Pope Francis has openly denounced the continuing possession of nuclear weapons by various world governments, in what appears to be a departure from the Roman Catholic Church’s prior acceptance of the Cold War-era global system of nuclear deterrence and mutually assured destruction…
I don’t think we are there yet.
Maybe in another 100 years without major conflict.
That report is from 2017.
I’m not so keen on the idea either, frankly.
Nuclear weapons are probably the only thing really keeping peace between most of the larger nations.
China would be far more aggressive to their neighbors, India and Pakistan would be trying to drown each other in their own blood, and Russia would be swallowing up Eastern Europe again.
Here we go again.
Thanks for posting this. Many years ago the Church reluctantly said that nuclear deterrence was temporarily acceptable as an interim measure towards nuclear disarmament. That step has not been taken and no plan is in place for it to happen. The temporary allowance of deterrence failed to produce the desired result, and the possession of nuclear weapons is now condemned.
What the Pope said is correct and well received, but it is not actually new.
Unjustified speculation and fear-mongering. This is what our government wants us to believe. The truth is that our continued possession of nuclear weapons places us in great danger. See Jeremiah 25:32-33. It’s not going to end well.
First, this is NCR trying to credit Francis with what other popes had already done. All popes including, and since, Pius XII, condemned nuclear weapons. The bishops in the US, for instance, denounced MAD as far back as early 1980s.
But even if Francis is not remotely original, this argument may be stronger now than before. Since early WW2 Americans have regarded ourselves as upholding a higher standard of morality than most of the world.
This was certainly true during the war, and for a few decades after. But now, given our heavy slide into secularism? Would I want someone like Obama to have a nuclear arsenal as a backup, when “persuading” countries to accept abortion?
It’s not unjustified.
China is still expanding, Russia just recently (few years ago) seized the Crimean peninsula and is still currently funding a separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine.
India and Pakistan as recently as a few months ago were once again on the brink of war.
The threat of mutual annihilation is an effective deterrent to keep small regional conflicts from growing into massive destructive world wars.
But that is exactly what Jeremiah predicts is going to happen:
See! The disaster spreads from nation to nation.
A mighty tempest rises from the far ends of the world.
Our best course of action is to place our trust in our Creator by undertaking unilateral nuclear disarmament.
Nuclear weapons are horrible, but the threat of their use has probably saved lives over the years. Think of how many Americans and Japanese would have died if not for the dropping of the bomb twice. I am not condoning the use of the bomb, but the Japanese would never had surrendered. Many more lives would have been lost along the way.
Because of MAD, hostile governments have been held at bay.
We need a way to get peoples to stop warring against each other as we strive to eliminate nuclear weaponry.
I also would like to see nuclear power plants done away with. I fear the radiation from spent nuclear wastes. The stuff is lethal for thousands of years.
It is US government propaganda that the A-bombing of Japan saved American lives. The US invasion of Japan was scheduled for November, 1945, three months after the A-bomb was dropped. The rush to use it in August was to forestall the advances of our allies, and it signaled the start of the cold war. All the USA had to do if it wanted to avoid casualties, was to turn the invasion of Japan over to our ally, the USSR.
BTW, the Japanese did not surrender because of the A-bomb. Their emperor, the war-criminal Hirohito, ordered Japan to surrender after Truman promised him amnesty.
The fact is that the USSR was mandated to join the war against Japan only several months after the German surrender. The USSR kept that agreement, and began to transfer its forces the 6000 miles from Germany to eastern Siberia as soon as it was able. The idea that it could have done so sooner while still engaged with German forces is not correct.
And what has Okinawa got to do with the fact that the USSR could have invaded Japan if the USA had allowed them to?
Pius XII was first completely for disarmament as nuclear weapons were always disproportional in a just war analysis, and therefore we would have to choose to suffer injustice rather than use them. Through the papacy of St. John Paul II, the Church accepted possessing them for bilateral deterrence as an intermediate step to disarmament–this toleration was mostly due to the need to maintain the political stability between the two superpowers with the world in a state of bi-polarization. With the breakdown of that situation, Benedict XVI and Francis returned to the earlier position of Pius XII.
This is huge issue because nuclear weapons can immediate end humanity in an instance… Naturally, we all need to pay serious attention to this issue. However, we must realize that evil has always existed in the world and continues to make its way known. We need to be wise and strategic in facing evil. Of course, we prefer to have a nuclear-weapon free world. But the reality is that nuclear weapons have been here, and they are here to stay. The issue here is how do we deal with it?
A reality check… Does anyone in all seriousness actually believe that countries like China, Russia, India, Pakistan, etc… would disarm themselves of nuclear weapons and would never come back to it—since they have used them as a tool to protect themselves (and possibly to threaten others)? What if the whole civilized world actually disarms itself, and tyrants like North Korea and global terrorists gain access nuclear weapons? Then, the question now becomes: Do we trust tyrants and terrorists to run the world?
Could we imagine the calamity and chaos in world if the US and the civilized world suddenly disarm all of its nuclear capability? Common sense would dictate that we should expect wars, deaths and destruction very quickly.
What is wrong with trusting in our Creator for our future as we have been commanded to do? The fact is that the “calamity and chaos” that you speak of are predicted to happen, and this will happen because of our possession nuclear weapons, not because we give them up.
We can trust God while simultaneously keeping as many innocent people from dying as possible through our best personal judgement.
Let’s assume for a moment that the US and the civilized world disarm all of their nuclear weapons… Do you then trust North Korea, Iran, and all the tyrants and terrorists not to access the nuclear weapons and not use it to threaten the world? More precisely, would you rather put the fate of and peace in the world in the hands of tyrants and terrorists? I don’t…
You and I would love to live in a nulear-weapon free world. But it’s just not going to happen…
Yes, I trust in God. I also know that God granted humanity with the gift of free will. With this gift, evil is allowed to exist. Wars, deaths and destruction had been going on before the nuclear age, and will continue to be so. I also place my trust in humanity’s ability with the help of God to do good and fight evil. I am reminded in the Gospel of Matthew when Christ told us: “You are sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as gentle as doves, but as clever as serpents.”
And what would have happened if the USSR had been “allowed to invade them” by the USA? What was the result of the USSR invading other nations?