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Scottish cardinal 'died a pauper' after refusing to take church salary

Cardinal Thomas Winning, the late leader of the Scottish Catholic Church, died in true accordance with the teachings of his faith - virtually penniless.

Winning's will has confirmed that the cardinal, seen by many as Scotland's last voice of moral authority, left only a couple of thousand pounds to his sister, niece and nephew. An insider said: "It is enough for a modest holiday but no more."

The cardinal's estate falls well below the threshold of $A69,000, above which all wills have to be published and lodged in court. He cardinal preferred to be sustained by charity than take the stipend of $A11,000 a year he was entitled to as Archbishop of Glasgow. For the last seven years, he survived on cash gifts received in 1994 as congratulatory gestures on his appointment as a cardinal by Pope John Paul II. For 11 years he also drew his old age pension of $A200 per week .

Winning's refusal to take his rightful pay saved the Scottish Catholic Church more than $A275,300 in his 27-year tenure in the institution's most powerful office.

The cardinal, who died in June after two heart attacks, lived in a substantial villa on the south side of Glasgow, but his home and his car belonged to the Church.

Scotland on Sunday