God, Christ, lives in every human being. Our Lord tells us that what is done to the “least” is in fact now done to Him (Mt 25). I believe that! That is the only kind of God that I could adore and love, a God who lives in human history and suffers with people. I could only fear a god that sat as a depersonalized king above the anguish of humanity. This is part of what the Incarnation is all about. Christ suffers and dies at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore to condone or support war is to condone or support the call to “Crucify Him.” To kill in war is, in fact, to be a “Christ-killer.” I’m sorry I can say nothing else – if Calvary is a holy place, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are holy places. -Fr George Zabelka
I was baptized in Sacred Heart church on the north side of Flint, Michigan. My family attended the parish until we enrolled in nearby St Agnes school, but my grandparents remained parishoners of Sacred Heart for the rest of their lives.
When I was two, Fr George Zabelka became pastor of Sacred Heart. I had no idea at the time, but Fr George was not your typical priest. I knew him only as a kindly pastor. I had no idea until many years later what a burden he carried.
Fr George Zabelka, you see, had been a military chaplain in the Pacific during World War II. He had been with the crew of the Enola Gay, the plane that bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Indeed, he had blessed the bombs.
He did so, apparently, as an unquestioning American nationalist, blinded at the time to the enormity of what he was participating in. Gradually, through counseling men who were tortured by the horror of what they had done, and by a later visit to Nagasaki, where he came to understand that a Catholic pilot, blessed by a Catholic priest, had bombed the most Catholic city in Japan into oblivion. He saw the ruins of the cathedral and of convents; he found not a single nun left where there had once been flourishing congregations.
Father George spent the rest of his life repenting for his cooperation in total war, and preaching and practicing peace.
His kindliness and trust of others was sometimes betrayed; in 1969 he opened the parish hall to a group of young activists, who had gathered, unknown to Father, to create the Weather Underground, right there in the basement of Sacred Heart.
But he always, until his death in 1992, spoke with courage and honesty. Here is an interview with him by Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy: http://shirtofflame.blogspot.com/2011/08/lie-of-christian-war-on-66th.html