Scottish Cardinal leads calls to bin the bomb

 Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien led calls for the Government to abandon plans to renew Trident at a demonstration in Glasgow on Saturday, while peace campaigners from several churches groups took part in demonstrations at Faslane Naval Base. Speaking to thousands of protesters in Glasgow's George Square, Cardinal O'Brien re-iterated the Catholic Church's opposition to the renewal of Trident. As recently as November 2006 Cardinal O'Brien made clear his principled opposition by saying that "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 National Secretary of Justice & Peace Scotland, Dr Richard McCready, stated: "in the run up to the vote in the House of Commons in March I would urge everyone who is concerned about the possibility of renewing weapons of mass destruction to contact their MP. Nuclear weapons are immoral and we must use this opportunity to clearly state our case." The Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Alan McDonald, and the leader of the SNP, Alex Salmond MP also attended the rally. Cardinal O'Brien said the protest was part of his world vision, to grab the "chance to be a nation of peace, to bury our belligerence, to beat our swords into ploughshares and to call on the world to follow our lead." On Friday, clergy and representatives from several churches joined the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise to bear witness at Faslane nuclear weapons submarine base. The group included Church of Scotland ministers Reverend David McLachlan and Ainslie Walton (retired) both members of Clergy Action Group, and members of Trident Ploughshares. Members of the group spoke out against plans for Trident replacement, and cast a floral peace symbol and a wooden cross onto the water. Church of Scotland Minister, Reverend David McLachlan said: "Opinion polls in Scotland consistently show that people in this country do not want these weapons here. In recent times, all the mainline churches have voiced their opposition. If we really want to see peace in our world it is hard to see how that comes about by threatening one another with annihilation. As for defence - we certainly need to be able to defend ourselves. But we don't need nuclear weapons to do that. Most of the other countries in this world don't rely on nuclear weapons for their defence." Source: SCMO/Greenpeace

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