The presidents of the Cold War antagonists signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty last Thursday in Prague.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, spoke of the event during the most recent edition of Vatican Television’s “Octava Dies.”
The spokesman characterized the treaty as ending a situation of deadlock and renewing the path to arms reduction, “and -- we hope -- the elimination of the most dangerous bellicose arsenals."
The new treaty replaces the recently expired 1991 START agreement. It reduces the strategic warheads permitted both countries to 1,550, down from a previous limit of 2,200.
The nuclear arms allowed by the treaty "continue to be sufficient to destroy our planet,” Father Lombardi said, “but their number is inferior to that of the times of the unlimited, futile and mad, nuclear arms race."
"To talk of peace, confidence and solidarity, when still thousands of very powerful nuclear warheads are calibrated is probably optimistic, but the path is appropriate and it is urgent to continue following it," the spokesman reflected. "In this way, there is more credibility to speak of nuclear non-proliferation to other countries with nuclear ambitions, and immense economic, scientific and human resources can be allocated to the most urgent needs of humanity and its development.
“Every effort in this sense will be encouraged and the Church will always be on the side of the agents of peace.”