Scottish Cardinal restates opposition to Trident

 Cardinal Keith O'Brien has restated his call to the British government "to abandon its plans to replace the Trident missile and to work rapidly towards the eradication of its entire nuclear arsenal" during a sermon delivered at St Thomas"s Mount National Shrine in Chennai, India on Sunday. Cardinal O'Brien is on a 10 day SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) trip to India, his visit to Chennai includes a trip to a Post Tsunami rehabilitation programme assisted by SCIAF Extracts from his homily follow: How tragic it is today that, forty years on, we still live in a world in which 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 a day; that 800 million people will go to bed tonight hungry. Pope Paul said that "development is the new name for peace". He recognized that peace is not merely the absence of war but also the existence of justice between nations and people. This year also marks the anniversary of the Encyclical of Pope John Paul II, 'Solicitudo Rei Socialis' In it, Pope John Paul spoke about the true nature of development: "True development cannot consist in the simple accumulation of wealth and in the greater availability of goods and services, if this is gained at the expense of the development of the masses, and without due consideration for the social, cultural and spiritual dimensions of the human being." (para 9) He also urged all people to be in greater solidarity with the poor saying: "Interdependence is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all." (para 38) -- Our ultimate aim is a world in which the terrible inequalities and injustices which exist are removed. Our vision is of a world in which people of all faiths, all cultures and all castes live in peace. This is the Good News to the poor of which Isaiah speaks and which Jesus proclaims as his mission in St Luke's gospel this evening. "I have come to bring Good News to the poor." And they were astonished at the words which came from the mouth of God." -- Pope Paul spoke of development being the new name for peace. But I cannot ignore the continuing build-up of arms in different parts of the world not least in my own country. Peace is not built on the accumulation of weapons of mass destruction. The threat to destroy our planet in a nuclear explosion cannot be justified and therefore neither can the ownership of nuclear weapons. I renew my call today to the British government to abandon its plans to replace the Trident missile and to work rapidly towards the eradication of its entire nuclear arsenal. Pope John Paul spoke twenty years ago of the build-up of nuclear weapons. He said: "If we add the tremendous and universally acknowledged danger represented by atomic weapons stockpiled on an incredible scale, the logical conclusion seems to be this: in today's world, including the world of economics, the prevailing picture is one destined to lead us more quickly towards death rather than one of concern for true development which would lead all towards a "more human" life"(SRS, para 24) My dear people, I want to remind you that the true power of Jesus, teaching lies in its ability to heal not wound, to build not to destroy, to share and not to exclude. Let us all ask ourselves during this time of prayer: "what would be good news for the poor for me?" And let us prepare to be astonished when we discover that each and everyone of us has a part to play in bringing to reality the vision that is God's Kingdom. Source: SCMO

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