Saturday, January 29, 2022

New Mexico Church official calls for nuclear disarmament talks. Nation World News

ALBUQUERQUE, NM ( Associated Press) — The head of the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States is now rejuvenating and sustaining a global conversation about the need for nuclear disarmament and developing ways to avoid new nuclear weapons. It’s time. Caste.

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester issued a long pastoral letter On Tuesday, during a virtual news conference on the subject, Los Alamos National Laboratory — the birthplace of the atomic bomb — is preparing to accelerate production of plutonium cores to be used in the country’s nuclear arsenal.

Wester called the arms race a vicious circle.

“We can no longer deny or ignore the extremely dangerous situation of our human family and we are in a new nuclear arms race that is more dangerous than ever,” he said. “We need a control over nuclear weapons, not an escalating nuclear arms race.”

Nuclear watchdog groups welcomed the letter, the latest example of the Catholic Church engaging in the debate. In 2020, Pope Francis marks the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima Calling for peace and reiterating that mere possession of nuclear weapons is immoral.

Last week, the chairman of the US Episcopal Committee on International Justice and Peace welcomed recent pledges by several UN Security Council member states to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Wester said he too was encouraged by the pledge.

Wester said the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, which covers parishes throughout northern New Mexico, has a special role, noting that two major federal laboratories — Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories — are located in the state. He also mentioned the US government’s stockpile of nuclear weapons at an airport in Albuquerque.

He suggested spending more money looting the country’s nuclear arsenal than efforts to alleviate poverty.

Federal officials spanning the Obama, Trump and now Biden administrations have argued that modernization is necessary given geopolitical instability and ongoing national security concerns. Members of the New Mexico congressional delegation have also supported efforts to expand work in Los Alamos, pointing to the billions of dollars in investment and new jobs that will result.

Wester said the focus should be on shifting weapons work to “life-affirming jobs” that include environmental cleanup of Cold War-era waste, nonproliferation programs and projects addressing climate change. He acknowledged it will not be easy, but said it is possible, pointing to the changes that have resulted from the technological revolution and now the transformation of the energy industry.

“It’s really such an important topic. We can’t really do Daly,” Wester said.

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