Pope Francis Meets With Faculty, Students Attending Nuclear Disarmament Conference

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A Georgetown delegation of seven students and four faculty members had an audience with Pope Francis in Rome last week as they joined international representatives at a conference on nuclear disarmament.

Hosted by the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development in Vatican City on November 10 and 11, the conference focused on the importance of working toward a world free of nuclear weapons, in line with Pope Francis’ emphasis on promoting world peace. The Georgetown delegation had an audience with the pope on November 10.“The experience of meeting the Pope is difficult to put into words. It is quite literally an indescribable moment,” said David Palmieri (NHS’18). “To have the Holy Father’s unwavering support on this issue means so much for the nuclear disarmament movement.”“As our cohort of Hoyas involved aims to translate the impact, we are grateful to have the support of Pope Francis and the church in our effort toward nuclear disarmament,” he added.Other students in the Georgetown delegation were Daniel Rosenberg (SFS’18), Hunter Estes (SFS’19), Bryant King (SFS’18), Ricardo Mondolfi Salmen (SFS’19), David Patou (C’18), and Theodore Dedon (G’20).A Curse to BanishDrew Christiansen, S.J., distinguished professor of ethics and global human development and a senior research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, led the Georgetown delegation. He spoke at the conference on the social and moral responsibility of scientists in solving the problem of nuclear threat and argued for the necessity of redefining nuclear arms.“Nuclear weapons must be treated as a wholly different class of weapons,” Christiansen said. “We should cease to imagine them as tools we can manage, but rather as a curse we must banish.” Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, led the conference, which included experts offering their perspectives on nuclear disarmament, religion, and civil society.  …

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