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Catholic Church wants nuclear disarmament, not deterrence

pray-radDemand nuclear disarmament, not deterrence, National Catholic Reporter 20 May 15 “……..Today, the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals contain an estimated 14,700 nuclear weapons, with the other nuclear powers holding another 1,000 or so, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

It is within these contexts that world leaders gathered this month in New York to assess nuclear deterrence and nuclear weapons proliferation. They meet every five years by terms of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires the five signatory nuclear nations — the U.S., Russia, France, England and China — to give up their nuclear arsenals in exchange for the non-nuclear signatory nations to give up their ambitions to acquire nuclear arsenals.

The U.S. says it is pursuing nuclear disarmament. At the same time, it says it is modernizing its nuclear arsenal and will spend $1 trillion to meet this end over the next 30 years. Other nuclear-possessing nations are also modernizing their arsenals. The nuclear arms race is spiraling up, not down.

The U.S. bishops have tried to stay in step with Vatican statements. This was the case at the time of the 1983 pastoral. But as U.S. disarmament has slowed and even reversed, the Vatican has been speaking out more strongly against nuclear deterrence, becoming increasingly vocal in questioning nuclear deterrence morality.

In July 2011, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, then permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said in a formal address in Kansas City, Mo., “It cannot be lawful to continue indefinitely to possess weapons which are unlawful to use or threaten to use, or are already banned for most states, and are subject to an obligation of elimination.”…….

As the Non-Proliferation Conference opened last month, Archbishop Bernardito Auza questioned the morality of efforts to modernize nuclear deterrence systems. Quoting Pope Francis, he said: “Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations. To prioritize such spending is a mistake and a misallocation of resources, which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty.”

Sadly and dangerously, U.S. nuclear weapons have become a fixture in our military system. We are not moving with full determination to nuclear disarmament. The contrary is true. Thus, the thin “moral acceptance” our bishops once gave to U.S. deterrence has outlived itself……

In the absence of hierarchical consensus, it is imperative that we and other Catholics amplify the case the Vatican is clearly articulating and condemn U.S. nuclear policy. In expressing this condemnation from the heartland of the United States, we are buoyed by the hopes of countless millions around the world who are also demanding that nations possessing nuclear weapons give them up before they destroy us all.

No more nuclear weapons! No to nuclear weapons modernization! http://ncronline.org/news/politics/editorial-demand-nuclear-disarmament-not-deterrence

May 22, 2015 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics

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