An international congregation of Catholic Sisters and Associates in the UK and the US have urged the UK to reverse its ‘immoral’ nuclear expansion plan.
The Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the decision to increase the UK’s number of nuclear warheads by 40 per cent is ‘illegal, a waste of funds and a threat to what nuclear stability exists’.
The Sisters pointed out that the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force on 22nd January, ‘making it illegal under international law to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons’.
‘Rather than increase the threat of conflict, the funding to pay for the increased number of warheads could better be used to support efforts more likely to lead to a healthier and more peaceful world order: by funding the NHS or restoring the foreign aid that is being cut from the budget,’ they said.
The Sisters also warned that the decision to increase the number of warheads violates the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), to which the UK is a signatory. ‘This will further destabilise the global nuclear situation making it more difficult for negotiators to renew the NPT during talks at the UN later this year.
‘Furthermore, the increase in the number of warheads by the UK undermines the NPT as a rationale for denying nuclear capability to Iran.’
The Sisters also recalled how in November 2017, Pope Francis declared that possession of nuclear weapons, even for the purpose of deterrence, is no longer moral, calling them “incompatible with peace and international stability.”
‘Our already fragile planet and its environment is threatened by any use of nuclear weapons, intentional or accidental,’ they said. ‘We dare not ever use them, or the “security” they provide could create an environmental, and humanitarian disaster of untold proportions.’
The sisters added: ‘We urge all people of good will to contact their MPs in the hope of reversing this misguided policy.”
Picture: Crew members from the HMS Vengeance, a British Royal Navy Trident ballistic missile submarine, stand on their vessel as they return to the Faslane naval base near Glasgow, Scotland, in this file photo. (CNS photo/David Moir, Reuters).