The United Nations reviews the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) every five years. In 2010, the monthlong conference developed some action steps for reducing the number of weapons in the world, but not much was done, and expectations were low for this year's conference, which ended May 22. So for the past two years, the nongovernmental organizations that work to abolish nuclear weapons have been developing a strategy.
We say: It is imperative that we and other Catholics amplify the case the Vatican is clearly articulating and condemn U.S. nuclear policy.
"The time has come to embrace the abolition of nuclear weapons as an essential foundation of collective security," the Vatican said.
While Vatican officials are busy working with other religious groups in formulating a collective message on nuclear disarmament, no-nukes activists are looking for ways to influence the actions of their faith leaders.
Vatican officials traveled to Vienna for the third international conference to examine the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons Dec. 8-9 and delivered a message from Pope Francis calling for nations with nuclear arsenals to find a way to rid themselves, and the world, of these kinds of arms.
Pope Francis did not travel to Vienna for two high-profile nuclear disarmament conferences, but his name was called out frequently during the events.
Pope Francis called on world leaders, activists and people of faith to pull together to rid the world of the threat of nuclear weapons.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, read the pope's statement Monday in Vienna at the opening of Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.
In his message, Pope Francis restated the Vatican's long-standing advocacy for the global elimination of nuclear weapons and said peace is not just a balance of power, "but true justice."
Making a Difference: If you live in or near a large U.S. city, you're in harm's way. And radiation from a nuclear attack would hurt everyone.
We say: The Cold War has ended, but "deterrence" policies generated within that era remain intact, perpetuated by outdated circumstances and fears.
The meetings began with discussions of areas of commonality between Catholicism and Islam and concluded with a commitment to issue a joint statement.
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