Australian bishop denounces his country’s position in submarine crisis

Rather than seeking to increase strike and deterrence capacity, wouldn’t that money be better spent in the developing world? In a note published in an Australian Jesuit review, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta (Australia) and Chairman of the Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service in the Australian Bishops’ Conference, said expresses on the Australian submarine crisis.

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On September 15, Australia officially announced its decision to break the € 30 billion “deal of the century” for twelve French submarines, preferring to turn to the United Kingdom and the United States. The latter are to help Australia equip itself with nuclear-powered submarines, for a new contract for an even higher amount. ” But the cost of this new arrangement is more than money. Trust was shattered and relationships were strained. Trust is the basis of all commerce and all exchange », Recalled Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen about what was felt in Europe as a diplomatic betrayal.

Fratelli Tutti and the necessary trust between nations

In his analysis of the situation, the Bishop of Parramatta cited Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti, referring to the rise in tensions in the South China Sea and the need for trust between nations. The agreement between Australia, the United States and England is indeed regarded with concern by the countries of Asia-Pacific. “The Pope reminds us that” international peace and stability cannot be based on a false sense of security, on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or on the simple maintenance of a balance of power. ”, But on the contrary they require a mutual trust which“ can only be built by a dialogue genuinely oriented towards the common good ”(FT n 262). “

In his letter to the direct style, MgrVincent Long Van Nguyen particularly questions the massive investment in defense equipment. “If we want to live in peace with our close neighbors, and with the old and new powers, increasing our military strike capacity is not the solution. “

For a better distribution of wealth

The Australian prelate also insists on the need to support the poorest populations, especially in times of health crisis, rather than investing such large sums in defense, let alone in nuclear energy. “Rather than defaulting to military options, we need to ask ourselves how human security could best be served at this time. (…) Would more comprehensive and adequate income support for people in need in Australia have more impact? Spending on social housing, emergency accommodation for women fleeing violence (…), stepping up donations of vaccines to poorer countries and welcoming more people seeking help. asylum would also directly contribute to strengthening human security. “

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Appearing to speak directly to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, BishopVincent Long Van Nguyen once again recalled Pope Francis’ position in the encyclical published on October 4, 2020: “The Pope is in favor of diverting the money spent on arms and military equipment to a global fund intended to end hunger in the world. How would you prefer to spend this money? “


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