Cardinal O'Brien expressed his sadness that he cannot attend the delivery of the 20,000 names but he has offered his full backing by stating: "Since our first statement on the issue in 1982, Scotland's Catholic Bishops have opposed the existence of nuclear weapons in our country. We renewed that opposition earlier this year with a call to the British government not to renew the Trident system." The Cardinal also said: "Far from being weapons which keep peace, nuclear weapons in fact prevent peace and we, the UK and other nations of the world who possess such weapons, are therefore also a stumbling block to peace." The petition of 20,000 names will be handed into the Ministry of Defence (North Door) Whitehall, London today at 2.30pm. Dr Richard McCready, the National Secretary of Justice & Peace Scotland, will represent the Catholic Church. Dr McCready is quoted as saying: "this petition represents the views of people across Scotland that we should not replace Trident and that we should instead spend the money on aid and development. There are signatures from every part of Scotland; from the Solway to the Shetlands, from Barra to the Borders." Also in attendance will be the Right Reverend Alan McDonald, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church the Most Reverend Idris Jones. As the petition was leaving Scotland for London Cardinal O'Brien concluded: "We have a chance to be a nation of peace. Let us bury our belligerence, let us beat our swords into ploughshares and call on the world to follow our lead." Source: SCMO
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