Nuclear deterrence: churches go on distance to nuclear weapons

Not only the parts of the SPD have, in recent times, increasingly a Problem with the fact that in Germany, American nuclear store bombing and the Nato on the st

Nuclear deterrence: churches go on distance to nuclear weapons

Not only the parts of the SPD have, in recent times, increasingly a Problem with the fact that in Germany, American nuclear store bombing and the Nato on the strategic concept of nuclear deterrence holds fast. Also in the Catholic Church in Germany, the signs of a departure from the previous official Position, are on the increase. Accordingly, the nuclear deterrent with all the skepticism, under certain conditions, at least for a Transition period ethically tolerable. This Position is faltering, was the last in a remarkable gesture: For the third Church day of action against nuclear weapons, which was actually planned before the air base in Büchel in the Eifel region, the only location of American nuclear bombs in Germany, taught recently for the first time, a Catholic Bishop, the word to the participants.

Thomas Jansen

editor in the policy.

F. A. Z.

The day of action that took place due to the Corona pandemic this year, only virtually, is an Ecumenical Initiative, but with the Protestant flip side: While from the Protestant side, several country churches co-organizer, represented the Catholic side only of the organization Pax Christi. The Mainz Bishop Peter Kohl count, since last year, the President of Pax Christi, asked in his video message, an accession of Germany to the UN nuclear weapons ban Treaty by 2017. So he asked, implicitly, the withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Germany, is a target of the action day. Because of this agreement, which rejects the signing of the Federal government, not only prohibits use, manufacture and possession, but also the storage of nuclear weapons.

Pope Francis advocates for nuclear weapons ban Treaty

cabbage Graf made to the new course of Pope Francis, who throws all his moral authority for the nuclear weapons ban Treaty in the pan. The strategy of nuclear deterrence has made the Catholic as ever any peace ethics from the beginning, in front of a Dilemma: May be the possession and threat of use of nuclear weapons, if they are used to war prevention, morally acceptable, although their use is morally reprehensible? The official Catholic Position wore long to the Argument that a unilateral renunciation of nuclear weapons to endanger the peace, because the resulting military imbalance against the side of a military strike to deter.

Pope Paul VI introduced the nuclear balance between the West and the East not as a matter of principle, "which can still serve for some time to prevent the worst," as he put it in 1978, in a message to the General Assembly of the United Nations. To avoid disaster, was the precarious balance of terror, but at most a tentatively acceptable interim solution. In this sense, John Paul II in 1982 said in his speech before the United Nations in New York: "In the current world situation can be a on a balance-based (nuclear) deterrence, while not a goal in itself, but a stage on the way to gradual disarmament, and can therefore be judged as morally acceptable." Benedict XVI remained true to this line.

Acceptable only for war prevention

Francis has now withdrawn but apparently the consequence of the fact that these hope for substantial progress in nuclear disarmament, even after more than three decades, yet has not met. Add to that the traditional doctrine of "just war" basically out of the question. In view of the disastrous consequences for humans and the environment, but also the risk of an accidental Explosion of such weapons, the threat of their use and their possession was decided "to condemn," he said in November 2017 to participants of an international disarmament conference in the Vatican. Before the trip of the Pope to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in November of 2019, several ambassadors in the Vatican, were, according to a report in the French newspaper "Le Monde" to make representations to, to prevent the Pope repeated this statement in Japan – in vain.

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The German bishops ' conference had, in 1983, in its statement, "righteousness creates peace," the strict conditions for a temporary toleration of nuclear deterrence called, are still valid today. Decisive is that the nuclear deterrent is used exclusively for war prevention, and the political and military leadership, this can make it plausible. In addition, the means of nuclear weapons and their use must be plans, such that they serve only this goal. The Catholic bishops went one step further than the EKD, which was set in 2007 in a Memorandum on a on a transitional basis, tolerating a rejection of nuclear deterrence. So far, the bishops ' conference has not positioned itself in this issue.

Date Of Update: 25 June 2020, 18:19

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