Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Catholic Cardinal and priests join call to abolish nuclear weapons

700 prominent Australians call for nuclear abolition, National Catholic Reporter, Feb. 16, 2012, By Joshua J. McElwee More than 700 prominent Australians — including former prime ministers, defense ministers, and Catholic bishops and priests — have signed onto a statement calling on their country’s government to adopt a “nuclear-weapons-free” defense posture and to take steps to initiate a global treaty to abolish nuclear arsenals.

The statement, which was put together by Australians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention and announced Jan. 25, includes signatures from 713 Australians who have received the Order of Australia, an honor granted by Queen Elizabeth II to note achievement or “meritorious service” and similar to a knighthood in the United Kingdom.

Among the Catholics who have signed onto the statement is Cardinal Edward Clancy, who served as the archbishop of Sydney from 1983 to 2001. Jesuit Fr. Frank Brennan, former chairman of the country’s National Human Rights Consultation Committee, and Fr. Michael Tate, a former ambassador to the Holy See, have also signed.

Tim Wright, coordinator of the Australian chapter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said in an email that the statement should be seen as a “very significant development given the prominence of the people involved.”

While the signatories have not called for an end to Australia’s military alliance with the U.S., Wright said, they have called for “an end to Australia’s participation in U.S. extended nuclear deterrence” and for their government to “reject, categorically, these immoral, inhuman weapons.”

Tate, who served nearly two decades in various political roles — from the Australian Senate, to government minister, to ambassador — before entering the priesthood in 2000, said in an email that he decided to sign on to the statement partly because the church is entering a “new phase” in “querying the legitimacy of the use of armed force.”

Beyond that query, however, the priest also said it is “difficult to see how the use of nuclear weapons, even tactical, could be justified.”

“The long term effects of the release of radiation into the environment has impacts which would almost certainly extend into generations who, by definition, had no part to play in the war,” he said……. http://ncronline.org/news/global/700-prominent-australians-call-nuclear-abolition

February 17, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics

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