At an inter-religious gathering in Naples earlier this week, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace president Cardinal Renato Martino said nuclear energy can “do good for humanity.”
"This is a principle that is certainly valid for Iran, too," Cardinal Martino said.
Cardinal Martino’s comments, which were reported by the Italian news agency ANSA, came as Iranian and European officials met in Rome to try and resolve growing tensions over Iran's nuclear capability.
He said he defended the right to develop a peaceful nuclear energy program, and said any risks of improper use of nuclear technology "depend on the intentions of those who manage the program," Catholic News Agency reported.
"Anything is possible, in the sense that I can use a knife to cut bread but also to kill someone," he said.
“The international community must balance the need for peace and security with the necessary development of populations.”
However, the Iranian government has not changed its stance that it will proceed with a uranium enrichment program for what it says are strictly civilian uses. The United States among others suspect Iran is using the technology to develop nuclear weapons.
Vatican official says Iranian nuclear program is OK if peaceful (Catholic News Service, 24/10/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Martino (Catholic-Pages)
Irans Nuclear Program (Wikipedia)
Pax Christi tells US to get over "enemy" view of Iran (CathNews, 07/07/06)
European Jews call on pope to prevent Iran "catastrophe" (CathNews, 13/07/07)