THE HOLY SEE

Office of the Holy See, reflects on the need to reduce and control arms. Below is Vatican Radio’s English translation:

“The initiatives announced by the United States government in view of limiting and controlling the diffusion of arms is certainly a step in the right direction. It is estimated that Americans today possess about 300 million firearms. No one can be under the illusion that limiting their number and use would be enough to impede horrendous massacres in the future, such as the one in Newtown, which shook the conscience of Americans and the world, of children and adults alike. But it would be much worse if we were to satisfy ourselves with only words. And if the massacres are carried out by people with mental illness or distorted by hate, there is no doubt that they are carried out with arms. Forty-seven religious leaders of various confessions and religions have issued a call to American politicians to limit firearms, which are ‘making society pay an unacceptable price in terms of massacres and senseless deaths.’ I’m with them.

But while American society is engaged in the debate of dutiful civil and moral growth, we cannot but widen our gaze
to recall that arms, throughout the world, are also instruments for legitimate defense, but surely they are everywhere the main instruments to bring threats, violence and death. Therefore, it is necessary to repeat tirelessly our calls for disarmament, to oppose the production, trade and smuggling of arms of all types, fueled by dishonourable interests for power of financial gain… Peace is born from the heart, but it will be easier to achieve if we have fewer weapons in hand.

VATICAN RADIO, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, editorial, 1/19/2013