Friday 8 April 2011
Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has encouraged Catholics to participate in action to challenge the growth of military expenditure in Australia and the world.
The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that the continuing growth of spending on arms and sophisticated weapons systems is a threat to peace.
“Pope Benedict has pointed out on several occasions that growing investment in arms comes at the expense of desperately needed action on human development,” Mr Arndt said.
“While billions of dollars are spent on weapons, millions of people around the world are deprived of investment in programs which will end their poverty and disadvantage,” he said.
“Over 1500 billion dollars is spent every year on weapons of war worldwide while millions of children go hungry or die before they turn five,” he said.
“Church teaching clearly reminds us that the promotion of peace is an integral part of our mission to continue Christ’s work of redemption and liberation in the world,” he said.
The Justice and Peace Commission has endorsed activities in Brisbane as part of a Global Day of Action on Military Spending on Tuesday 12 April.
Various peace groups will gather in King George Square on the day to make a public appeal for a reduction in Australia’s military spending.
Citizens will also be asked to write letters to the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, calling for reduced military expenditure.
The Commission has also produced an information sheeet which provides some facts and figures about military spending, references to scripture and Church teaching and suggestions for action.
“The Church’s social teaching promotes ‘the goal of general, balanced and controlled disarmament’” Mr Arndt said.
“We must remind our leaders that the rapid growth in arms expenditure is a grave threat to peace in our world and encourage them to take action to cultivate peace and human development instead,” he said.
For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.