Veteran peace activist and former Catholic priest Bruce Kent, 83, has written to Pope Francis calling on him to condemn nuclear weapons worldwide. Citing the inaction of the UK’s Catholic Bishops on the issue of Trident replacement, Bruce Kent asked the Pope to ‘speak to the world about the elimination of war and all weapons of mass destruction.’

Bruce Kent, well known as Monsignor Kent during his time in the leadership of CND in the 1970s and 80s, has been touring the UK for over a month on his ‘Scrap Trident Tour’ – speaking out against the replacement of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapon system.

He told the Pope that the £100 billion which would be spent on replacing Trident would be ‘a theft from those who hunger and are not fed’ – citing President Eisenhower.

Kent went on to say that there has been ‘consistent Catholic opposition to nuclear weapons of mass destruction that goes back to Pope John’s Pacem in Terris but which now needs restating.’

While other Christian groups in the UK have come out against Trident replacement, such as the Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed Churches and the Society of Friends, Kent asked Pope Francis to make clear the Catholic Church’s opposition to nuclear weapons.

He concluded: ‘The human race can and should live in peace, free from the threat of weapons of mass destruction which, as a result of accident and misunderstanding, have several times brought us close to disaster in the recent past.’