Cardinal Thomas Winning (1925-2001) was reared in a mining community in Lanarkshire. The dark days of the Depression left their mark on him and his social conscience, fired then, was to remain aglow to his dying day.
He studied for the priesthood at the Scots College, Rome, and graduated from the Pontifical Gregorian University with a licentiate in theology and a doctorate in Canon Law. He later became a judge of the Roman Rota, the Catholic Church's highest marriage court. After periods as spiritual director of the Scots College, parish priest in Motherwell and first President of the newly established Scottish National Marriage Tribunal, he was named auxiliary bishop of Glasgow in 1971, succeeding as Archbishop in 1974. For twenty-seven years he was a fearless, outspoken and much loved leader of the Catholic community in the city.
Created Cardinal in 1994, he used his position to champion causes closest to his heart … the right to life; Catholic education; marriage and the family, and social justice. He is perhaps best remembered for his Pro-Life Initiative launched in 1997 offering the Church's help to any woman facing a crisis pregnancy. Wherever he went in the world after that he was asked, "How are your babies?" The question appealed to his impish sense of humour!
It has been said that he put the Catholic community on the map of Scottish public life and that is no understatement. His courage, loyalty and engaging personality are remembered far and wide. He died on 17 June 2001. Royalty and politicians mingled at his funeral with thousands of ordinary Glaswegians to pay their respects to the man known simply as "the Cardinal".
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