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In the beginning of the documentary The Sultan and the Saint, there is discussion of how the human brain is hardwired to act with compassion and empathy toward other human beings. For example, you may have witnessed children who cry when they see another child hurt.

Human beings need to be taught to “conform themselves to this age,” (Rom. 12:2) and “think not as God does, but as human beings.” (MT 16:23) The documentary discusses how humans learn how to kill another person when socialized into thinking of that person as “other,” and not as a human being with a soul “thirsting for God.” (Ps. 63) In the United States, we have experienced this “objectification” of other human beings made in the image of God with the use of terms such as “the axis of evil,” “collateral damage,” “casualty” or “guerrilla.”

Nuclear weapons, along with the devastation of God’s creation, pose the greatest threat to the annihilation of humanity. A nuclear war would not only kill hundreds of thousands of human beings immediately but thousands of others would die in the aftermath due to radiation exposure and to the destruction of the environment.

Several weeks ago 122 countries negotiated the first-ever legally binding treaty outlawing nuclear bombs. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed at the United Nations was the culmination of a decade-long effort by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Catholic Bishops from both the United States and Europe have called on the leaders of their nations to promote and support nuclear disarmament. This treaty will be signed on September 20 and will need to be ratified by at least 50 nations to become international law. The United States and all other nuclear weapon nations did not participate in the negotiations nor vote for the treaty. Further information about this treaty will be posted in this newsletter and on the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons website.

As followers of the nonviolent Jesus, whose last words to his disciples included “put away the sword,” let us join our Bishops and pray and advocate for a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF
FAN Board Secretary

Suggested Action:

Please send an email to Ambassador Nicki Haley urging her to sign the UN Treaty on the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Suggested Petitions:

For peace in our hearts, peace and our minds, and peace in our world. We pray…

For all those objectified by their skin color, race, creed or other attributes. May they have the courage to stand up for their right of human dignity. We pray…

Collect Prayer

God of might, giver of every good gift,
put into our hearts the love of your name,
so that, by deepening our sense of reverence,
you may nurture in us what is good and,
by your watchful care,
keep safe what you have nurtured.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


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