European and US Catholic Bishop Call for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Globally

July 6, 2017

BRUSSELS— Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, president of Justice and Peace Europe, and Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued today a declaration arguing for “the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Entitled “Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security,” the declaration was issued to coincide with the conclusion of a meeting hosted this week by the United Nations “to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” Although the United States and most European nations are not joining these negotiations, the Catholic bishops acknowledge, “[t]he fact that most of the world’s nations are participating in this effort testifies to the urgency of their concern, an urgency intensified by the prospect of nuclear terrorism and proliferation, and to the inequality and dissatisfaction of non-nuclear states about the lack of progress in nuclear disarmament efforts.

Recognising the need for national and international security, the bishops of the United States and Europe implore the leaders of their nations to work with other nations to promote peace through nuclear disarmament. “The indiscriminate and disproportionate nature of nuclear weapons, compel the world to move beyond nuclear deterrence,” the declaration reads. “We call upon the United States and European nations to work with other nations to map out a credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Complete nuclear disarmament is a necessary step towards comprehensive and global peace,” said Archbishop Hollerich. “In line with teaching of the Church the Commissions for Justice and Peace in Europe will continue to advocate for non-proliferation and  – in fine – the abolition of all nuclear weapons both within the United States and Europe, and globally.

Read the full statement here: