Stimson in the News

Hannah Haegeland’s Op-ed in Arms Control Wonk on the Catholic Church and nuclear weapons

in Program

What does the Catholic Church have to say about the Bomb? It is important to distinguish between the Church’s support of specific policies and her guidance on matters of faith. The Church speaks with authority on issues of faith and personal morality, while offering suggestions and advice on public policy. The Church does not tell Catholics how to vote.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the “legitimate defense by military force” requires that action taken be a last resort, in response to “lasting, grave, and certain” damage by an aggressor with “serious prospects of success.” Even so, the use of force must not “produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.” While the Catechism does not go into specifics on the morality of nuclear weapons, pastoral letters and statements by popes have.

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