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Pax Christi take part in vigil as they await Trident renewal outcome

Pax Christi members gather in Parliament Square

Members of Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace, were among hundreds who gathered to take part in a vigil as MPs debated the renewal of the Trident programme in Parliament yesterday.

Catholics, Quakers, Anglicans and Buddhists hosted the two-hour vigil to send the Government a clear anti-nuclear weapons message.

Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi spoke on behalf to the religious groups gathered at the vigil. She said that thousands had prayed for the government to have the wisdom to vote against the renewal of Trident. Gaffney also claimed it was an act of “faithlessness” to claim weapons of mass destruction would protect the country.

Some MPs from Labour, SNP, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru joined the vigil to report on how the debate was going.

The outcome of the debate saw 472 MPs vote to renew Trident and 117 who voted against renewal.

Gaffney expressed her disappointment in the voting outcome but said Pax Christi would continue to lobby against nuclear weapons.

Earlier, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales released a statement saying that the use of nuclear weapons could never be justified.