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Letters to the Editor

09/13/2017

 

Canada needs to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty

The Editor: Regrettably, Canada won’t be there when the nuclear weapons ban treaty opens for signing Sept. 20 at United Nations headquarters in New York. When 122 UN member states voted to adopt the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on July 7 this year, Canada wasn’t at the table.

While it does not have nuclear weapons, Canada belongs to NATO. All nine nuclear-armed countries and their allies, including NATO, Japan, Australia and South Korea declined to participate in treaty negotiations.

Canada has long played a role in the global nuclear cycle as a major supplier of highly radioactive uranium which fuels nuclear medicine, nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. The international market seems incapable of distinguishing between supposedly peaceful and destructive uses of the controversial mineral long sold by the Canadian government.

In 1945, the United States dropped two catastrophic atomic bombs on Japan. Today other states flex muscle on the global stage by developing and flaunting nuclear weapons. Threats and counter-threats abound, fuelling fear and instability.

In a letter to a UN conference negotiating the treaty earlier this year, Pope Francis rejected the notion of nuclear deterrence, calling elimination of all nuclear weapons “both a challenge and a moral and humanitarian imperative” (w2.vatican.va; March 23, 2017).

Sept. 26 marks the United Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Despite discouragement from the United States and other NATO members, Canada urgently needs to sign and promote the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty. — Roma De Robertis, SCIC, Saint John, N.B.

 

U.S. Council for National Policy masks its true intent 

 

The Editor: The “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism” article (La Civilta Cattolica, June 2017) mentions the “political organizations and networks such as the Council of National Policy (CNP).”  

Hopefully this means the Vatican is aware of the major role this network and its multifaceted covert strategies play in deepening our increasingly unstable global culture of death.  

The network self-identifies as “conservative.”

As documented in Jane Mayer’s 2016 book, Dark Money, many are libertarian; that is, anti-government, regulation and tax.

However, they are selective.
 
They are happy for us to pay taxes so the public purse can pay them lucrative contracts or bail them out when they make a mess of things as with the 2008 financial crisis.

They lobby against themselves paying taxes to cover these costs or so we can have good public policy ensuring all God’s children life with dignity. 

The 1971 “Powell Memo” to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce triggered this network’s formation. It lists college campuses, the pulpit and the media among the “enemies” threatening “American enterprise.”

Powell (a corporate lawyer) and Kristol (a journalist) counselled corporate leaders to mask their lobbying against provisions that protect us, our families or the environment as moral values about family and faith (Mayers, p. 92).  

I have not found one Catholic commentary outlining how their deceitful strategies and the lived realities generated directly violates our official teachings of the church.   

Given the Knights’ concern for faith, life and family, I look forward to them exposing this deceit.

As St. John Paul II stated in his 1991 encyclical “Centesimus Annus” (58): “Love for others . . . is made concrete in the promotion of justice. It is not merely a matter of ‘giving from one’s surplus’; it requires above all a change of lifestyles, of models of production and consumption, and of the established structures of power — orienting them (to) the common good. . . .”  

I quote John Paul II as he is loved by many who attack Pope Francis for saying the same thing. — Yvonne Zarowny, Qualicum Beach, B.C.