Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
A certain pessimism might make us think that "prospects for a world free from nuclear arms and for integral disarmament" ... appear increasingly remote. Indeed, the escalation of the arms race continues unabated and the price of modernizing and developing weaponry, not only nuclear weapons, represents a considerable expense for nations.
As a result, the real priorities facing our human family, such as the fight against poverty, the promotion of peace, the undertaking of educational, ecological and healthcare projects, and the development of human rights are relegated to second place...
Nor can we fail to be genuinely concerned by the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental effects of any employment of nuclear devices. If we also take into account the risk of an accidental detonation as a result of error of any kind, the threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned.
For they exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race.
International relations cannot be held captive to military force, mutual intimidation, and the parading of stockpiles of arms. 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, which must rather be inspired by an ethics of solidarity...
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio of Pope Paul VI. That Encyclical, in developing the Christian concept of the person, set forth the notion of integral human development and proposed it as "the new name of peace".
... Progress that is both effective and inclusive can achieve the utopia of a world free of deadly instruments of aggression, contrary to the criticism of those who consider idealistic any process of dismantling arsenals.
The teaching of John XXIII remains ever valid... He stated: "Unless this process of disarmament be thoroughgoing and complete, and reach men's very souls, it is impossible to stop the arms race, or to reduce armaments, or —and this is the main thing—ultimately to abolish them entirely" (Pacem in Terris, April 11, 1963).
(Source: Address to participants in the international symposium, "Prospects for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Development" 11/10/2017)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com