Pope and Trident, via Bruce Kent

posted by Kaihsu Tai on January 17th, 2007

The (UK) House of Commons defence select committee took evidence yesterday from Bruce Kent who quoted the Pope about His Holiness’s objection against nuclear weapons, according to BBC‘s Today in Parliament. Sadly, the evidence has not been transcribed on the web (yet), but readers can take a look at the report in the Guardian.

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  1. On February 5, 2007 at 05:35 Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    The transcript is now available as Uncorrected Evidence 225:

    Q54 Robert Key: Thank you very much. I believe you did, sir. But I still think of you, if I may say so, as a parish priest, as a Christian, and I am very interested in this Christian point of view and I think it is very important. I would like to ask you this: I think I am right in saying that Pax Christi takes the view that nuclear weapons are morally and theologically wrong and it is a very simple issue, therefore, if you take that on board. I, of course, as a member of the Church of England, have a rather more difficult problem because the Archbishop of Canterbury says, “Yes, they are wrong” but on Thought for the Day on the Today programme the other day the Bishop of Liverpool said that the genie cannot be put back in the bottle and we have to live in the real world and we have nuclear weapons. Who is right? The Archbishop of Canterbury or the Bishop of Liverpool? Can you help me?

    Mr Kent: Yes, I commend you to the Pope. It is time you raised your sights! [He] said at the beginning of this year that nuclear weapons were fallacious and nuclear policies were painful, and that is the strongest position from any Christian leader so far. John can say the entire Scotch hierarchy and the Church of Scotland are totally opposed to it, many Church of England bishops are opposed to it. I am sure you will be able to convert the Bishop of Liverpool in due course.

  2. On February 5, 2007 at 05:42 Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    The original papal message was “In Truth, Peace” on World Day of Peace 2006, at 13:

    All this must not, however, lead to a naive optimism. It must not be forgotten that, tragically, violent fratricidal conflicts and devastating wars still continue to sow tears and death in vast parts of the world. Situations exist where conflict, hidden like flame beneath ashes, can flare up anew and cause immense destruction. Those authorities who, rather than making every effort to promote peace, incite their citizens to hostility towards other nations, bear a heavy burden of responsibility: in regions particularly at risk, they jeopardize the delicate balance achieved at the cost of patient negotiations and thus help make the future of humanity more uncertain and ominous. What can be said, too, about those governments which count on nuclear arms as a means of ensuring the security of their countries? Along with countless persons of good will, one can state that this point of view is not only baneful but also completely fallacious. In a nuclear war there would be no victors, only victims. The truth of peace requires that all —whether those governments which openly or secretly possess nuclear arms, or those planning to acquire them— agree to change their course by clear and firm decisions, and strive for a progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament. The resources which would be saved could then be employed in projects of development capable of benefiting all their people, especially the poor.