Vatican adviser says no more moral tolerance of nuclear deterrence

The Vatican's "strictly conditioned" acceptance of US nuclear deterrence policy since the 1980s appears to be over, a Vatican adviser said at the weekend.

CLICK HERECatholic News Service reports that former Canadian Senator Douglas Roche, special adviser to the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, made that observation at an international gathering of American war and peace thinkers in Washington sponsored by three US Catholic organisations.

Roche said he believes the Vatican now rejects nuclear deterrence completely in light of decisions by the US and other nuclear powers to make nuclear deterrence - and possible war use of such weapons - a permanent part of their defence policies.

He said this is in direct violation of the strict condition posed by the Vatican 23 years ago when it accepted deterrence only as a temporary step on the road to nuclear disarmament.

Roche was one of 19 speakers at an unusual Catholic colloquium at Georgetown University on just war in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the subsequent US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.

Vatican adviser: Catholic moral tolerance of nuclear deterrence over (Catholic News Service 14/11/05)

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16 Nov 2005