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22 Mar 2021

Blessed are the meek, the non violent, they shall inherit the earth!

Sr Jess reflects on the news about increasing our nuclear arsenal and why it needs to be resisted!

In January we were celebrating 130 countries signing the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and the fact that nuclear weapons are now outlawed internationally. The first state to sign this was the Vatican, the first day it was possible.

Remembering Hiroshima Pope Francis said, recently “the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home. The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possession of atomic weapons is immoral.”

“We will be judged on this,” he added.

 “Convinced as I am that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary,” he said, “I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security. We need to ponder the catastrophic impact of their deployment, especially from a humanitarian and environmental standpoint, and reject heightening a climate of fear, mistrust, and hostility fomented by nuclear doctrines.”

It is beyond crazy that the UK government is now proposing a 40% increase in nuclear capability. It is 'weapons grade hypocrisy’ that the UK, as a founding member of the Non Proliferation Treaty of 1970 and a guarantor of the treaty, and while both Biden and Putin have recently agreed to further reduce their nuclear arsenals by renewing the New Start treaty, the UK is now proposing a 40% increase!  And, shamefully, the UK continues to say it supports a 'rules-based world order'.

The government’s decision was included in the policy paper titled “Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy” which was issued on Tuesday. The planned move proposes increasing the number of Trident nuclear warheads the UK can stockpile from 180 to 260. 

Church leaders in the United Kingdom have quickly expressed their opposition. In a joint statement, the church leaders described the government’s announcement as a retrograde step which “takes us in a worrying and wholly wrong direction.”

Church leaders of seven denominations, including the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales appended their signatures to the Tuesday statement. The others include the members of the Church of England, Church in Wales, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church in Britain, Quakers in Britain and the United Reformed Church.

Shares in Lockheed Martin have risen 2%, in BAE 3% as manufacturers scent increased military spending. In the meantime it seems the UK has been anxiously lobbying the new US government to ensure that the US nuclear modernisation programme (at the cost of $19 billion) is continued under the new administration. The W93 warhead programme would be needed to supply UK’s nuclear warheads, we don’t make them ourselves! So much for an 'independent nuclear deterrent’. This is not the time to start a new arms race. We have to contend with the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced in the climate and environmental crisis, not to mention the current pandemic. Real security lies in a healthy planet and people where all are valued and able to live in peace.

'They know not what they do’.

Sr Jess, March 18th 2021

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Sr Jess reflects on the news about increasing our nuclear arsenal and why it needs to be resisted!

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