US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The bishops' little-publicized petition

Liz Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint |

The U.S. bishops have been talking so loudly lately about contraception and religious freedom that it’s beginning to overshadow their other initiatives. Did you know, for example, that the bishops are presenting President Obama with a petition to change our country’s policy on nuclear weapons?

The USCCB’s website currently has a petition titled “President Obama, move us closer to a world free of nuclear weapons.” Says the petition: “In the 21st century, nuclear weapons are a global security liability, not an asset. You must act now to reduce the nuclear danger and the role of nuclear weapons.”

Why isn’t this being preached from the pulpit? As Cardinal Francis George wrote in 2010, “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.” Nuclear weapons are rejected by church teaching, as is the use of contraception in most cases. So where is the outcry from the bishops on this threat, especially as tensions in the Middle East rise daily surrounding Iran's nuclear capabilities?

As Pope John XXIII said in his 1963 Encyclical Pacem in Terris (113): "The true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms, but in mutual trust alone."

Hopefully U.S. Catholics can trust that their bishops will stand up for this threat to human life and dignity.