More than a hundred people from around the country gathered in Central London for a liturgy and actions of repentance and resistance to the Government's plans to replace the Trident nuclear system. As part of the liturgy, the walls of the Ministry of Defence were marked with blessed ash and charcoal with the words No Trident and Choose Life. This was the twenty-fourth anniversary of Christian witness at the Ministry of Defence in London. This action is supported by Pax Christi, Catholic Peace Action and Christian CND. Addressing the gathering Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi said: "What is our purpose here today? We give a public and a human face to our liturgy of Ash Wednesday and its call to turn away from those things that separate us from God and from one another - nuclear weapons and nuclear war preparations...Our prayers and actions are a plea to the humanity and integrity of those political leaders who maintain nuclear defence systems and who plan to replace them. Our prayers and actions are an act of solidarity and compassion with those who lives are already blighted by nuclear weapons". Those taking part were adding their voice to that of Church leaders in England, Scotland and Wales, and the Pope Benedict XVI, who have all spoken clearly against the replacement of Trident. In January 2006, Pope Benedict XVI called government policies that rely on nuclear weapons as a means of ensuring security baneful and also completely fallacious,. In July 2006, 20 Anglican Bishops wrote in a national newspaper that nuclear weapons are a direct denial of the Christian concept of peace and reconciliation,. Following the witness at the Ministry of Defence, postcards, addressed to Mr Blair, bearing messages that challenge the replacement of Trident, were be presented at Downing Street by members of Pax Christi, Christian CND and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Pax Christi has distributed 10,000 such postcards in just three weeks to those wanting to make their views known to Mr Blair. Pax Christi members will join others in an ecumenical service: ' Praying for Peace - Resisting Trident" at Hinde Street Methodist Church in London this Saturday 24 February before joining the national No Trident demonstration between Hyde Park Corner and Trafalgar Square. Source: Pax Christi
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