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US bishops ask Catholics to lobby Senate to ratify nuclear weapons reduction treaty

Catholic World News - September 22, 2010

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published an “action alert” asking Catholics to “urge your Senators to publicly support the new START treaty because it makes our nation and world safer by reducing nuclear weapons in a verifiable way, and to ask the Senate leadership to bring it to a vote.” The treaty was signed by President Obama on April 8 but awaits Senate ratification.

“Nuclear weapons are a grave threat to human life and dignity,” the action alert notes. “Consistent with Catholic teaching, the bishops have long supported securing nuclear materials from terrorists and reducing the number of nuclear armaments. For decades they have promoted the policy goals of preventing proliferation of these horrific weapons and ultimately eliminating them.”

“Nuclear war is rejected in Church teaching because the use of nuclear weapons cannot insure noncombatant immunity and their destructive potential and lingering radiation cannot be meaningfully proportionate,” the action alert continues.

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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Sep. 23, 2010 4:55 PM ET USA

    Reduction of the ammount of huclear weapons is a desirable goal. But, this is a lousy treaty. Ratification by us will redeuce the accuracy and quality of ours without reducing those in other arsenals.

  • Posted by: kmbold - Sep. 22, 2010 9:41 PM ET USA

    Consider the source.

  • Posted by: impossible - Sep. 22, 2010 7:48 PM ET USA

    How very odd. The USCCB's dereliction of duty has made them complicit in the destruction of way more than the usually reported 50,000,000 abortions by silence and dissent about contraception and by aiding and abetting liberal politicians for decades. Are they concerned only about some killing but not all? Their ambiguous "Faithful" Citizenship documents and their refusal to enforce Canon 915 come to mind. They should do their job correctly (teaching) before telling others how to do theirs.

  • Posted by: unum - Sep. 22, 2010 7:30 PM ET USA

    Some teaching on the use of weapons, both just and unjust, would be helpful to our largely uneducated Catholic adults. Asking them to lobby their elected representatives makes the Church just another non-profit do-good organization in the mind of the public. I'm not sure that's what Jesus had in mind.

  • Posted by: jflare293129 - Sep. 22, 2010 6:58 PM ET USA

    While I hope the Senate will ratify this treaty, I can't support the bishops rationale this time. Those who would use nukes or other weapons for terror or war, be they nations or peoples, will not disarm merely because we dismantle our stockpiles. If clergy would focus on the causes of wars and other conflicts, it'd have much greater impact. Simply wagging your finger at a bad boy won't persuade him to be good.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Sep. 22, 2010 6:28 PM ET USA

    The USCCB, guided by its staff, now asserts expertise in this national defense/geopolitical area which calls for the exercise of prudential judgment ??

  • Posted by: - Sep. 22, 2010 2:27 PM ET USA

    Even I don't like nuclear weapons, but defence policy is not properly made by handwringing moralizing.

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