The President of the Italian Federation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Antonio Gianfico, along with 38 other presidents and leaders of many associations in the Italian Catholic community, have launched an appeal to Parliament to ratify the UN’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The treaty was adopted in July 2017 by 122 States, and includes a set of prohibitions including undertakings not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
“Our country —the document reads— did not sign the treaty at the UN nor ratified it at a later date. The Holy Seem however, was one of the first signatories”.
Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction, therefore, as such, ethically unacceptable, as Pope Francis also recalled during his apostolic journey to Japan on November 24, 2019, in Hiroshima: “With deep conviction I wish once more to declare that the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home. The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral, as I already said two years ago. We will be judged on this. Future generations will rise to condemn our failure if we spoke of peace but did not act to bring it about among the peoples of the earth”.
The appeal concludes with Pope Francis’ words: “The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor. Nonetheless –and this is scandalous– armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened. That is today’s scandal” (Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi message, on April 4, 2021, Easter Sunday).