POPE FRANCIS REJECTS NUCLEAR POLICY OF US, OTHERS
“THE USE OR POSSESSION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
IS NOT AT ALL ACCEPTABLE”
Pope Francis has renounced the Catholic Church’s conditional acceptance of the policy of deterrence and declared, through the apostolic nuncio, “We go back to the position that the possession and use of nuclear weapons is not at all acceptable,” in a message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact on Nuclear Weapons on Monday, December 8, 2014.
Calling nuclear weapons “a global problem, affecting all nations, and impacting future generations and the planet that is our home,” Francis cited Pope John Paul II in encouraging people to work for a more secure world. He greeted the Hibakusha, survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and welcomed their prophetic voices, reminding the world that nuclear weapons “have the potential to destroy us an civilization.”
The Pope’s message was delivered by Archbishop Silvio Tomasi, apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.
“Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states. The youth of today and tomorrow deserver far more…” said Pope Francis.
In a document released to the conference entitled “Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition,” the church joined other international organizations in calling for a reexamination of the policy of deterrence, questioning whether it is a “stable basis for peace,” and nothing political fealty to the policy of nuclear deterrence is “a kind of religion” in its own right.
Vatican officials took note of US plans to spend billions to modernize its nuclear stockpile and infrastructure and noted it would do far more good to invest the money in resolving social inequities.
Pope Francis closed his message with the affirmation that “a world without nuclear weapons is truly possible.”
To read the Pope’s message, click here: Pope Francis on nuclear weapons
In addition to the Pope’s message to the gathering in Vienna, the Vatican issued a longer paper titled Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition; you can read it here: