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Archbishop Wester embarks on the long path to end the nuclear threat

In 2017 the Holy See became the first government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty entered into force in January 2021


Jul 14, 2022, by Dennis SadowskiCatholic News Service,

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, thinks it’s time for serious conversations about how to achieve nuclear disarmament — not just for the United States but for all countries of the world.

And he’s trying to initiate such discussions, beginning in his own archdiocese, home of two national laboratories — Sandia and Los Alamos — where nuclear weapon research and development continues.

The archbishop hopes the pastoral letter he released in January, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament,” can be a starting point.

The document is the most recent and perhaps most heartfelt from a U.S. bishop seeking to end the nuclear arms race. His concern is that after decades in which arms control treaties led to reductions in nuclear armaments, a new arms race is already underway as the U.S. and Russia, the world’s primary nuclear powers, develop new weapons systems.

“I think we’ve been lulled into a false sense of complacency. I think it’s important as the archbishop of Santa Fe that I say something, that the archdiocese has a seat at the table on this discussion, because this is the birthplace of the nuclear bomb,” Wester told Catholic News Service…………………

His concern is that in any future nuclear exchange, however limited, Earth will never be the same and it’s likely the planet — and virtually all life — will be destroyed.

Pope Francis also had a role in Wester’s decision to issue the pastoral letter.

Throughout his papacy the pope has appealed to the world’s nine nuclear weapons-possessing nations to dismantle their arsenals for the good of humanity. In 2017 the Holy See became the first government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty entered into force in January 2021.

But it was the pope’s comments during a November 2019 visit to Hiroshima that stayed with Wester.

“The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral, as I already said two years ago,” the pope said. “We will be judged on this.”…………………….. more

July 13, 2022 - Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA

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