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A Serbian Land Rover Defender towing trailer with a ‘Milos’ unmanned ground vehicle/combat robot (Wikipedia/Srdan Popovic)

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have called for new treaties to regulate weaponised drones and lethal autonomous weapons systems. Source: The Tablet.

In a new paper, Called to be Peacemakers, the bishops also call for a “global moratorium” on lethal autonomous weapons systems.

And they say an “important consideration” is the need to provide pastoral care for those operating weaponised drones and other uncrewed weapons.

“The Church has an important tradition of chaplaincy to the armed forces and we must continue to incorporate relevant ethical considerations around the use of new technology in this ministry,” they say. 

The paper, authored by Bishops William Kenney, Nicholas Hudson and Declan Lang, draws on decades of Catholic social teaching around weaponry and disarmament to set out principles for public witness for Christians and peacemakers.

It states: “It is important to recognise that so many acts of violence blighting our world today are only possible because of the modern weaponry available to those responsible.”

The bishops state that Christians are called by Jesus to be peacemakers. 

“In the modern world, an integral aspect of this mission involves working to limit the proliferation of weapons and advance the cause of global disarmament.”

Among the action points set out in the paper is a renewed call to a world without nuclear weapons. The paper also acknowledges that any moves towards complete disarmament have effectively stalled. 


Catholic bishops call for ‘global moratorium’ on lethal autonomous weapons systems (By Ruth Gledhill, The Tablet