In today's Angelus meditation, Pope Benedict spoke about the 50th anniversary of the date when the statute creating the International Atomic Energy Agency ("IAEA") went into effect.
The IAEA works for the peaceful use of nuclear technology to promote development. The Holy Father mentioned that the Vatican is a member of the United Nations organization that works for the aims of the IAEA. He also quoted section 2438 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which mentions the arms race and the need to mobilize resources toward "moral, cultural and economic development."
This followed a meditation last week in which he voiced his support for negotiated resolutions of international conflict rather than war. Today and last week, he mentioned his predecessor Pope Benedict XV, who is known for his diplomatic efforts to achieve peace during World War I and leadership during a difficult period when Catholics fought on both sides of a war. When Benedict XVI explained his choice of name after he was elected Pope, he drew news attention when he attributed his choice to an homage to Benedict XV.
After praying the Angelus, Pope Benedict pleaded for the release of 23 Koreans held hostage in Afghanistan, who are reportedly held by Taliban militants.
Here is an excerpt from Teresa Benedetta's translation at "PRF":
"The epochal changes that have taken place in the past 50 years show how, in the difficult crossroads at which humanity now finds itself, the commitment has become even more actual and urgent to encourage the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, to promote a progressive and consensual nuclear disarmament, and to favor the peaceful and safe use of nuclear technology for authentic development, which is respectful of the environment and always mindful of the most disadvantaged populations."