The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart have challenged the Federal Government’s recently announced plan to increase weapons exports.
"Weapons are designed to kill and maim human beings," said the Congregational Leader, Sister Monica Cavanagh. "We completely reject the philosophy which finds it acceptable to boost industry, create jobs, increase exports and protect local manufacturing via the arms trade.
"We agree with Pope Francis that those who seek to benefit from trading in weapons are 'merchants of death'."
The Josephites called on the Australian government to prioritise education, health and good governance initiatives among the deprived peoples and nations of the world, rather than spending billions of Australian people's dollars on producing and exporting the means of destruction.
"We strongly urge the government to resist the hypocrisy of talking about peace while financing and supporting the arms trade," Sister Monica said.
"Over 90 per cent of those who die in war zones are not soldiers, but civilians, including so many of the most defenceless humans - the children. It is reprehensible for government and industry authorities to pursue financial and electoral gain through promoting the weapons which enable the escalation of violence."
Read the full statement from the Sisters of St Joseph here.