Vatican Cardinal voices support for Scottish prelates in their nuclear weapons protest

.- Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, announced today his support for the Bishops conference of Scotland as they continue to oppose a proposal by some in the United Kingdom to replace its Trident nuclear missile system with one that is more up to date.

The Scottish Bishops,' and in particular, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, have been vocal on the issue that there is no moral justification for the replacement of Trident, according to the Universe.

According to the paper, Martino has sent a letter to Cardinal O'Brien endorsing the bishops' April declaration which urged "the government of the United Kingdom not to invest in a replacement for the Trident system.”

Cardinal Martino said: "The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace appreciates the above-mentioned statement, which gives a clear view of the Holy See's position on nuclear weapons and a sound answer to the prime minister's request to promote the 'fullest possible' public debate on the Trident nuclear missile system.”

"Nuclear weapons represent a grave threat to the human family; the social doctrine of the Church proposes the goal of a ‘general balanced and controlled disarmament.' In this light, the statement issued by the bishops' conference of Scotland constitutes a service and a reason to hope in a more peaceful world."

Cardinal O'Brien, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh told the Universe that the letter was "heartening and encouraging."

He added: "A recently produced study guide on nuclear weapons is circulating in parishes throughout Scotland, as is a petition against the renewal of the Trident system.

"Additionally, Archbishop Mario Conti and I, along with other Church leaders and Scots from many walks of life, will take part in the 'Scotland's Long Walk for Peace' from Faslane to Edinburgh between September 14 and 19. I also intend to host a seminar on this issue on October 3, at which, the keynote speaker will be the former politician and diplomat, Senator Douglas Roche from Canada, a renowned authority on disarmament issues."

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