PopeWatch: Ban the Bomb

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Pope Francis has called for banning all nukes:


ROME – Pope Francis has called for a “collective and concerted” multilateral effort to eliminate nuclear weapons, telling a United Nations conference working on a treaty to prohibit such weapons that international peace and stability “cannot be based on a false sense of security, on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or on simply maintaining a balance of power.”

The conference took place March 27 in New York, after the UN General Assembly voted in December to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, with the aim of working toward their total elimination.

Such a treaty would make explicit what is implied in the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which calls on declared nuclear powers to aim for complete nuclear disarmament.

The talks seemed doomed from the start, since every state with nuclear weapons – including the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council – boycotted the congress.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. representative to the UN, said she “would love to have a ban on nuclear weapons, but in this day and time we can’t honestly say we can protect our people by allowing bad actors to have them and those of us that are good trying to keep peace and safety not to have them,” specifically mentioning the threat of nuclear-armed North Korea.

The pontiff answered these objections directly in a letter to the congress, noting the current “unstable climate of conflict” might not seem the best time to approach the “demanding and forward looking goal” of nuclear non-proliferation, and even nuclear disarmament.

However, the pope said nuclear deterrence is ineffective against the principal threats in the twenty-first century, mentioning in particular terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity, environmental problems, and poverty.

“These concerns are even greater when we consider the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences that would follow from any use of nuclear weapons, with devastating, indiscriminate and uncontainable effects, over time and space,” Francis writes, adding “we need also to ask ourselves how sustainable is a stability based on fear, when it actually increases fear and undermines relationships of trust between peoples.”

The pope said the world needs to go beyond nuclear deterrence: “The international community is called upon to adopt forward-looking strategies to promote the goal of peace and stability and to avoid short-sighted approaches to the problems surrounding national and international security.”


Go here to read the rest.

A few questions:

  1.  Does the Pope propose that force be used against a nation that does not agree to give up its nukes?
  2. If force is to be used, who would provide the force and who would be in charge of it?
  3. If a nation that is unwilling to give up its nukes uses a nuclear weapon against forces attempting to remove its nukes, may those forces use nukes in response?
  4. How would the Pope deal with the problem of nations cheating by saying that they had given nukes up, but actually retaining the nukes?
  5. If a nation’s population vote to retain nukes, would the Pope be willing to have force deployed against such a nation to remove its nukes against the will of a majority of the people of the nation?
  6. What would happen to the nukes that are removed from operation?
  7. What would the Pope propose be done if the entire world engaged in total nuclear disarmament and then a terrorist group announced both a list of demands and proof that it possessed nukes?
  8. What background does the Pope have in nuclear strategy?
  9. Is this a serious proposal or mere feel good Bomfog from the Vatican?
  10. May we assume that Pope Francis has solved all problems besetting the Church now that he has time to determine what should be done with nuclear arsenals?

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  1. I notice, Donald, you wrote you had a “few” questions. I’m certain your list could be much longer. But really, let’s just get to the heart of the problem. Why didn’t the Pope just propose a ban on mean people? That way, even if nuclear weapons existed, there would be no worries. Everyone would be nice. He’s just the man to propose something that will truly benefit all mankind. Thank God for Pope Francis.

  2. It is not as if President Trump needs another reason to defund the UN.

    Mutually assured destruction worked in the Cold War. Chamberlain-style appeasement, and the so-called League of Nations’ arms restrictions on Germany, didn’t work in the first half of the 20th century, when cold reality crushed sunny theory and unicorn farts.

    There are only two outcomes of appeasement: surrender or war. The reality is that there are lunatics (Hitler, Stalin, Kim) that will never honestly respond to a generous gesture.

    Here we have a secular humanist (globalist elite) essay about perfecting the World, which is the only World we have, and which we must feverishly work to make better.

  3. Very hard to imagine a situation in which use of such weapons could be done in a morally licit way. Yet the situation is such that many bad actors have these weapons, and the most plausible way of deterring their use is our own arsenal. Not an ideal situation, but until and unless the bad guys get rid of them in a verifiable way, our continued possession of them must continue as a deterrence.

    The Pope is merely stating the obvious, that the existence of these weapons is a tragedy, since even one use of a modern warhead would have devastating consequences on innocent noncombatants. I don’t think opposing the existence and maintenance of these wretched weapons is some kind of pacifist, tree-hugging, “librul” position, it’s the consistent Catholic position since the time they were developed. If they could be gotten rid of, it would be a net moral gain for humanity.

  4. “The Pope is merely stating the obvious, that the existence of these weapons is a tragedy,”

    Nope, he is calling for their elimination without caring a fig about the practical difficulties that prevent such a policy from having an ending that does not involve the use of nuclear weapons by some very bad actors. Good intentions are never a substitute for intelligence.

  5. The Pope’s remarks ever remind one of recycled opinion journalism, like he had a mind which consisted of back issues of The Nation (with a few copies of Commonweal tossed in).

  6. Clerics have have spent not a single day aboard a nuclear submarine or in a Trident missile silo should shut their freaking mouths about nuclear weapons. They do NOT get to have an opinion. We gave this Argentinian Marxist Peronist the freedom he abuses to spout froth his liberal progressive feminist nonsense.

    I despise the Church of Jorge Bergoglio.

  7. FYI, due to a lack of berthing space on a 688 class submarine, I slept next to one of these in the torpedo room.


    I was a junior reactor operator back aft in Engineering, and as such had no choice where I berthed. Nevertheless, death from below was a real deterrent. However, my real hope wasn’t that we would never have to use these, but that as we did angles and dangles, the metallic straps securing the weapon would not let loose and pancake me beneath a metal tube containing solid rocket fuel, plutonium-239 and deuterium-tritium.

  8. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus: I have always held your great sacrifice in high esteem. Thank you for your service. I know it was not easy. God bless and keep you always.

  9. Philip Nachazel: Thank you for the link. Forty three years and sixty million human souls later, the civil right of “We, the people” to our constitutional Posterity is the eternal truth.

    In atheistic communism, “We, the people” must follow the dictates of the Party. “We, the people” have no right to think, to say or to do what the human soul in search of God indicates. “We, the people must disenfranchise ourselves of our conscience, our civil rights and our freedom. “We, the people” must do what the Party dictates.
    Michael Dowd: My exact thought, “with a reliance on the support of divine Providence.” (Declaration)

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