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"The clergyman... was always a colourful figure"
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Monday, 18 June, 2001, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Tributes paid to cardinal
Cardinal Thomas Winning
Tributes have been paid to the leader of Scotland's Catholics
Tributes have been paid to Cardinal Thomas Winning, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.

Cardinal Winning died at his home in Glasgow on Sunday, at the age of 76.

Pope John Paul II led tributes, describing the cardinal as a "zealous pastor" who inspired Roman Catholics across Scotland and beyond.

In a message of sympathy sent to the Archdiocese of Glasgow, he praised the cardinal's commitment to poor people.

Zealous pastor

The Pope said: "Saddened to learn of the sudden death of Cardinal Thomas Joseph Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow, I extend heartfelt condolences and the assurance of my spiritual closeness to the clergy, religious and laity of the Archdiocese and to the Catholic community in Scotland.

"This zealous pastor encouraged the communities he served in faith and Christian living, and was particularly outstanding in defence of life and commitment to the poor.

"I am confident that his example will inspire all the members of the church in Scotland to grow in their love of Christ and to increase their resolve to serve their brothers and sisters in a spirit of Christian charity."

The Queen said she was "saddened" to learn of the cardinal's death.

She said: "He made a very distinguished contribution to the Catholic Church in Scotland and to Scottish public life over many years and he will be much missed."

Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor: "Close friend"
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, praised the "humour, dedication, and utter loyalty" of the cardinal.

And Scotland's politicians were deeply saddened by the death of a man described as a "staunch advocate of the values and principles which should underpin our society".

Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Cardinal Tom Winning.

"He was an outstanding leader of the church in Scotland and beyond.

"His humour, dedication, utter loyalty and unstinting defence of the Catholic church will long be remembered.

"I deeply mourn a close friend. Catholics in England and Wales will join with those in Scotland in prayer for the repose of the soul of a good shepherd and pastor, may he rest in peace."

Scotland's First Minister Henry McLeish said Cardinal Winning was a man he "greatly respected and admired".

Sense of humour

"I will miss Tom Winning's contribution to public life in Scotland - his sense of pride in his country, his enthusiasm for life, his continued concern for the ordinary people of Scotland and - perhaps above all - his down-to-earth sense of humour."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace said: "Cardinal Winning was a man who made his presence felt.

"He was a spiritual leader who commanded widespread respect well beyond the bounds of the Roman Catholic Church.

He added that, while he did not always agree with him, he always treated his views with considerable respect.

Alex Salmond MP
Alex Salmond: "Fearless fighter"
UK Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy MP added: "Public life will be much the poorer for his passing."

The leader of the Scottish National Party John Swinney said he was "extremely saddened".

He said: "He was well-loved and will be sorely missed by the whole nation."

The leader of the SNP at Westminster Alex Salmond said he was proud to count Cardinal Winning as one of his friends.

"I think he will be remembered as a fearless fighter for the poor and dispossessed.

"Sometimes during the 1980s, he was almost a one-man opposition to Thatcher's social policies.

"He was never feart. He would take on any establishment and he took on that establishment at the height of its powers."

The Scottish Parliament's Presiding Officer Sir David Steel said the cardinal will be "greatly missed not just by his own flock but by the whole country".

"He will be remembered for his robust contributions to public debate on a range of issues. He tried to lift the eyes of Scots from our own problems to the third world."

Tory leader David McLetchie
David McLetchie: "Great moral leader"
Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie said: "I was very sorry to hear of the death of Cardinal Winning. He was one of the most eminent and distinguished churchmen Scotland has produced.

"He was also a great moral leader, and a staunch advocate of the values and principles which should underpin our society."

Secretary of State for Scotland Helen Liddell joined in the tributes, saying she was "greatly saddened" by the death of the cardinal.

"He was a man of great vision and immense social conscience," said Mrs Liddell.

"As the first prince of the Catholic church in Scotland, he was a well-liked and respected figure who strove throughout his life to improve the lives of all Scots.

Helen Liddell
Helen Liddell: "Greatly saddened"
"He was particularly concerned by the problems of poverty, and worked tirelessly to help those in most need. He will be sadly missed by Scots of all denominations."

Prime Minister Tony Blair was said to be "shocked and saddened to hear of Cardinal Winning's sudden death".

A statement issued by Downing Street said of Cardinal Winning: "His strong moral leadership and commitment to social justice were renowned.

"His energy, commitment and passionate defence of the core values of the Catholic church and faith were recognised by all. He will be greatly missed."

Chancellor Gordon Brown, MP for Dunfermline East, said: "Cardinal Winning will be sorely missed. He was a great Scot and a great Christian.

"I was proud to know him and his great achievements will be remembered for many years to come.

"He was a passionate opponent of poverty both in Britain and in the Third World."

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17 Jun 01 | Scotland
Catholic leader Thomas Winning dies
17 Jun 01 | Scotland
Scotland's 'Cardinal Controversy'
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