Following the controversy which has marked the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing on grounds of compassion, Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow released the following statement yesterday:
"I personally, and many others in the Catholic community admired the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on grounds of compassion which is, after all, one of the principles inscribed on the mace of the Scottish Parliament by which Scotland’s Government should operate.
"The showing of mercy in any situation is not a sign of weakness. Indeed in this situation, with the pressures and circumstances of the case, it seemed to me a sign of manifest strength.
"Despite contrary voices I believe it is a decision which will be a source of satisfaction for many Scots and one which will be respected in the international community.
"I have been impressed by the expressions of understanding and insight from Dr Jim Swire and other relatives who lost loved ones on the Pan Am flight who have acknowledged both the rightness of the gesture of compassion and their doubts as to the safety of the original conviction
“I would welcome any move which would try to find clearer answers as to what happened and why.”