United States

New initiative launched to eradicate nuclear weapons

The Archdioceses of Santa Fe, Seattle and Nagasaki, and the Diocese of Hiroshima, have signed a covenant committing them to work together to eradicate nuclear weapons.

Paloma López Campos-August 13, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes

Nagasaki city in ruins after nuclear bombing (OSV News photo /Milwaukee Journal Sentinel files, USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters)

On the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a new agreement has been signed. agreement to work together for the eradication of nuclear weapons in the world. The covenant is signed by the Archdioceses of Santa Fe, Seattle and Nagasaki, and the Diocese of Hiroshima.

The first objective is to achieve significant progress before August 2025, the 80th anniversary of the bombing. To this end, various measures related to both the political and religious spheres are clarified.

Politics and nuclear weapons

In the communiqué sent by the signatories, they invite all political leaders to collaborate in this work and outline some concrete steps to achieve the objectives. First, they call for recognition of "the tremendous and lasting human suffering inflicted by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki". They also call for acknowledgement of "the environmental impacts caused by uranium mining and nuclear weapons research, production and testing around the world."

The third point of the pact is to "reiterate that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged". As part of this, the agreement mentions that the G20 in November 2022 declared that the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons is "inadmissible".

On the other hand, it calls for commitments to take "concrete steps to prevent a new arms race, to avoid the use of nuclear weapons and to make progress in nuclear disarmament". Alongside these commitments, the pact recalls "the international mandate to engage in serious multilateral negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament, promised more than half a century ago in the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty."

As a last political step, the agreement invites "support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, signed and first ratified by the United States and the European Union". The Vatican".

Measures from the Church

For their part, the religious leaders are committed to creating an initiative to promote a world without nuclear weapons. In this effort, they hope to count on the collaboration of other dioceses and leaders of other denominations.

As part of the initiative, the archdioceses and the diocese are going to carry out some concrete actions such as:

-listening to and talking with bombing survivors, uranium miners, peace activists, nuclear engineers, military and diplomats;

-to ask God's help through prayer and by celebrating at least one annual Mass with this special intention to end nuclear weapons and with a collection to support victims and repair environmental damage;

-Promote the signing and ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The archbishops' and bishops' communiqué invites "priests, religious and lay people to actively participate in this partnership" so that it can "create a legacy of peace for present and future generations."

The note announcing the agreement ends by appealing to the intercession of Christ and Our Lady for this initiative to come to fruition.

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