On Nuclear Technology

“Let Us Pray That Men Live in Peace”

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 29, 2007 JULY 29, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before reciting the midday Angelus in the courtyard of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Arriving the other day from Lorenzago di Cadore, I am happy to find myself again here at Castel Gandolfo, in the familiar environment of this beautiful little town, where I plan to stay, if it pleases God, for the rest of the summer. I feel the strong desire to thank the Lord once again for having been able to spend tranquil days in the mountains of Cadore and I am grateful to all those who efficiently organized my stay there and watched over it with care. 

With equal affection I would like to greet and express my grateful sentiments to you, dear pilgrims, and above all to you, dear citizens of Castel Gandolfo, who have welcomed me with your usual cordiality and have always accompanied me with discretion during the my sojourns with you.

Last Sunday, recalling the Note published 90 years ago on August 1 by Pope Benedict XV directed at the warring countries of the First World War, I reflected on the theme of peace. Now a new occasion invites me to reflect on another important question connected to this theme. This very day, in fact, is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was instituted with the mandate to “seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world” (IAEA “Statute,” No. II). 

The Holy See, fully approving of the IAEA’s goal, has been a member since the organization’s foundation and continues to support its activity. The epochal changes of the last 50 years are evidence of how, in the difficult crossroads at which humanity finds itself, the commitment to encourage the nonproliferation of nuclear arms, to promote a progressive and agreed-upon nuclear disarmament, and to favor the peaceful and safe use of nuclear technology for authentic development — respectful of the environment and always attentive to the most disadvantaged populations — is always relevant and urgent. 

For this reason I ardently hope for the success of the efforts of those who work to pursue the three objectives with determination and the intention to make things such that “the resources which would be saved could then be employed in projects of development capable of benefiting all their people, especially the poor.” (“Message for the World Day of Peace 2006,” No. 13). 

It is well, in fact, to re-emphasize on this occasion how in the place of “the arms race there must be substituted a common effort to mobilize resources toward objectives of moral, cultural and economic development, ‘redefining the priorities and hierarchies of values'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2438).

We again entrust to the intercession of Mary Most Holy our prayer for peace, in particular that scientific and technological knowledge be used with a sense of responsibility and for the common good, in complete respect for international law. Let us pray that men live in peace and all feel as brothers, sons of one Father: God.

[Translation by ZENIT]

[The Holy Father made the following remarks after the Angelus:]

And now a plea for the Korean hostages in Afghanistan. The practice by armed groups of manipulating innocent persons for promoting their own goals is becoming widespread.

These are grave violations of human dignity, which go against every elementary norm of civilization and rights and gravely offend the divine law. I make my plea so that the authors of such criminal acts desist from the evil done and return their victims unharmed.

[The Holy Father addressed the following words to English-speaking pilgrims:]

I extend heartfelt greetings to all the English-speaking visitors here today. In this Sunday’s Gospel, the disciples see Jesus praying, and they ask him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” So he teaches them the “Our Father”, and in this way he draws the disciples, and all of us, into his own prayer. I encourage all of you to be faithful to prayer, and so to be united with Jesus, in his intimate relationship with the Father. Upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones at home, I invoke God’s abundant blessings.


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