For Susan Schuller, mother of a Down syndrome child, Lord Windsor’s talk on the evening of March 29 in Alumni House hit a personal chord. According to Schuller, co-founder of 21 Strong – a group of families from Fairfield County whose lives have been enriched by Down syndrome – 90% of unborn babies diagnosed in the womb with an extra copy of the 21st chromosome are aborted. And the medical community supports this choice.
“Choice is a very misused expression,” asserted Lord Windsor, great-grandson of England’s King George V, during his talk entitled “A New Abolitionism.” Believing that legalized abortion has led to the “mass destruction of human beings whose lives we haven’t deemed worthy,” Windsor questioned how normalized and trivialized this “choice” has become. He challenged the audience to soften their hardened consciousness and contest conformity that has led to “a mortal wound in the heart of the Judeo-Christian world.”
Windsor is a patron of the Right to Life Charitable Trust and is the first blood member of the British royal family to become a Catholic in 400 years. Believing abortion a “cruel deceit,” Windsor presented his argument as “grounded in the core dignity of the right of a human being to be born.”
Photos by Jean Santopatre, University Photojournalist
The talk, which was free and open to the public, attracted members of the Fairfield community as well as the Sisters of Life, based in Stamford and founded by Cardinal O’Connor. A thoughtful and provocative question and answer period followed.
When asked what could be done to make abortion more of a social issue than a Catholic/Christian one, Windsor affirmed that the argument was more philosophical and scientific than religious. “What we’re simply seeking,” he said, “is a revaluing of human life so it’s treasured and respected. “
Another member of the audience questioned whether there was or could be a moment in Europe like America’s annual “March for Life.” Windsor recognized that America has become highly effective in creating a mass movement, a history that is embedded in the American Experience dating back to the civil rights movement. However, England has not yet reached such a critical mass, and he later added that a politician in England known to be anti-abortion would never get elected.
This event was preceded earlier in the day by a gallery lecture from Lady Nicholas Windsor, wife of Lord Windsor, at Fairfield’s Bellarmine Museum of Art. She spoke of a memorial in development by internationally renowned sculptor Paul Day, whose spectacular work on the “Battle of Britain Monument” was shown through a photo slideshow. The bronze memorial will be devoted to the medieval shrines destroyed during the English Reformation, and has been commissioned by the Art and Reconciliation Trust.
Both events presented by the royal family were sponsored by Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life. Anchored in the rich traditions of Catholic social thought and Jesuit spirituality, the Center respects diversity while promoting the common good.
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