A United States archbishop has warned the threat from nuclear weapons is as great now as ever, and their destructive power is more immediate than climate change. Source: OSV News.
Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, made the comments at a Mass last week in New York that remembered Catholic activist and Servant of God Dorothy Day.
Archbishop Wester was visiting New York for the United Nations’ second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, held from November 27 to December 1 at the UN’s headquarters in Manhattan.
The visit also came four years to the week of Pope Francis’s visit to Japan, when the pontiff declared that the possession, construction and use of nuclear weapons are all immoral.
The Mass at Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue also coincided with the 42nd anniversary of Day’s death.
“In 1965, at the height of the Cold War, Dorothy Day denounced the idea of arms being used as deterrents to establish a balance of terror. She supported the Second Vatican Council when it taught that nuclear warfare was incompatible with the then-Catholic theory of ‘just war’,” Archbishop Wester said, recalling Ms Day’s anti-violence and anti-war activism.
“Catholics should establish disarmament as a critical pro-life issue,” Archbishop Wester said.
In an interview with The Good Newsroom after the Mass, Archbishop Wester said that nuclear disarmament remains a timely issue.
“The trouble with this issue is that it’s in the background. We’ve been lulled into a false sense of complacency really since the 1980s. Climate destruction is indeed very important, but this is equally important — in some ways more important — because while climate change is gradual, this would be instantaneous. This would be the destruction of human civilisation within about 24 hours,” he said.
Nuclear disarmament a ‘critical pro-life issue,’ warns archbishop (By Steven Schwankert, The Good Newsroom via OSV News)