Read Part I of the interview with Lord Windsor here.
By Hilary White
|Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor|
Lord Windsor spoke with LSN on February 25th, while attending the annual plenary meeting of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life in Rome.
Born in 1970, Lord Windsor said that his generation, those born to the Baby Boomers, are part of a backlash that looks upon the “calamitous” social and moral chaos of the last 40 years with “horror.”
The life issues, he said, “in a certain respect, are the biggest thing. Because in our house, in the house of the developed world, it’s our biggest shame, it’s the biggest moral weight that we bear. Because in some sense, society has consented.”
“As Christians, as members of society, we have to act in our own small way. It’s clear that the Church provides an enormous wealth of teaching to draw on. The invitation is in front of us, in front of our eyes.”
“It’s difficult to know where to jump in. You feel quite passionate about doing something. In my case, particularly, it’s defence of unborn life.”
The survivors of abortion, he said, have no champion in the mainstream of society taking up the cause. “Because there’s no one standing up, the survivors are at one remove. Survivors don’t have a class of people who are in direct solidarity with them, defending them or speaking up for them, being their voices; they are literally the suppressed little ones.”
Lord Windsor caught attention last year for an article that appeared in the U.S. journal First Things, in which he said that legal abortion is a greater threat to Europe than Islamic terrorism.
Asked what he thinks it will take to turn the tide of public opinion, he said that a breakthrough is needed. Someone in a position of prominence needs to start talking: “The British still don’t really like to talk about … I mean, I’ve got in trouble in my own life just wanting to talk about religion.”
“I believe you will start seeing people talking about it. And these are the kind of people who can give permission, in a way, for other people to talk.” These people, he said, will “pay a price” for their openness. “I pray there is someone who has the courage for it.”
“People have to say, ‘I don’t have to be quiet just because the newspapers don’t want to talk about this’.” Citing the recent media attention given to pro-life comments by teen pop star Justin Beiber, Lord Windsor said, “This is one of the advantages of having a celebrity culture.”
“I think, as much as the media culture would like us to think there aren’t any celebrities who aren’t completely on message, it will come out. These are young people too and they think, ‘Why should I be told that this is fine?’”
“And thank God for the internet. I think it’s going to be very hard to censor people. A lot of the movements within the pro-life movement probably wouldn’t exist at all, would hardly have got off the ground without the web, so it’s really a blessing.”
The life issues, he said, are the key in a larger “matrix” of societal questions pertaining to the new mores that have had society in their grip since the 1960s social revolution. This new way of life, he said, has damaged young people, particularly those of the poorer and working classes. Overcoming it and finding a way back to abandoned norms is the work of the next generation of leaders.
“All of us who care about that know that it is very difficult to find way to push back against it. There’s a very great desire to maintain the silence about it. It is as though it is not just a trauma for the individuals who participate in it, but a trauma for the whole of society to face.”
He said, “How could we think of a post-abortion society in which it had rescinded the signal triumph of the progressive movement? It’s very rare that rights, once given, are taken away. And this is a right that has almost first place.
The right to abortion “has enormous symbolic significance as well as real practical significance for women who believe that it’s an advantage to have that right. Can you imagine a post-abortion society where not only those who have participated but all of us have to face the fact that we allowed this terrible thing to happen?
“We’re all ‘progressive’ in the sense that we’re all glad that we live in a democracy, where we have freedom of speech, where we have all our rights. And we ought to have human rights. But it is like a society in which it comes through a particular trauma in which it has participated in something evil, has a terrible time and faces great difficulties. And I can’t think of any worse ones [than abortion].”
“And this is a global thing.” Everyone but a “very tiny” number of countries, he said, has given at least tacit consent.
He said it is clear that for now, the realization of the enormity of the offence of nearly global legal abortion has yet to sink in. “I think we’re very, very much in the denial stage.
“And we’re in the stage where those who want to continue to defend and more deeply establish the right to abortion are concerned that it’s not entirely secure because the new generation is not enthusiastic. They are more inclined to talk about it than the previous generation who have rather thought that it is settled.”
He said he is “hopeful” about the possibility of spiritual leadership to lead us out of the morass. He cited the response of the British to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in September. The public was surprised, he said, by the pope’s “beautiful speeches, of such delicacy and power.”
“I think the British people didn’t have much of an idea what to expect of the pope, other than what they were fed in the media, the ideas of an old man, out of touch and with probably misogynistic tendencies, and accused of all kinds of things. But just to see this obviously very gentle, humble figure, always smiling … he radiates something, and it’s unmistakable. And that would have touched people.”
“It might not be measurable, but it would have touched them, would have changed things.”
Read Part I of the interview with Lord Windsor here.