Pax Christi urge action to counter Trident replacement

 Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement, urged its members to take action now to counter the proposed government plan to replace of the Trident nuclear weapon system at its Annual General meeting in Birmingham on Saturday. This campaign has the support Bishop Malcolm McMahon, National President of Pax Christi. A document entitled 'Pax Christi Response to Trident' was launched at the meeting stating: "Trident is immoral, illegal and ineffective for our age. Possession and threatened use of such weapons of mass destruction is an affront to life and a gross misuse of power and status in a fragile world. Nuclear weapons have not and will not bring us security, rather the opposite: they are likely to cause animosity and resentment." The meeting affirmed the Easter message of Cardinal Keith O'Brien which calls for Christian people of faith to raise their voices on this issue and "demand that these weapons of mass destruction be replaced, but not with more weapons. Rather, replace Trident, as the Holy Father has said, with projects that bring life to the poor." The Pax Christi document states that a clear message needs to be put to the British Government, urging that it take a lead at this time - by not going ahead with a replacement programme and making a commitment to decommission existing nuclear weapons systems. The Government, it says, should build on such an act of disarmament by committing itself to invest resources, skills and ingenuity in models of security that meet human needs and create just relationships. There could be no better way to fulfil our obligation to Make Poverty History. Those present also heard from Veronica Zundell, a writer and theologian from the Mennonite community. She spoke of the theology behind the Christian Peacemaker Teams, the group with whom Norman Kember visited Iraq before his kidnap last October. It is a theology that encourages its members to embrace the cross and become reconciling people in the world. The vision for the CPT project, she explained, was influenced by US theologian Ronald Sider who in 1984 put out a call for 100,000 peaceworkers to be trained to work in areas of conflict. Source: Pax Christi

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