IN A STRONG condemnation of nuclear warfare, the Irish bishops have described permanent dependence on a strategy of nuclear deterrence as "insane".
A recent statement said a deterrent policy can be morally acceptable under certain circumstances but added that the current stock of warheads "far exceed any rational estimate of what deterrence requires."
The bishops also said if elements of a country's nuclear strategy were immoral the country would have a "strict moral obligation" to take unilateral steps if necessary to change the strategy.
The bishops' statement, titled "The Storm That Threatens," holds that the possession of nuclear weapons for deterrence can be tolerated as the lesser of the two evils only under certain conditions.
Because deterrence is based on threat, it "is in direct contradiction to the building of trust necessary for peace," the Bishops' Conference, chaired by Cardinal Thomas O'Fiaich, says.