Bishop Cantu urges administration to pursue deeper nuclear arms cuts

(CNS) The chairman of a U.S. bishops’ committee urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to pursue additional reductions in the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia.

“We urge bold and concrete commitments to accelerate verifiable nuclear disarmament,” Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote in the letter dated February 14. It was released February 15 by the USCCB.

The correspondence pressed the secretary of state to ensure that both countries build on the New START agreement, a pact negotiated in 2010 that calls for reducing their strategic arsenals – weapons deployed on intercontinental ballistic missiles, bombers and submarines – to 1,550 each by 2018.

Cantu’s letter comes as Tillerson begins his time as the chief foreign affairs adviser to President Donald Trump. It also follows days after Reuters reported that Trump denounced New START in an hourlong telephone call on January 28 with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. [More]