U.S. and European Catholic Bishops Call for Strategy to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons Globally

July 6, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Ajoint declaration issued today by U.S. and European Catholic bishops calls for allnations to work together to develop a "credible, verifiable and enforceablestrategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons."

Entitled"Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security," the declaration was issued tocoincide with the conclusion of a meeting hosted this week by the UnitedNations "to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons,leading towards their total elimination." Although the United States and mostEuropean nations are not joining these negotiations, the Catholic bishopsacknowledge, "[t]he fact that most of the world's nations are participating inthis effort testifies to the urgency of their concern, an urgency intensifiedby the prospect of nuclear terrorism and proliferation, and to the inequalityand dissatisfaction of non-nuclear states about the lack of progress in nucleardisarmament efforts."

Recognizingthe need for national and international security, the bishops of the UnitedStates and Europe implore the leaders of their nations to work with other countriesto promote peace through nuclear disarmament. "The indiscriminate anddisproportionate nature of nuclear weapons, compel the world to move beyondnuclear deterrence," the declaration reads. "We call upon the United States andEuropean nations to work with other nations to map out a credible, verifiableand enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons."

"Theteaching of our Church – from the Catechism to Saint Pope John Paul II and PopeFrancis – about the urgent need for nuclear disarmament is clear," said Bishop OscarCantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the USCCB Committee onInternational Justice and Peace.  "It istime for us to heed this moral imperative and promote human security bothwithin the United States and Europe, and globally."

Thedeclaration is signed by Bishop Cantú and Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich,President of European Justice and Peace Commissions.

The full text of the joint declaration is available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/nuclear-weapons/nuclear-disarmament-seeking-human-security-2017-07-06.cfm or www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/nuclear-weapons/upload/Multilateral-Nuclear-Disarmament-July-6-2017.pdf

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Keywords: nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament, United Nations,U.S. Catholic bishops, European Catholic bishops, Bishop Oscar Cantú, USCCB,Committee on International Justice and Peace, Catechism, Pope Francis

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