The Pope and the Bomb: Beyond Deterrence

January 31, 2020
8:45 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. EST
Location: McCarthy Hall McShain Lounge Map

Pope Francis has condemned nuclear deterrence, ratified the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, and been a leader in the campaign for a world without nuclear weapons. In an address in Hiroshima November 24, 2019, he declared that “the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home.”

This workshop addressed the current state of nuclear geopolitics, alternative approaches to nuclear disarmament, and moral and pastoral implications of the Catholic Church’s evolving position on deterrence and nuclear disarmament.

This event was made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Nuclear Threat Initiative. It was co-sponsored by the Initiative on Revitalizing Catholic Engagement on Nuclear Disarmament, a collaboration of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame; and the Catholic Peacebuilding Network. Additional co-sponsors included: 

  • International Federation of Catholic Universities
  • Georgetown University’s Office of the President, Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, and Center on National Security and the Law


8:45 a.m. | Registration and Light Breakfast

9:15 a.m. | Welcome and Greetings 

Drew Christiansen, S.J., Georgetown University 
Alessio Pecorario on behalf of Cardinal Peter TurksonDicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (Full Remarks)

9:30 a.m. | How We Got Here

Introductions: Drew Christiansen, S.J., Georgetown University

William Barbieri, Catholic University of America
David Cortright, University of Notre Dame
William Werpehowski, Georgetown University
Marilyn McMorrow, RSCJ, Georgetown University (facilitator)

11:00 a.m. | Break

11:15 a.m. | Status Report: Arms Control and Non-proliferation

Introductions: John Carr, Georgetown University

Alexandra Bell, The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Richard Love, U.S. Army War College
Leon Ratz, Nuclear Threat Initiative (facilitator)

12:30 p.m. | Lunch

1:15 p.m. | Reflections on International Law

David A. Koplow, Georgetown Law

1:30 p.m. | Ethics and Pastoral Guidance

Introductions: John Carr, Georgetown University

Drew Christiansen, S.J., Georgetown University
Maryann Cusimano-Love, Catholic University of America
Gerard Powers, University of Notre Dame
Alessio Pecorario, Dicastery for Integral Human Development (facilitator)

3:00 p.m. | Conscience Formation and Public Education

Introductions: Gerard Powers, University of Notre Dame

Erin Connolly, Girl Security / Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Margaret Pfeil, University of Notre Dame
Kevin Ahern, Manhattan College (facilitator)

4:15 p.m. | Break

4:30 p.m. | Approaches to Nuclear Disarmament: Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament, Joint Enterprise

Introduction: Lucas Koach, USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace

James Goodby, Stanford University
Jonathan Granoff, Global Security Institute / International Law Section of the American Bar Association (Full Remarks)
Bonnie Jenkins, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security(facilitator)

5:45 p.m. | Closing Reflections

Drew Christiansen, S.J., Georgetown University
David Cortright, University of Notre Dame

related event | Pope Francis' Vision of Peace: Disarmament, Development, and Inclusiveness in the Catholic Conception of Just Peace

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