To the Editor:
On Jan. 21, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force after 85 nations signed it, although only 50 nations have ratified it. Our country is not one of them.
Seventy-five years since the nuclear bomb was developed and used, many nations believe that these weapons are weapons of mass destruction. The International Red Cross says the use of even 1% of the 13,125 nuclear weapons in existence would be a humanitarian catastrophe that could cause famine and the death of 2 billion people. The treaty bans the use, possession, development or transfer of nuclear weapons under international law.
Pope Francis stated in his trip to Japan in 2019 that “The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral.” The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), said the cost of current plans for U.S. nuclear weapons in 2021 is $44.5 billion, a 19% increase from 2020. This is part of the $740 billion defense cost for our country, which is more than the next 10 countries put together!
Pope Francis also said in Japan at Nagasaki, “For her part, the Catholic Church is irrevocably committed to promoting peace between peoples and nations. This is the duty to which the Church feels bound before God and every man and woman in our world. We must never grow weary of working to support the principal international legal instruments of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.”
Fortunately, President Biden signed the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) with Russia on Feb. 3, which extends the treaty for five more years.
Let us hope and pray that our country will sign and ratify the TPNW Treaty by 2022.
St Thomas More Parish