.- The U.S. bishops have welcomed the signing of the new nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia as a step towards eliminating weapons with “horribly destructive capacity.” In a Thursday letter to President Barack Obama, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) president Cardinal Francis George praised the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
“The horribly destructive capacity of nuclear arms makes them disproportionate and indiscriminate weapons that endanger human life and dignity like no other armaments. Their use as a weapon of war is rejected in Church teaching based on just war norms,” the cardinal wrote.
He cited teachings of the U.S. bishops and Pope Benedict XVI which call for a world without nuclear weapons.
The USCCB, the cardinal said, will be a “steadfast supporter” of strong, bipartisan action on the START Treaty. He cited a “moral imperative” to eliminate nuclear weapons, describing the treaty as an “essential step.”
The path to a nuclear-free world will be “long and difficult,” Cardinal George continued. As further steps, he recommended the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the securing of nuclear materials from terrorists, and strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency.