GLASGOW, Scotland, MARCH 7, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Glasgow Archbishop Mario Conti will use his first public engagement here Saturday to formally open a new pro-life education center named after his predecessor, Cardinal Thomas Winning.
The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Center will be the base for the Pro-Life Initiative that he launched five years ago. The program has since been adopted by the bishops´ conference of Scotland, and 431 babies have been born after their mothers approached the project for help.
The program offers help to women from all backgrounds, regardless of creed. Spontaneous public donations continue to support the initiative; no sponsorship effort or formal fund raising has been necessary.
The scheme has won support from figures as diverse as John Paul II and Germaine Greer, the Glasgow Archdiocese said in a statement.
It cited John Paul II´s address to Scottish bishops (April 25, 1997): “Your efforts to help mothers uncertain about whether to welcome their unborn children deserve the support of the whole Church community and indeed all persons of good will.”
Germaine Greer wrote in her book “The Whole Woman”: “In 1997, Cardinal Winning took the first step in the direction of providing a genuine alternative to abortion. Feminism is pro-woman rather than pro-abortion; we have always argued for freedom of reproductive choice. But a choice is only possible if there are genuine alternatives.”
The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Center will act as a base for counseling and administration. It will also serve as a conference and education center offering courses and visits to interested groups.
Sister Roseann Reddy has worked for the initiative from the start, and founded the new religious community of the Sisters of the Gospel of Life as a result of the initiative.
“Cardinal Winning always insisted that if even one life was changed it would be all worthwhile,” she said. “In reality his courage and belief have changed a culture — showing the Church to be genuinely pro-choice insofar as we offer the choice of life to women who feel their only way out is the death of their child.” The 76-year-old cardinal died last June after a heart attack.