Video of the announcement of the Doomsday Clock resetting:
http://thebulletin.org/multimedia/it-3-minutes-midnight (50 minutes)
Pope Breaks Ground in Seeking Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
by Douglas Roche
December 31, 2014
Western Catholic Reporter.
Pope Francis, who has already broken new ground in his outreach to a suffering humanity, has put the weight of the Catholic Church behind a new humanitarian movement to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The pope sent a message to the recent conference in Vienna, attended by more than 150 governments, to advance public understanding of what is now called the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences" of any use of the 16,300 nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries.
In his message, delivered by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, a leading Holy See diplomat, Pope Francis stripped away any lingering moral acceptance of the military doctrine of nuclear deterrence: “Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence."
He called for a worldwide dialogue, including both the nuclear and non-nuclear states and the burgeoning organizations that make up civil society, “to ensure that nuclear weapons are banned once and for all to the benefit of our common home."
Pope Francis has now put his firm stamp on the Church’s rejection of nuclear weapons, to the enormous satisfaction of the delegates crowding the Vienna conference. No longer can the major powers, still defending their right to keep possessing nuclear weapons, claim the slightest shred of morality for their actions.
The pope’s stand was supported by a remarkable Vatican document, Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition, also put before the Vienna conference. The document did not mince words: “Now is the time to affirm not only the immorality of the use of nuclear weapons, but the immorality of their possession, thereby clearing the road to abolition."
The Church has now put behind it the limited acceptance of nuclear deterrence it gave at the height of the Cold War. That acceptance was given only on the condition that nuclear deterrence lead progressively to disarmament.
Washington, London and Paris, the three Western nuclear capitals where the Church’s words influence, to some degree, government policy, used this limited acceptance to justify their continued nuclear buildup.
When the Cold War ended, they continued modernizing their arsenals and refused demands, reiterated at the UN many times, to join in comprehensive negotiations with Moscow and Beijing.
When the Church saw that nuclear deterrence was indeed becoming a permanent military doctrine, Holy See spokespersons began speaking out in opposition to the continuing reliance on nuclear weapons. At the 2005 review conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent representative of the Holy See at the UN, stated:
“The Holy See has never countenanced nuclear deterrence as a permanent measure, nor does it today when it is evident that nuclear deterrence drives the development of ever newer nuclear arms, thus preventing genuine nuclear disarmament."
The Holy See has repeatedly called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, but the public and even Church leaders around the world paid little attention.
Now the powerful personality of Pope Francis has put a world spotlight on the Church’s rejection of not only the use of nuclear weapons but their very possession. He scorned the technocratic defence of nuclear weapons: “It is moral reason that recognizes deterrence as an obstacle to peace, and leads us to seek alternative paths to a peaceful world."
The pope gave full support to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Five-Point Plan for Nuclear Disarmament, starting with a nuclear weapons convention or a legal framework to eliminate the weapons. And he repeated the Holy See’s call for a worldwide conference to start negotiations.
Pope Francis’ document is a direct attack on the military- industrial complex, which keeps trying to justify nuclear weapons as an aid to peace: “The human family will have to become united in order to overcome powerful institutionalized interests that are invested in nuclear armaments."
MISALLOCATION OF RESOURCES
He called for a global ethic of solidarity to stop the misallocation of resources “which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health, and the fight against extreme poverty."
The amount of money – $1 trillion – the major powers will spend on their nuclear arsenals over the next 10 years is a scandal of immense proportions. The United States alone will spend $355 billion.
Pope Francis’ document challenges hierarchies everywhere to act to change governments’ immoral policies of nuclear deterrence. The pressure will be felt intensely by the American bishops, who know their country is in the driver’s seat for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Pope Decries Global Problem of Nuclear Weapons
Expresses Hope for Disarmament for Sake of Future Generations
December 09, 2014 (Zenit.org) Deborah Castellano Lubov
Full Message: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-message-to-conference-on-the-humanitarian-impact-of-nuclear-weapons
Pope Francis is highlighting the global problem of nuclear weapons affecting all nations and impacting future generations and our planet.
The Holy Father spoke of his concern in a message to the participants of the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held in Vienna, which began Monday and ends today. His message was read aloud by Archbishop Silvio Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.
“It is my great hope," the Pope noted, that our responsibility toward others “will inform our efforts in favor of nuclear disarmament" and to make others see that "a world without nuclear weapons is truly possible."
“Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states," he highlighted.
What is needed for us to reduce the nuclear threat and work toward nuclear disarmament, the Pope said, is a "global ethic." Technological, social and political interdependence urgently calls for an ethic of solidarity now more than ever, he stressed.
Francis said we must work together for a more secure world, as well as for a future that is increasingly rooted in moral values and responsibility on a global scale.
While the focus is often placed on nuclear weapons' potential for mass killing, the Pope said more attention must be given to the "unnecessary suffering" brought on by their use.
Reminding such weapons have the potential to destroy us and civilization, Francis stated, “The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more"; they deserve “a peaceful world order based on the unity of the human family, grounded on respect, cooperation, solidarity and compassion."
"Now is the time to counter the logic of fear with the ethics of responsibility," he said, as well as "foster a climate of trust and sincere dialogue."
“Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations," he said, noting that to prioritize such spending "is a mistake" and "a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty."
If resources are squandered, he said, the poor and weak living on the margins of society “pay the price."
Since the desire for peace, security and stability is one of the deepest longings of the human heart and is rooted in God, he clarified it is “never satisfied by military means alone, much less the possession of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction."
“The future and the survival of the human family hinges on moving beyond this ideal and ensuring that it becomes a reality," he concluded, saying the security of our own future depends on guaranteeing the peaceful security of others.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs