IN 1980 the Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales issued a statement calling urgently on "all men and women of goodwill" to debate the morality of nuclear weapons.
We believe that, with nuclear armouries now growing uncrontrollably, the urgency of that call is redoubled. Not only are we, as a group, responding to it, but we invite other Christians to do the same and hope that, in some degree, we may be able to help. Our bishop, one of the signatories, confirms that the call is still current and welcomes our reaction.
On the evening of May 9th, in the central United Reformed Church, Norwich, the Rev. Roger Ruston OP and Group Capt. Leonard Cbeshire VC will debate the morality of possessing nuclear weapons.
Thus the Dominican friar who. in dramatic protest, penetrated Heyford air base and prayed on the runway as nuclear bombers thundered overhead will meet one of the most famous pilots of the last war, a man who actually saw the Abomb explode on Nagasaki.
These two Christians have both written on "deterrence" — reaching different conclusions. Their exchanges must surely go to the moral heart of the matter.
The debate is not one-off. It is designed to produce "a common mind among the followers of Christ." Therefore it needs to be kept alive in a prayerful, ecumenical way so that the Church may come to speak with one voice on the subject.
John Derrington Hon. Secretary, Lowestoft and District Pax Christi Group, 13 North Parade, Lowestoft, Suffolk (0502-65376)