GLASGOW, Feb. 15, 01 (CWNews.com) - Scotland's Roman
Cardinal Thomas Winning has today defended his decision not
to take part in this week's blockade of the Faslane nuclear
Cardinal Winning turned down the invitation from another
religious leader to take part in Monday's mass
demonstration saying that, while the Church was in favor
of nuclear disarmament, she wished to distance herself from
A spokesman for the Cardinal told the BBC that the Catholic
Church had made her position on nuclear weapons very clear.
"As far back as 1982, the Bishops of Scotland published a
declaration which stated that 'if it is immoral to use
nuclear weapons it is also immoral to threaten their use,'"
he said. "We are on record in recent years, calling for the
government to increase investment in our health service,
'spending less on defense of the realm and more on defense
of the sick.'"
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of
Scotland, the Right Rev. Andrew McLellan, had asked
Cardinal Winning to attend the demonstration.
The Cardinal's spokesman said the Catholic Church did not
want to be seen to condone civil disobedience in her fight
against nuclear weapons. "We do, however, have misgivings
about the methods of civil disobedience which are likely to
be used during the protest and which our presence would
appear to condone," he said. "The Catholic Church in
Scotland has been very careful not to condone such acts by
anti-abortion demonstrators, for example."
More than 370 peace protesters, including 15 clergymen,
were detained at the protest, which also saw Socialist MSP
Tommy Sheridan, Labour MP George Galloway, and Green MEP
Caroline Lucas arrested.
An ecumenical service of prayer, led by the moderator, was
held outside the gates of the base as part of the