(Excerpt of the homily delivered by Archbishop Seiichi Shirayanagi, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Japan at the Eucharist celebrated on Sept. 21, 1986 at the Cathedral.)
On the occasion of the Fourth Assembly of the FABC, we, Catholic Bishops of Japan, as Japanese and as members of the Catholic Church sincerely ask forgiveness from God and from our brothers and sisters of Asia and the Pacific for the tragedy brought by Japan during World War II.
As parties involved in the war we share in the responsibility for more than 20 million victims in Asia and the Pacific. Furthermore we deeply regret to have damaged the lives and cultures of the people of these regions. The trauma of it is not healed yet.
During this Eucharistic celebration we whole-heartedly pray for the victims of the war and we express our determination to keep Japan from committing the same crime again; as Church of Japan we hereby renew our commitment to work towards the realization of human liberation and genuine peace in Asia and the Pacific.
Heavenly Father, you are the source of peace, bless abundantly our Asia with its many difficult problems. Look with favor on our brothers and sisters here assembled and send your Spirit to us, bishops, priests, religious and laity of Japan to make us your instruments so that the people in Asia can live a truly human life in peace. We ask you this through Christ, your son and our Lord. Amen.