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Peace & Justice

A world without nukes


Speaking last month in Moscow before a group of graduating students, President Barack Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons. No one thinks it will be easy.

For Obama, the goal of a world without nuclear weapons is not just one among many. It is, he says, “the core challenge of the 21st century.”

Archbishop O'Brien: 'Nuke abolition a moral imperative'


With a message aimed at the heart of the U.S. nuclear command, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore July 29 called for a world free of the threat of such weapons.

Speaking to an audience of U.S. military and diplomatic officials here, the former head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services gave the following abolitionist challenge: “A world with zero nuclear weapons will need robust measures to monitor, enforce and verify compliance. The path to zero will be long and treacherous. But humanity must walk this path with both care and courage in order to build a future free of the nuclear threat.

“Nuclear war-fighting is rejected in church teaching,” he said, “because it cannot ensure noncombatant immunity and the likely destruction and lingering radiation would violate the principle of proportionality. Even the limited use of so-called ‘mini-nukes’ would likely lower the barrier to future uses and could lead to indiscriminate and disproportionate harm. And there is the danger of escalation to nuclear exchanges of cataclysmic proportions.”

Nuclear Weapons and Moral Questions: The Path to Zero


The following address was delivered by Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien July 29 at the 2009 Deterrence Symposium sponsored by the U.S. Strategic Command, Omaha, Nebraska.

It is an honor and pleasure for me to offer some modest reflections on “Nuclear Weapons and Moral Questions: The Path to Zero.” I am grateful to General Kevin Chilton and the U.S. Strategic Command for hosting this first annual Deterrence Symposium and for inviting me to be part of this impressive gathering.

I have been asked to speak at the end of what has been a long day for many of you. Believing in a merciful God, I will try to keep my reflections to a merciful length.

Since this is a dinner speech, starting with a joke is a basic expectation, but I should warn you that archbishops are rarely funny. But here goes.

A soldier, a marine, a sailor and an airman went on a hike. The path wound higher and higher up a mountain. From time to time they stopped to admire the view from the ledge of one of the many sheer cliffs along the way.

Latest on stem-cells: No need to kill embryos

The work of two teams of Chinese scientists who created live mice from induced pluripotent stem cells is "another demonstration that researchers don't need to destroy embryos" to achieve stem-cell advances, according to a pro-life official at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The research done by separate teams in Shanghai and Beijing and published July 23 in the scientific journals Nature and Cell Stem Cell showed that the so-called iPS cells have "the full range of uses that embryonic stem cells are proposed for," said Richard M. Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

Palestinians watch as Israeli settlements grow

Growing up in the pastoral outskirts of Beit Sahour, Juliette Banoura, 23, watched as the Jebel Abu Ghanem hill across the valley, where her family owned a parcel of land and often picnicked on weekends, was transformed from an island of greenery into the bustling Israeli settlement of Har Homa, with its stone apartment buildings and paved roads.

Business educators meet, focus on Ignatian values



Speaking before business school educators at Rockhurst University July 16, Jesuit Fr. Robert Spitzer repeatedly affirmed that Jesuit education involves much more than grooming excellent business technicians.

"We do not want our students to be merely excellent managers, accountants, marketers, investors, financiers [and] economists," he said. "We want them to be excellent leaders who have expertise in management, accounting, marketing, investments, finance [and] economics."

In the eyes of 75 or so Ignatian-inspired clergy and lay business educators who gathered in Kansas City this past weekend to share ideas, listen to talks and spend many hours huddled in round table discussions, leadership and proper values matter in business education.

For them infusing fresh values into Jesuit business school curricula is an urgent priority and if done well will give Jesuit business education a clear leg up in a competitive environment.

Dutch want nuclear disarmament on the table



When President Obama meets today with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the urgent issue of nuclear disarmament should be on the agenda. While President Obama is taking the lead on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, our country is falling behind and needs some encouragement in finally sending obsolete U.S. nuclear weapons home.



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October 10-23, 2014


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