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Urge Senators to Ratify the “New Start” Treaty

December 8th, 2010

Pax Christi is asking members to Urge our Senators to approve the New START anti-nuclear treaty this year! As Catholics, we are motivated by our faith to protect people from indiscriminate and disproportionate weapons, including nuclear weapons.

Why is New Start so important?

• New START will reverse the US’s diminishing knowledge of Russian nuclear weapons. It has been almost a year since the expiration of the original START treaty, and since then there have been no inspections into either side’s nuclear arsenal. Under the new treaty, there will be 18 short-notice inspections each year.

• New START is a precursor to progress on additional weapons reductions. This includes reductions of tactical nuclear weapons, which are not covered by New START.

• Delaying New START will harm ongoing non-proliferation efforts. This treaty demonstrates our commitment to limit the spread of nuclear weapons. If the U.S. allows it to fail, we will lose momentum and the authority to lead on nuclear non-proliferation.

• Delaying New START will have a damaging impact on our relationship with Russia. This will affect a number of areas, including limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities and supplying troops in Afghanistan. The Obama administration has worked to “reset” relations with Russia, and New START is a crucial component of that effort.

  • Send your Senators an email
  • Call your Senators via the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
  • Organize friends, family, neighbors, and community leaders to make their voices heard.

What is the Catholic Church saying about the treaty?

This week, Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, chair of the US Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter urging the Senate to approve New START. In the letter he said:

The Church’s concern for nuclear weapons grows out of its commitment to the sanctity of human life. This commitment led to the development of just war criteria, including the principles of discrimination and proportionality. Nuclear weapons are a grave threat to human life and dignity. Nuclear war is rejected in Church teaching because the use of nuclear weapons cannot insure noncombatant immunity and their destructive potential and lingering radiation cannot be meaningfully proportionate. Pope Benedict XVI said in a January 2006 statement, “In a nuclear war there would be no victors, only victims.”

Read the letter…

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