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US bishops welcome nuclear arms reduction treaty

Cardinal Francis George

Cardinal Francis George

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has written a letter to President Obama welcoming the signing of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the United States and the Russian Federation.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the USCCB, writes in the letter: “The horribly destructive capacity of nuclear arms makes them disproportionate and indiscriminate weapons that endanger human life and dignity like no other armaments. Their use as a weapon of war is rejected in Church teaching based on just war norms.”

The Cardinal cited teaching from both the US bishops and Pope Benedict XVI calling for a world without nuclear weapons.
          
“Based on a moral imperative to rid the world of nuclear weapons,” Cardinal George said, “the Conference of Bishops will be a steadfast supporter of strong and bipartisan action on the new START Treaty as an important and essential step toward a nuclear-weapons-free future.”
          
Cardinal George acknowledged that “the path to a world free of nuclear weapons will be long and difficult,” but listed steps that would help, such as ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, securing nuclear materials from terrorists, and strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor nonproliferation efforts and ensure access to peaceful uses of nuclear power.
          
The full text of Cardinal George’s letter to President Obama can be found at:  www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/2010-04-08-let-card-george-pres-obama.pdf.

Other resources on nuclear weapons are at: www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/nuclear.shtml