World Report

US and European bishops call for end to nuclear arsenals

Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich

European and American bishops have called for all nations to develop a plan to eliminate nuclear weapons from their military arsenals.

A joint declaration from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions called upon the US and European nations to work with other nations to “map out a credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons”.

‘Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security’, released during a UN conference discussing a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons altogether, says: “The indiscriminate and disproportionate nature of nuclear weapons compel the world to move beyond nuclear deterrence.”

The declaration was signed by Luxembourg’s Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, president of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions, and Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, who said in a statement: “The teaching of our church, from the catechism to St Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis, about the urgent need for nuclear disarmament is clear,” continuing, “it is time for us to heed this moral imperative and promote human security both within the United States and Europe and globally.”

With 40 states including the US and many European states boycotting the UN negotiations, Dr Cantu said the bishops wanted to highlight the “glaring absence” of nuclear weapons states from the conference.

“The silence gives us some clarity to raise a moral voice, to say, ‘Let’s look from a moral perspective what our priorities are as a nation when we’re looking to invest hundreds of billions of dollars into the update and renewal of the nuclear arsenal,” he said.