Tuesday 17 July 2018

World can't be held captive by atomic bomb fears - Pope

Pope Francis welcomes members of the disarmament symposium called ‘Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament’. Photo: Getty
Pope Francis welcomes members of the disarmament symposium called ‘Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament’. Photo: Getty

Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis has warned that international relations can no longer be "held captive" by policies of fear and nuclear deterrence, as he urged the world to get behind his vision of a future free from atomic weapons.

Pope Francis addressed Nobel peace laureates, UN and Nato officials and diplomats from countries with the bomb during a Vatican conference aimed at galvanising support for a global shift from the Cold War-era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of disarmament.

Speaking in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, Francis acknowledged that current tensions might render efforts at ridding the world of nuclear weapons remote.

But he said reliance on such weapons "creates nothing but a false sense of security", and that any use of them, even accidental, would be "catastrophic" for humanity and the environment. "International relations cannot be held captive to military force, mutual intimidation, and the parading of stockpiles of arms," he said.

Irish Independent

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