Written on: March 26, 2015
“Now is the time to affirm not only the immorality of the use of nuclear weapons, but the immorality of their possession, thereby clearing the road to nuclear abolition.”
This year (2014 – ‘15) marks the 70th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons in war in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an appropriate time to remember our Corporate Stand against nuclear proliferation and to participate in actions that advance the nuclear disarmament agenda. From April 27 to May 22, 2015 the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will be held in New York to assess whether treaty obligations are being met. The Marshall Islands, in major lawsuits against the nine nuclear weapons possessing states, claims they have failed to honour their NPT obligations to disarm. And non-nuclear weapons states are making clear their deep concern about the global humanitarian and ecological impact of an intentional or accidental nuclear exchange, as well as their impatience with the slow pace of bilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. There is significant movement toward launching negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.
Pax Christi International is inviting leaders of religious congregations and other Catholic leaders and theologians to sign the statement on “Catholic Morality and Nuclear Abolition” ( Pax Christi Statement).
The statement will be delivered to Catholics in Congress and the Administration with a copy of the Holy See’s Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition. It also will be made public in advance of the NPT Review Session in April-May.
There are still over 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. A single nuclear bomb detonated over a large city could kill millions of people. Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power and the threat they pose to the environment and human survival. They release vast amounts of energy in the form of blast, heat and radiation. No adequate humanitarian response is possible. Even if a nuclear weapon were never again exploded over a city, there are intolerable effects from the production, testing and deployment of nuclear arsenals that are experienced as an ongoing personal and community catastrophe by many people around the globe. Nothing more decisively threatens the fabric of life than nuclear weapons, their proliferation and the grim possibility of their use. Whether such use is by design, miscalculation or madness is irrelevant. The outcome will be the same.
For more information see the Pax Christi website