The Vatican has backed Scotland's Catholic Bishops' opposition to the Trident missile system and its possible replacement. In a letter to Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, endorsed the Bishops' April 2006 declaration which urged, " the Government of the United Kingdom not to invest in a replacement for the Trident system".
Archbishop Martino, who was formerly the Holy See's representative at the United Nations said;
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace appreciates the above mentioned statement, which gives a clear view of the Holy See s position on nuclear weapons and a sound answer to the Prime Minister s request to promote the ˜fullest possible public debate on the Trident nuclear missile system. Nuclear weapons represent a grave threat to the human family; the social doctrine of the Church proposes the goal of a ˜general, balanced and controlled disarmament (Compendium of the social doctrine of the Church, 508). In this light, the statement issued by the Bishops Conference of Scotland constitutes a service and a reason to hope in a more peaceful world.
Cardinal O Brien, President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, welcomed Cardinal Martino s words saying;
"This heartening and encouraging letter from Archbishop Martino will undoubtedly renew the resolve of Scotland's Catholics and other people of goodwill who are campaigning for an end to nuclear weapons."
Cardinal O'Brien added;
"A recently produced study guide on nuclear weapons is circulating in parishes throughout Scotland* as is a petition against the renewal of the Trident system. Additionally, Archbishop Mario Conti and I will along with other Church leaders and Scots from many walks of life take part in the "Scotland's Long Walk for Peace" from Faslane to Edinburgh between 14th and 19th of September. I also intend to host a seminar on this issue** on 3 October at which the keynote speaker will be the former politician and diplomat, Senator Douglas Roche from Canada a renowned authority on disarmament issues."
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