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Santa Fe archbishop says no to nukes


Archbishop John C. Wester’s recent pastoral letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Towards Nuclear Disarmament,” has raised hopes among many that those who follow Jesus’ way of nonviolent peacemaking can help the world achieve total nuclear disarmament.

Archbishop John C. Wester

From his reading of the Gospel, Archbishop Wester concluded, “There are no exceptions, no justifications for warfare and no “just war theory.” and “We are not allowed to kill people.”  These conclusions are an important part of the letter since they address all forms of militarism and war making that threaten to bring us to the point of nuclear war.

The Pax Christi chapters of New York state wish to thank Archbishop Wester for his letter. We applaud his invitation to a “conversation” where Catholics “turn to one another in peace and talk and listen to each other about the ongoing development of weapons and how we might end the work of nuclear war preparation.” Archbishop Wester’s letter describing nuclear horrors and militarism in New Mexico should remind New Yorkers of the presence of such evil in every region of New York state. The letter’s call for disarmament is in agreement with the recent teaching of Pope Francis. With Archbishop Wester, we look forward to a time when Church teaching on war will be based only on the explicit, nonviolent teachings and example of Jesus.

We recommend Archbishop Wester’s letter to our bishops for study and use in our dioceses. As Catholics, we profess our faith in Jesus. In the spirit of that faith, Pax Christi New York State offers all bishops our support and assistance in starting the “conversation” among the Catholic faithful in our parishes and communities.

In Peace and Gratitude,
Pax Christi Metro NY
Pax Christi Western NY
Pax Christi Long Island
Pax Christi Upstate NY Ben Salmon Chapter

*The Pastoral Letter can be viewed online or a print copy obtained from: