The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Archbishop Wester apologizes for harms caused by nuclear weapons industry

 Catholic News Service,  August 10, 2022

A New Mexico archbishop whose archdiocese is home to two major federal nuclear weapons research facilities and an Air Force base apologized for the atomic bombings of Japan and to Indigenous New Mexicans, uranium miners and scientists suffering from ill health related to the nuclear weapons industry.

Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe said the time has come for the world to fervently work to undertake the long process to achieve nuclear disarmament.

He made the comments in a homily during a Mass Aug. 9 marking the 77th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan…………………..

He called on American and Japanese people to “drive the international will to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again.”

The appeal follows the January release of his pastoral letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament.” In it, he invited people in New Mexico in particular, but around the world as well to begin conversations on how to end the nuclear threat facing the planet.

Archbishop Wester said he believes the Santa Fe Archdiocese must lead the call for nuclear disarmament because it is where the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories are located. The labs conducts high-level weapons research and development.

The archbishop’s apology extended to other communities of people affected by research, development and manufacturing of nuclear weapons:

— Residents of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, where dozens of nuclear explosion tests were conducted from 1946 to 1958, drenching atolls with radiation.

— Native American communities in the Tularosa Basin of southeastern New Mexico near wear the first above-ground nuclear explosion was conducted.

— The 7,700 scientists and other lab workers who have filed claims with the government for serious illnesses linked to their work.

He called Tularosa Basin residents the “first nuclear victims.”

Radioactive fallout from the first atomic test explosion July 16, 1945, blanketed the basin. Residents have experienced high rates of cancer, including rare forms of the disease, according to numerous studies by health experts.

Archbishop Wester recognized the work of several members of Catholic parishes in the affected area who have seen family members die from cancer. He also pointed to their work for “just compensation” from the federal government for survivors and their families through the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium.

He also lamented plans by the federal government to spend up to $2 trillion over the next 30 years to modernize weapons and build new missiles, submarines and bombers to deliver them.

“This is nuclear weapons forever,” he said. “We are in a new nuclear arms race that is arguably more dangerous than the first.”………………………….

A Buddhist, Roshi Joan Halifax, founder of the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, urged people to understand human suffering and to strive for “being peace” in the world.

She also encouraged each person to expand their “moral circle” and “practice radical inclusion” of all life on earth to understand the imperative of acting to eliminate nuclear weapons.

August 9, 2022 - Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: