Letters to the Editor

Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Dear Editor: As we approach the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as we face increasing threats of new nuclear conflicts, I appeal to the Brooklyn Diocese to address this issue in every church. It is one of the most fundamental pro-life issues we could consider, and it is one of the most Catholic issues that our popes and bishops have been addressing for decades, but one many – perhaps most – Catholics don’t realize is such an integral teaching of our faith.

Thankfully, it is also one that could be utterly depressing, but actually offers much cause for hope.

Last July 7, 2017, 122 members of the United Nations approved a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It was opened for signatures and ratification on Sept. 20. The Holy See was one of the first entities to sign and ratify the Treaty.

Since then, 59 nations have signed and 12 have also ratified it. Once 50 nations have ratified, it becomes international law.

In light of this treaty, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of 468 partners in 101 countries, including the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and Pax Christi.

Shortly after the Nobel announcement, Pope Francis addressed a Vatican symposium of Nobel laureates, clergy, diplomats and peace workers saying: “the threat of nuclear weapons use, as well as their very possession, must be firmly condemned. For they exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race.”

The pope reiterated what he had told governments negotiating the ban treaty: Nuclear arsenals “create nothing but a false sense of security” and “cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family,” which must be inspired by “an ethics of solidarity” instead.

Sharing the truth about nuclear weapons is a critical step towards eliminating these weapons. Good faith engagement with others to abolish nuclear weapons is surely a historic opportunity for the Church’s public witness for peace.


Editor’s Note: Rosemarie Pace, Ed.D. is the director of Pax Christi Metro New York.

One thought on “Abolish Nuclear Weapons

  1. So an “ethics of solidarity” will be achieved among the morally insane world leaders who have publicly announced their intentions to eliminate the United States and Israel from the face of the earth by what exactly?