January 31, 2011

As Democratic and Republican senators in the U.S. pressed their divergent views on the New START agreement with Russia outlining the next phase of nuclear disarmament during final debate in December, a wide array of Catholics played a major role in getting the pact ratified.

From political insiders to people in the pews, Catholics provided a moral perspective on the need for the treaty, helping build the final 71-26 margin for ratification, said several people working on the issue.

The Russian parliament is expected to ratify the treaty in the coming weeks.

Quaker spokesman David Culp heaped high praise on Catholics.

He pointed to the efforts by the U.S. bishops as well as key Catholic members of Congress and the Obama administration.

"(Catholics) definitely have been the most active and most important faith-based group working on this," Culp said.