Pope Francis condemns nuclear weapons; dismantlement is “moral imperative”

On 10-11 November 2017, the Vatican hosted a conference entitled “Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament.”

A large delegation from Pax Christi participated in the conference, including Marie Dennis, co-president of the Pax Christi International board; senior policy adviser for Pax Christi International Fr. Paul Lansu; and Pax Christi UK general secretary Pat Gaffney, to name only three.

During the gathering, Pope Francis gave a strong and clear condemnation of nuclear weapons: “Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security. They cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family.”

Prayer for the Vatican conference

Creator God, We thank your Holy Spirit for inspiring and guiding those who met at the nuclear weapons conference in Rome, including the Pax Christi delegation.

Your world is precious but human folly threatens its very existence.

We pray for those whose lives have been destroyed by nuclear weapons and nuclear testing.

We pray for those denied the essentials of life when money is squandered on nuclear weapons production.

We pray that our Church will speak to the world with clarity and wisdom and work with world leaders to ban the development, possession and use of nuclear weapons.

With Pope Francis, we commit ourselves to work for a world without nuclear weapons.

We pray in hope for a world built on just relations and cooperation between people who wish to live in peaceful co-existence.


Provided by Pax Christi International


Good resources on the Vatican conference and the Nuclear Ban Treaty:

Pope condemns possession of nuclear weapons in shift from church’s acceptance of deterrence, National Catholic Reporter, 10 November 2017

Statement from Bishop Robert McElroy (San Diego) on the occasion of the “Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament” conference. (“For the Church to contribute meaningfully to the attainment of [nuclear weapons dismantlement], it must help both the Catholic community and the nations of the world to engage in new forms of thinking: a conversion to an ethic of the universal common good, a conversion to the chilling reality that nuclear arsenals undermine rather than secure peace, and a conversion to building strategies of peace in recognition that the strategies of war are bankrupt and destructive. Pacem in Terris was monumentally important because it called the world to new ways of thinking. The Church at this pivotal moment must do no less.”]

Full text of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Pax Christi International info sheet on the Vatican conference


For U.S. citizens: In mid-November, the first congressional hearing on nuclear weapons since 1976 took place. Members of Congress are reevaluating the U.S.’s nuclear weapons process, specifically the protocol surrounding the president’s ability to use them. Urge Congress to take action to ensure that stricter protocols are put into place. (Link to action alert from Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.)

Share Pax Christi International’s information about the Vatican’s nuclear weapons conference on social media and with your communities.

Photo by Valerio Muscella

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