Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomes the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. They urge the U.S. Senate members to come together across party lines to ratify the new START treaty.
What is in this treaty?
Reduces deployed strategic warheads to 1,550, 30% below the existing ceiling.
Limits the United States and Russia to no more than 700 delivery vehicles
Includes new verification requirements
What Does This Have To Do With My Faith?
The possession and maintenance of nuclear weapons are a grave threat to human life and dignity.
Nuclear war is rejected in Church teaching because the use of nuclear weapons cannot insure noncombatant immunity and their destructive potential and lingering radiation cannot be meaningfully proportionate.
With fewer nuclear weapons in the world, the likelihood of one falling in the hands of a terrorist group would be reduced.
Pope Benedict XVI in January 2006 said “In a nuclear war there would be no victors, only victims.”
Jesus believed in non-violence and peacemaking, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Mt 5:9)
“But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you...do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Lk 6:27-31).
Quotes from Catholic Social Teaching
The Challenge of Peace, 1983 Pastoral Letter by the USCCB:
“The dangers of modern war are specific and visible; our teaching must be equally specific about the needs of peace. Effective arms control leading to mutual disarmament, ratification of pending treaties, development of nonviolent alternatives, are but some of the recommendations we would place before the Catholic community and all men and women of good will.” #202
Peacemaking is not an optional commitment. It is a requirement of our faith. We are called to be peacemakers, not by some movement of the moment, but by our Lord Jesus. The content and context of our peacemaking is set, not by some political agenda or program, but by the teaching of His Church.” #333
Urge members of the Senate to support ratification of the New START treaty.
Urge the House members to support the Global Security Priorities Resolution (H.Res.278)