December 13, 2010

Citing the Catholic Church's concern for the sanctity of human life, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace called on U.S. senators to ratify the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., speaking on behalf of the U.S. bishops, urged senators in a Nov. 29 letter to approve the treaty known as START.

Citing earlier statements by both Pope Benedict and the bishops' conference, Hubbard called ratification of the arms control accord critical "because it is a modest step toward a world with greater respect for human life."

The treaty was signed April 8 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

It would commit the two nations to reducing their strategic arsenals to 1,550 warheads deployed on long-range missiles, bombers and submarines.

"Nuclear weapons are a grave threat to human life and dignity," Hubbard said.