Sir,-Students of modern war are distressed by the conflicting views of theologians. In 1948 His Holiness Pope Pius XII said, "No one who has a true sense of humanity can fail to censure the use of all these modern weapons which strike indiscriminately at combatants and civilian populations."
In 1950 the Permanent Commission of the French Hierarchy condemned atomic weapons which in attacking military objectives struck down at the same time old men, women and children.
In a recent issue of the "CH." Fr. Peter Lumbreras, 0.1'. professor or Moral Theology at the Angellcum of Rome is quoted as follows: " The use of atomic warfare is not intrinsically or essentially evil: it is not immoral by its nature. The atom bomb may be justly employed."
Responsible military leaders have made it clear that the atom bomb will be used in a future war and it is morally certain they will be dropped on the centres of population.
In the last war the atom bomb which destroyed Nagasaki was dropped two days after a surrender note had been submitted by the Japanese. The thousands of victims were murdered by the Christians without the pretext of military necessity.
From past experience it is morally certain atomic weapons will not be justly employed in a future war; the layman finds his position difficult in the absence of clear guidance. Presumably on the outs break of war he follows the decisions of the military leaders. Are they cornpentent to lead on moral questions arising from the use of atomic weapons?
J. J. O'Connor, 4, St. Johns Road, Bristol, 8,