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Pax Christi calls new government to take moral lead in ending nuclear arms race

Pat Gaffney

Pat Gaffney

'William Hague's recent admission that the UK has an additional 65 non-operational nuclear warheads available,  should spur Christians to be more committed than ever to campaigning with our new coalition government for nuclear weapons abolition' - Pax Christi said in a statement today.

Pat Gaffney, General Secretary, said: "The Catholic Church has been consistent in putting out a challenge to nuclear weapons states, most recently in the speech  of Msgr Migliore (Holy See representative at the UN in New York) at the current Nuclear Non-Proliferation Conference meetings.  He said: 'These weapons continue to exist in huge quantities, some of them in a state of operational readiness. They are no longer just for deterrence but have become entrenched in the military doctrines of the major powers. The danger of proliferation has escalated'.

She said: The UK is a major nuclear power and should be taking a practical and moral lead in living up to its obligations under Article VI of the NPT, to act "in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control"

"With this admission of additional warheads and with the commitment to continue with an independent nuclear project (Trident) we are a long way from upholding these obligations.  There are moral and legal principles at stake here and Catholics should not be afraid of raising their voices."