Nuclear Disarmament

nuclear warhead in silo

Started in 2014, the Project on Revitalizing Catholic Engagement on Nuclear Disarmament is focused on revitalizing and strengthening the voice of the Catholic community in the United States and beyond in the debate on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Through various initiatives the project is empowering a new generation of Catholics – Church leaders, scholars, and students – to contribute to wider efforts to further reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons. The project has three main areas of focus: policy engagement, scholar engagement, and student engagement, including student internships with major disarmament organizations.

This Project is co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame; the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, at Georgetown University; Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; International Federation of Catholic UniversitiesInstitute for Policy Research, The Catholic University of America; Fordham Center on Religion and Culture; and the Catholic Peacebuilding Network. With the generous support of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Select Network Publications


Forbidden: Receiving Pope Francis's Condemnation of Nuclear Weapons Launch Event
Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
April 27, 2023

Hosted by the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, this panel discussed the renewed threat of nuclear weapons today and the Catholic Church's past and present engagement on the nuclear question. It featured David Cortright, Professor Emeritus of the Practice, Kroc Institute; Margaret Pfeil, Teaching Professor, University of Notre Dame Department of Theology; and Gerard F. Powers, Director, Catholic Peacebuilding Studies, Kroc Institute, and coordinator of Catholic Peacebuilding Network.

"Pope Francis's Condemnation of Nuclear Weapons: Reflections and Responses"
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University
March 29, 2023

At a 2017 Vatican conference, Pope Francis condemned nuclear weapons. A new book co-edited by the late Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., and Carole Sargent, Forbidden: Receiving Pope Francis's Condemnation of Nuclear Weapons (2023), grapples with how we should deal with the pope’s rejection of nuclear weapons today. This webinar drew on moral, religious, military, and political perspectives to address this urgent issue. The conversation was particularly intended to provide context for policymakers, military professionals, ordinary citizens, and church pastoral workers who assist them in making decisions on matters related to nuclear strategy and disarmament. The panel included Most Rev. John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe; Kelsey Davenport, Arms Control Association; David Hollenbach, SJ, Georgetown University; Maryann Cusimano Love, Catholic University of America; and Carole Sargent.

"New and Old Wars, New and Old Challenges to Peace!"
University of Notre Dame

March 1, 2023

At the height of the Cold War, two seminal documents, Pacem in terris (1963) and The Challenge of Peace (1983), provided that moral compass. In a similar way, Pope Francis’ encyclicals and statements have ignited a new debate about the ethics of nonviolence, nuclear deterrence, and war. Are nonviolence and nuclear disarmament the new moral and policy imperatives or do today’s new and old challenges to peace reinforce the need for the just war tradition and strengthened nuclear deterrence?

On March 1, the 2022-23 University of Notre Dame Forum on War & Peace hosted Cardinal Robert McElroy to discuss these issues. The panel also included Major General (ret.) Robert Latiff, Mary Ellen O'Connell, A. Rashied Omar, and moderator Gerard F. Powers.

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The Kroc Cast: Peace Studies Conversations, "A Conversation with Nickolas Roth of the Stimson Center"
October 12, 2021

Sean Raming, Kroc Institute Ph.D. in Peace Studies and History, talks with Nickolas Roth, director of the Stimson Center’s Nuclear Security Program and International Nuclear Security Forum, about current conversations about nuclear weapons, deterrence, disarmament, and arms control.

The Kroc Cast: Peace Studies Conversations, "Nuclear Disarmament and Pope Francis' Visit to Japan"
November 21, 2019

Kroc Institute Director of Catholic Peacebuilding Studies Jerry Powers sits down to talk with Professor Maryann Cusimano Love and Professor Tobias Winright about nuclear disarmament, the Catholic Church, and what to expect during Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki in Japan from November 23 through 26.

The Kroc Cast: Peace Studies Conversations, "The Past, Present, and Future of the Nuclear Disarmament Movement"
September 3, 2019

Kroc Institute Director of Catholic Peacebuilding Studies Jerry Powers sits down to talk with Dr. James Muller, co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize winning organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and Professor Emeritus George Lopez about the history, present, and future of the movement toward nuclear disarmament.


Resources and Documents

Just War and Nonviolence Nuclear Weapons

Additional Information

Student internships in nuclear disarmament

Kroc Institute Visiting Fellowship for disarmament, development, and climate change