THE Bishops' Conference of South Africa, meeting in Pretoria, has been urged to support the individual's right to conscientious objection. The recommendation is based on the view that a war in South Africa is likely to be unjust. If the proposal is adopted it will put a further strain on relations between the Church in South Africa and Mr Vorster's Government.
The Bishops' Conference has observer status at the South African Council of Churches, which passed a resolution supporting conscientious objection two years ago.
This resolution was unequivocally supported by Archbishop Hurley of Durban, who said that fighting for the preservation of a white South Africa would be the same as fighting for apartheid.
The recommendation now before the Bishops' Conference was drafted by Fr Albert Nolan, OP, the leading Dominican in South Africa.
It also urges reconsideration of the roles of army chaplains in case the Church would seem to be siding with white South Africa in the event of a racial war.