SENIOR CHURCH LEADERS this week warned the Government of the dangers oreplacing the Trident weapons system, describing it as "evil" and "profoundlanti-God".
Twenty Church of England bishops signed a letter to The Independent
The letter was published on Monday to coincide with a review by the Commondefence committee of the UK's nuclear weapons arsenal. The Trident missilsystem - which consists of four submarines each carrying nuclear warheads needs to be replaced by 2024. A government decision is expected within the yea
The letter, which was signed by eight diocesan bishops and 12 suffraganssaid: "Whatever our various views on conventional warfare, we all agree thaJust War arguments rule out the use of nuclear weapons . . . Such weaponchallenge the very core of Judaeo-Christian faith."
The letter went on: "Trident and other nuclear arsenals threaten long-terand fatal damage to the global environment and its peoples. As such, their enis evil, and both possession and use profoundly anti-God acts."
The bishops concluded that the "costs involved in the maintenance anreplacement of Trident could be used to address pressing environmentaconcerns, the causes of terrorism, poverty, and debt."
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, also expressed concern. In letter to the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, he said that the Church in Walehad serious concerns about the possible replacement of Trident.
He said that Britain "should set a moral, international example by publicldeclaring that it will not replace Trident".
His letter concluded: "It might also encourage us to invest in a wider rangof political, cultural, economic, and social responses to areas of conflictthreat, and need in our world."
The Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has issued a new publicationTrident Replacement: What does theology say?*, in which thretheologians argue that nuclear weapons are contrary to the gospel.www.independent.co.uk
*To obtain a copy, phone 020 7700 4200