Mark Your Calendar
UN International Peace Day
In honor of this important day we will be showing the film “In Our Son’s Name” about the transformation that Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez experienced after their son Greg died in the attacks on 9/11/01. Phyllis and Orlando will be with us to facilitate discussion. The time will be 2 PM, Sunday, September 13th, the place Casserly Hall, St. Joseph’s Greenwich Village Church.
Good Friday Way of the Cross
40-Day Fast for Christian Nonviolence
Feast of the Holy
Feast of the Holy
Peacemaking Through the Arts
Ash Wednesday Leafleting
Ash Wednesday Leafleting
Our tradition on Ash
Wednesday is to offer a Lenten Reflection to the
faithful outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Our tradition on Ash Wednesday is to offer a Lenten Reflection to the faithful outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Each year PCMNY organizes a weekend retreat, usually during Lent, facilitated by a noted spiritual leader to challenge and nurture participants in their commitment to Christian nonviolence.
August 9, 2015
by RosemariePace, Director
“Today is the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, three days after the world was introduced to the terrifying reality of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima. The victims of these bombings are still with us. The Hibakusha are a living testimony calling all of us to make the right decisions today, if we do not want to face similar situations tomorrow. Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be a reminder of the importance of ridding humanity of the risks and incalculable destruction of nuclear war.”
With these words, Archbishop BernarditoAuza, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States, began his presentation on “Catholic Morality and Nuclear Abolition.” It was Pax Christi Metro New York’s largest gathering in memory for our annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial, held on August 9th, 2015 at St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village.
Archbishop Auza led off with a beautiful prayer from Pope John Paul II, a prayer His Holiness prayed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Hall in 1981, asking God to “hear my voice” as he appealed for everlasting peace throughout the world. Archbishop Auza then traced the teaching of the Catholic Church on nuclear weapons from 1943 to the present.
Yes, 1943, before the atomic bombs were ever used. Pope Pius XII had the foresight to anticipate “the violent use of nuclear energy” and to warn against “a costly relationship of mutual terror.” Pope John XXIII advanced that warning in Pacem in Terris, rejecting nuclear deterrence and calling for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. Pope Paul VI focused on development, noting that the nuclear arms race impeded development and contributed, instead, to “the service of death.” The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council who composed GaudiumetSpes discredited the concept of “mutually-assured destruction” as a means to peace. Rather they wrote: “the arms race is an utterly treacherous trap for humanity, and one that ensnares the poor to an intolerable degree.” Pope John Paul II allowed for deterrence only as a step toward disarmament, which he considered the ultimate and necessary goal. Pope Benedict XVI described the argument that nuclear weapons could be a basis for peace as “completely fallacious” and added “peace requires that all…strive for progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament.” Today, Pope Francis affirms all that his predecessors have said with his own call for nuclear abolition and he goes even farther in calling for an end to all war.
Why such a strong and consistent stance against nuclear weapons? First and foremost is the moral reason, but there are also several others: Nuclear weapons, because of their indiscriminate impact, are against international humanitarian law. Nuclear deterrence is not a realistic strategy against non-state, terroristforces. Investment in nuclear arsenals is extremely expensive, robbing resources from the impoverished, those needing health care, education, and all manner of programs that promote real peace and security. Finally, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty called for non-nuclear states to remain non-nuclear while nuclear states would progressively disarm, but the nuclear states have not held up their half of the agreement, creating a very unequal and volatile imbalance of power, negating the trust on which a treaty is based and tempting non-nuclear states to abandon the Treaty as, it would seem, have the nuclear states.
In conclusion, Archbishop Auza summarized the compatibility between Catholic Morality and Nuclear Nonproliferation with six points:
· First, …nuclear disarmament is anchored in the dignity of the human person…
· Second, …nuclear weapons are per se inhumane and unethical…
· Third, reciprocal terror is not the road to peace…
· Fourth, the best and most realistic path forward is to disarm…
· Fifth, nuclear inequality among states is a recipe for conflict, not peace.
· Sixth, there is a development cost to nuclear production and modernization, to possession and maintenance of nuclear weapons.
During the discussion period, someone asked Archbishop Auza what we can do practically speaking to encourage nuclear abolition. Two of his answers were divest and pray.
After the talk, PCMNY’s Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial always includes a public witness at which we stand in silence except for the ringing of a gong the number of times equal to the number of years since the bombings. A few people also distribute a leaflet to the public with information and action suggestions. One of those suggestions is to visit the “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” website, which supports fully Archbishop Auza’s recommendation to divest from the nuclear industry. Click here for the flier with all its action suggestions and web links.
Pax Christi Metro New York © 2015
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