NOTE: Last month, the following letter was issued by Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle. Pax Christi USA applauds efforts like this one from Archbishop Etienne and it’s support of the pastoral letter from Archbishop John C. Wester delivered earlier this year.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am increasingly troubled by Russia’s war against Ukraine. The irresponsible threats by President Putin to use nuclear weapons are of grave concern. Nearly every day, there is another development that increases international tensions. To reinforce what could happen, this October marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war.
In this Archdiocese, less than twenty miles west of Seattle on the Kitsap Peninsula, the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base has the largest number of deployed U.S. nuclear weapons. Because Puget Sound could be on the front line in a nuclear war, I feel an urgent obligation that we review our Catholic teaching on nuclear weapons and the need to sharply reduce these weapons of mass destruction until we can eliminate them.
The manufacture of nuclear weapons has already caused significant damage to humans and God’s creation. Within Washington state, production of nuclear weapons contaminated the Hanford nuclear site and areas around two uranium mines near Spokane. Thousands of workers and people living downwind of these contaminated sites were exposed to harmful levels of radiation.
God calls us to build a global community where the whole human family can flourish. The current situation requires a prophetic stance. Pope Francis declared in Hiroshima in 2019: “The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral.”…
Click here to read the entire statement from Archbishop Etienne.
6 thoughts on “Statement on Nuclear Arms from Archbishop Paul D. Etienne”
Thank you for this information. It needs to be spread far and wide. Blessings.
Sincerely, thank you Archbishop Étienne for your letter that, if heeded, could very well save lives if not entire segments of our globe.
Yes, President Putin has insinuated the use of nuclear. And, just to be honest, our own CIA cautioned President Biden about provoking Russia for that very same reason ( the US had promised Russia we would not extend NATO to their doorstep). Yet our own Catholic president arrogantly disregards what more prudent persons caution. Not only does he gamble with life and death but increases spending on nuclear. Biden more than Putin increasingly should trouble us.
The words of Archbishop Etienne highlight urgency, inspiration and action within the framework of Pray, Study, Act. These 3 steps are necessary to work toward guiding the planet in the direction of true respect for one another and care for Creation. Thank you Archbishop Etienne–we need to hear from more Church leaders and continue to contact our elected officials. Peace.
I am very happy to see Pax Christi USA post Archbishop Etienne’s statement on the war in Ukraine and nuclear weapons. This statement went out to all the priests and deacons in the Archdiocese of Seattle. He listens; he makes decisions; and he acts. A good man.
— Deacon Denny Duffell, Seattle
A powerful, prophetic and inspiring statement! I also see in it the spirit of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, a great prophet for peace and disarmament, and PCUSA member. Presente!
– Fred Thelen, Michigan
The spirit of Archbishop Hunthausen is alive and well, thanks to Etienne’s courageous and prophetic statements. We here at the Casa Esther Catholic Worker House in Omro, WI, have been vigorously opposing nuclear weaponry and advocating the Non-Violence Peace Initiative. thanks Bishop Etienne.