Catholic World News

Nations have moral duty to destroy nuclear weapons, Vatican envoy tells UN

March 31, 2017

“The threat of mutually assured destruction through nuclear weapons cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states,” the Vatican’s delegate said in an address to a UN session on nuclear disarmament.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza called the attention of UN members to the call by Pope Francis for the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons. He said that all states have a moral obligation to stop nuclear proliferation and to destroy their own stockpiles of nuclear arms.

Nuclear weapons cause “unnecessary suffering” for survivors, the archbishop argued, and “merit unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation.” He argued that states should provide compensation for people harmed by radiation from nuclear tests.

Archbishop Auza said that the UN’s discussion of disarmament was itself “an act of defiance against the logic of fear.” He called for universal acceptance of the principle that conflicts should be resolved by dialogue.


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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Apr. 02, 2017 4:35 PM ET USA

    Nations also have a moral duty to protect their citizens. If for example the US continued down Obama's path of unilateral disarmament, I wonder what our peace loving friends in North Korea would do, not to mention Hamas and others of their cohorts? So much easier to preach than to accomplish.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Apr. 01, 2017 8:40 PM ET USA

    Tell that Iran and North Korea. I am sure they would love to see everyone disarm. That would them in drivers seat to destroy Israel and the US. But the Vatican knows how they will play nice in same saND box. Goodluck on that.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 01, 2017 12:07 AM ET USA

    What? Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)? What is he talking about? That defunct sin went out with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was replaced by strategic defense, as exemplified by Israel's "Iron Dome." Nuclear weapons in the 21st century are more a defense against hegemony by theologies and other ideologies alien to the peace of Christ, than they are an offensive tool for global conquest. This is the Western perspective. Unfortunately, jihad seems oblivious to such constraint.