On December 8, at a conference in Vienna, Pope Francis issued a new statement on nuclear weapons titled "Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition" that indicates a major change in Roman Catholic policy. "Nuclear deterrence and the threat of nuclear assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states," the Pope said. While the Roman Catholic Church has long declared the use of nuclear weapons to be immoral, it has, up until now, articulated a "conditional acceptance" of nuclear deterrence as a necessary evil. This changes with the Pope's message, which was read on the first day of the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons conference in Austria.
The Vatican's statement declares, "The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more.... Peace must be built on justice, socio-economic development, freedom, respect for fundamental human rights, ... and the building of trust between people."
[image1_left]As people of faith and conscience,
Inspired by the miraculous Christmas truce of 1914, faith leaders of many diverse traditions petition the Biden administration to push for negotiations.
Signers include Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Jewish Renewal movement; Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Valarie Kaur, Sikh leader and founder of Revolutionary Love Project; Thay Phap An, Plum Village Buddhist community; Bishop William J. Barber II, Repairers of the Breach and Poor People's Campaign; Rev. Grayland Scott Hagler, Fellowship of Reconciliation; Dr. Zoharah Simmons, National Council of Elders; Mary Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lovvy for Catholic Social Justice,
"In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War, we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end through supporting calls for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, before the conflict results in a nuclear war that could devastate the world's ecosystems and annihilate all of God's creation."
Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice wants to help spread the word about local events promoting peace, justice, compassion, human rights and environmental sustainability. Just go to our Events page and click on "Submit an Event." Faith-based events are specifically encouraged, but other events are always welcome and will be considered. Please be sure the description of the event is clear and accurate.
And now you can check our calendar to learn about local events worth considering. We hope this will help build stronger networks as we work together for justice and peace.
The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers recently wrote:
In this noise of militarized mania,
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice has put together a study guide for use with the film, Nuclear Tipping Point. It is designed to assist small groups of adults and mature young people in exploring some issues related to nuclear weapons in the light of their religious faith. This small group study can be completed in two one-hour sessions. MVPJ is pleased to make this study guide avaialble to our web visitors. Click here to download it now (more information about it appears below).