Pope Francis: Nuclear weapons poison relationships and obstruct dialogue

A world free from nuclear weapons is both “necessary and possible” to achieve collective security, Pope Francis told the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, gathered in Vienna.

The Pope’s message was read to the participants in the conference via videomessage by the Vatican’s Foreign Minister, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

Vatican Secretary for Relations with States
Here, I wish to reaffirm that the use of nuclear weapons, as well as their mere possession, is immoral. Trying to defend and ensure stability and peace through a false sense of security and a “balance of terror” sustained by a mentality of fear and mistrust inevitably ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructing any possible form of real dialogue.

The treaty aims to create a world free of nuclear weapons, with all ratifying countries stating to never test, produce or possess nuclear weapons.

Five years ago, Pope Francis addressed the diplomatic conference that negotiated the treaty, which went into effect this January. Yet he says that now, its mission is more important than ever.

Vatican Secretary for Relations with States
At this particular moment in history where the world seems to be at a crossroads, the courageous vision of this legal instrument, strongly inspired by ethical and moral arguments, appears ever more timely.

To date, 65 countries have signed on to the treaty, yet no nuclear-armed country has done so—most notably Russia, the United States, China, Great Britain, and France.



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