WASHINGTON (October 14, 1999) --The President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops said Senate rejection of the nuclear test ban treaty is "a major defeat for arms control" and will also be "a blow to the moral credibility of the United States on this issue."
"This vote makes it more difficult for our nation to fulfill its moral responsibility as a world leader to work with other nations to promote international peace and security," declared Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston.
"With recent popes, the U.S. Catholic Bishops have long called for a test ban treaty, and we and many in the Catholic community worked hard for ratification of this treaty," Bishop Fiorenza continued. "The test ban treaty is not just a political or legal instrument, but a moral commitment."
"I hope and pray that the Senate will find a way to revisit this issue and ratify the test ban treaty as soon as possible," he said. "It is never too late for our nation to reverse course and live up to its moral responsibility to reduce and ultimately end our dependence on weapons of mass destruction."
The text of Bishop Fiorenza's statement is attached.