Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Vatican signs up to the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, provides moral guidance

75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vatican is providing moral guidance on nuclear weapons   The Conversation, Drew Christiansen,Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Human Development, Georgetown University, Carole Sargent 

Carole Sargent is a Friend of The Conversation., Faculty Director, Office of Scholarly Publications, Georgetown University

August, 4, 2020 

Ahead  of the 75th anniversary year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pope Francis visited both cities.

At a solemn event at the Hiroshima Peace Park in November 2019, Francis declared the use of atomic energy for war to be “a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home.” “How,” he asked, “can we speak of peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war?”

His comments came nearly 40 years after John Paul II became the first pope to visit the site of the atomic bomb attacks, which pulverized the two cities on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945 and killed in excess of 200,000 in the process.

Deterrence to abolition

During his visit, Francis reiterated what he previously told assembled Nobel Peace Prize laureates, diplomats and civil society representatives at a Vatican symposium in 2017, that nuclear weapons, along with chemical weapons and landmines, were impermissible. “The threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned,” he said…………

In 2017, the Holy See became one of the first signers of the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Article 1 prohibits signers to “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons…” This was the backdrop for Pope Francis’ historic condemnation of deterrence and call for disarmament later that fall. 

One hundred and twenty-two nations voted for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. For its labors on behalf of the treaty, ICAN, the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, an umbrella group of civil society opponents of nuclear weapons, won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

Beyond the hierarchy

But the guidance provided by the Catholic Church is not simply through official statements and positions from the top.

Across the church, various groups have long campaigned for abolition of nuclear weapons. Catholic nuns have often been at the forefront of this work. In Japan, several activist hibakusha – survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – are sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Society of the Helper of Holy Souls, among other congregations.

In the U.S., Sister Jennifer Kane was a nuclear engineer before realizing, in the words of her congregation in 2019, “that God was calling her to a more spiritual combat” as an antinuclear activist.

And Dominicans, Religious of the Sacred Heart, and Society of the Holy Child Jesus have participated in the grassroots anti-nuclear direct-action movement Plowshares, at times resulting in prison time for activist nuns……….

Courage of conscience

Church teaching demands that conscientious officials and nuclear workers resist orders they deem to be immoral.

The Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s taught that obeying orders is no excuse for participating in atrocities, and urged anyone, whether top military leader or rank-and-file citizen, to display “the courage of those who openly and fearlessly resist.”

Indeed, in 2018 two chiefs of the U.S. Strategic Air Command testified in a Senate hearing that they would not comply with illegal orders to deploy nuclear weapons, and that they would offer civilian authorities alternative courses of action to pursue. …….https://theconversation.com/75-years-after-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-the-vatican-is-providing-moral-guidance-on-nuclear-weapons-140615

August 6, 2020 - Posted by | General News

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: