November 09, 2017

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) As the face-off between the United States and North Korea escalates, two politics faculty members and three students from The Catholic University of America will participate in an international symposium on nuclear disarmament Nov. 10 and 11 at the Vatican.

Associate Professor Maryann Cusimano Love and Visiting Lecturer Richard Love will attend “Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament” along with politics majors Timothy R. Jones, a junior from Bergen, N.J., and William Deatherage, a sophomore from Beaverton, Ore. Rory Martinez of Santa Fe, N.M., a theology major with a minor in Peace Studies who is studying at the University's Rome campus this semester, will also participate in the symposium.

“I am pleased that our students will get to participate in the Vatican’s conference on nuclear disarmament,” said University President John Garvey. “It's significant that their global education will include a front-row seat at an international peacekeeping symposium on such a serious and timely issue.”

Other attendees include 11 Nobel peace laureates; senior diplomats and leaders from the United Nations and NATO; bishops and representatives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and other academic experts and religious leaders. The symposium will include a meeting with Pope Francis.

Love, who noted that the Catholic Church has long worked to reduce nuclear weapons, has helped to represent the Holy See at United Nations negotiations on nuclear disarmament. "At a time when the headlines are filled with nuclear threats, the Church reminds us of our moral responsibilities to build peace and reduce nuclear weapons," she says.

The symposium will address several historic "firsts" achieved in 2017. They include the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which marks the first time nuclear weapons have been prohibited in international law; the Holy See’s status as the first country to sign and ratify the treaty; and voting by the Holy See for the first time at the United Nations. The symposium marks the first global gathering on the topic since the treaty was approved in September.

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ABOUT: The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University comprises 12 schools and 26 research facilities and is home to 3,480 undergraduate and 3,041 graduate students.

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