As tensions rise between Russia and the United States over the suspension of a nuclear arms treaty, a Vatican official has expressed concern about the potential implications for global peace and security. Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, the Vatican foreign minister, stated that the move by Russia is a step in the wrong direction for maintaining the containment and testing of nuclear arms.
According to CNS, Gallagher said:
“Sadly, I think this is a move in the wrong direction in terms of peace and the security of the world. The Holy See has been working on nuclear issues for many years now, and we regret the dismantlement of the nuclear architecture built in terms of containment of nuclear arms and testing, and this is just another step.”
The New START treaty, which restricts the number of deployed nuclear warheads between the two largest nuclear-armed superpowers to a maximum of 1,550, was signed in 2010. It was a major step towards global nuclear disarmament and ensured mutual on-site inspections to ensure compliance.
Despite numerous invitations from Ukrainian church leaders and civil authorities, the Vatican is not currently considering a papal trip to Ukraine. However, Ukrainian parliamentarians recently requested that Pope Francis visit Ukraine. Archbishop Gallagher stated that the Pope’s ideal trip would be to bring the message of peace to both Kyiv and Moscow.
In the meantime, the Vatican is continuing to offer political support and humanitarian aid to Ukraine through local churches. Archbishop Gallagher visited Lviv and Kyiv in May 2022, where he met with bishops from the Latin- and Eastern-rite Catholic churches, as well as with local and national government officials.
As the world watches developments in this tense situation, the Vatican remains committed to advocating for peace and security and providing support to those in need.
Pray for peace!