The Hon Douglas Roche OC, former Canadian Senator and active campaigner for nuclear disarmament will visit Edinburgh tomorrow (Tuesday 3 October) where he will speak at a meeting in the Scottish parliament at 4.30pm and at 7.30pm at the Lauriston Jesuit Centre in Edinburgh describing the campaign against nuclear weapons as; the paramount moral issue of our time.
Senator Roche is an adviser to the Vatican on nuclear disarmament and security, and a member of the Pugwash Council which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.
At the Scottish Parliament he will speak on the opportunities for churches and civil & political society to work together on issues such as disarmament to a gathering of guests and MSP s. His evening address at the Lauriston Jesuit Centre is open to the public. At both events he will be joined by Cardinal Keith O Brien, Fr Gerry Hughes SJ, Pat Gaffney and Bruce Kent of Pax Christi, and Richard McCready of Justice & Peace Scotland.
In his address, Senator Roche will say;
The opportunity that arose at the end of the Cold War in 1989 to get rid of nuclear weapons was squandered. The Second Nuclear Age has begun, and it is decidedly unsafe for humanity.
universal human rights and weapons of mass destruction are completely incompatible? Their action is indiscriminate affecting civilians as well as military, innocents and aggressors alike, killing people alive now and generations as yet unborn.
In an endorsement of Scotland's Catholic Bishops' stance, he will add;
Cardinal Keith O Brien of Edinburgh and his fellow Scottish bishops, in speaking firmly against the Trident replacement, are applying the teaching of the Catholic Church. Cardinal O Brien has asked men and women of good will, mean and women of peace, to raise our voices in protest. I have come here tonight to raise mine.
Cardinal O'Brien welcomed the contribution of Douglas Roche to the ongoing debate in the UK on the replacement of the Trident weapons system. He said;
"Since our first statement on the issue in 1982, Scotland's Catholic bishops have opposed the existence of nuclear weapons in our country. We renewed that opposition earlier this year with a call to the British Government, not to renew the Trident system."
Cardinal O'Brien added,
"I welcome warmly, such endorsement and support especially from someone with the knowledge and insight of Senator Roche. As I said here in Edinburgh just two weeks ago at the end of the "Long walk for Peace", if nuclear war is illogical, immoral and inconceivable, then investing billions of pounds in more nuclear weapons is iniquitous, irrational and absurd."
Note to Editors:
You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to Lauriston Jesuit Centre, 28 Lauriston Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9JD at 7.30pm.
Contact: Fr. Chris Boles, SJ - 0131 229 9104