Archbishop John Wester joins Jay Coghlan, Executive Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and MCZC guiding teacher Valerie Forstman, to pull back the veil on nuclear business as usual. The moment is dire. Archbishop Wester speaks with a disarming combination (one hopes) of innate gentleness and distilled urgency. He says the very first thing to remedy is the severe lack of conversation in so many contexts, from casual chats to elected officials. We needn’t all agree – a sustained conversation will be more illuminating than a confrontational debate – but we must no longer give the unspoken impression that there’s no issue here, or that only the naive imagine a path from the current global balance of power to disarmament. It’s at least as naive to think the status quo sustainable.
“God’s greatest joy is a human being fully alive” – and none of us can be fully alive under this shadow of destruction.
An impassioned Q & A follows, including a cameo by beloved Sanbo Zen teacher Ruben Habito (calling in from a Catholic theology conference!). Ruben commends the Archbishop’s living example of how spiritual practice, far from providing escape, should deliver us into the heart of the world.
Please also see Archbishop Wester’s Pastoral Letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament:”
John C. Wester was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1976 and installed as auxiliary bishop of San Francisco in 1998. He was appointed Bishop of Salt Lake City in 2007. He was subsequently installed as the twelfth Archbishop of Santa Fe on June 4, 2015. He has taken up the cause of nuclear disarmament because more money is spent on nuclear weapons in his Santa Fe Archdiocese than any other diocese in the country.
Archbishop Wester believes that humanity is entering a new and more dangerous nuclear arms race. In August he will travel to Japan with the Archbishop of Seattle to commemorate the 78th anniversaries of the atomic bombings with the Bishops of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Together, they will appeal for and work toward a future world free of nuclear weapons. Their efforts follow Pope Francis’ guidance, under whose leadership the Vatican was the first to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.