host the vigil, here. Please consider joining them in prayer.

Papal Messages

Other Reading

Episode #14 of the Tradistae Podcast (link above) contains audio recordings of the following readings from Day and Merton.