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USCCB weighs in on Arms Trade Treaty

Catholic World News - April 15, 2013

The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling upon the Obama administration “to expedite a thorough review” of the Arms Trade Treaty, overwhelmingly approved by the United Nations on April 2, “so that the President can sign it in early June.”

The treaty regulates international trade in conventional weapons.

“The treaty is not perfect, but it is an important step,” Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines added in his letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. “We see the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty by the United Nations as a positive step in promoting human rights and dignity and in building a more peaceful world.”

When the United Nations approved the Arms Trade Treaty, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations issued a statement of tepid support.

After enunciating the Holy See’s principles vis-à-vis the trade in small arms, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the Holy See’s permanent observer, said that “to the extent to which some of these principles find reflection in this treaty, we view its adoption as constituting a step towards establishing in the world a culture of responsibility and accountability.”

“The inclusion of a single type of violence alone in the text of this treaty, namely ‘gender-based violence,’ in our estimation constitutes a peculiar and discriminatory disservice to the innumerable victims of atrocities who are targeted on account of their ethnicity or race, as well as their political, religious or other beliefs or opinion,” Archbishop Chullikatt added.

In his letter to Kerry, Bishop Pates quoted another observation of Archbishop Chullikatt: “there remain in the text of the treaty considerable gaps, particularly with regard to an emphasis more on States’ prerogatives than on the dignity and human rights of people, the predominance of commercial or economic considerations, and an inadequate elaboration of the principles of sufficiency, of victims’ assistance and of the need to reduce demand for arms.”

Ratification of the treaty requires approval by two-thirds of the members of the United States Senate.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 16, 2013 9:26 AM ET USA

    As long as the US bishops engage in progressive politics disguised as Catholic teaching they will have no moral authority to teach the faithful. On the other hand, when they start to teach the laity moral principles, just as Jesus did, then they will have an army of the faithful using their diverse talents to bring about change in our government, our country, and the world.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Apr. 15, 2013 6:23 PM ET USA

    I am not surprised at the left wing attitude of the USCCB. They see this Treaty as some cure all and a greater push toward a one world government. Their arrogance that they have all knowledge and know how a utopian world can be achieved is amazing. UN approval of some treaty should not be a basis for the United States to lose its sovereignty. We also cannot give into the USCCB given their track record. Given

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