Sunday, August 2, 2009

O'Brien's talk should re-energize church disarmament drive

Written by Dave Robinson Pax Christi USA Executive Director

In a bold move to reenergize the U.S. Catholic church’s decades-old quest for a nuclear weapons free world, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent an unlikely messenger [1] into the very heart of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex—Strategic Command’s (STRATCOM) Omaha headquarters.

The venue was the ‘2009 Deterrence Symposium’ organized by STRATCOM Commander General Kevin Chilton. STRATCOM oversees the operational end of the U.S. nuclear deterrent—thousands of nuclear bombs on missiles, bombers and submarines, poised on hair trigger alert, and capable of bringing cataclysmic destruction anywhere on the planet. The messenger was Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, a Vietnam Veteran and formerly the Archbishop of the Military Services.

O’Brien’s unique familiarity and credibility with the military signals the seriousness the U.S. Catholic church is bringing to the complex and urgent matter of nuclear disarmament.

The speech entitled, Nuclear Weapons and Moral Questions: The Path to Zero, was the concluding keynote of the first day of the Symposium, a gathering of the key civilian and military leaders charged with developing and implementing U.S. policy on the use and future of U.S. nuclear weapons.

Catholics in Alliance adds its voice of praise for O'Brien speech

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