By Liz Sullivan
The San José Catholic Professionals welcomed Bishop Oscar Cantú on September 12 to its monthly breakfast at Three Flames Restaurant in San José.
This is the first time the Bishop has celebrated Mass or spoken at this monthly gathering since becoming the third shepherd of the Diocese of San José in May.
Bishop Cantú reflected on the 18th Anniversary of 9/11, which happened the day before. He drew parallels to 2015 when he visited Japan for ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The Bishop was attending on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“What caught my attention at the museum commemorating the bombing at Nagasaki was a small plaque which had the name of Alamogordo, which is a small town in Southern New Mexico. This town was near the site where they tested the bombs three weeks before dropping them in Japan.
Each year I (when he was Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico) would be invited to pray with this group,” said Bishop Cantú. “This hit very close to home for me as Bishop because we had a very small connection to this place an ocean away and a generation ago.”
After the Cold War ended in the late 1980s, the Bishop said most people forgot about nuclear weapons and thought the threat was lessened.
They were wrong.
The Bishop said the United States and Russia hold 95 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world.
“Nuclear bombs are indiscriminate (something done at random or without careful judgment), they kill everyone,” said Bishop Cantú. “It is morally untenable. Nuclear weapons by nature are immoral. On 9/11 they didn’t use nuclear weapons, they used planes. They were indiscriminate, utterly immoral, and evil.”
Bishop Cantú also touched on the mass killings at Gilroy and El Paso. The Diocese of El Paso is about 40 miles from Las Cruces.
“As the son of Mexican immigrants, I, too, would have been a target,” he said. “It hit way too close to home. All of this is to say the Gospel calls us to be there for a person in need. Everyone is created in God’s likeness and image. As we commemorate 9/11, how do we be an agent of peace?”
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