Interim Staff

A pro-life supplement in the spring issue of the Roman Catholic Diocese of London newsletter generated favorable response from southwestern Ontario readers.

Published by the diocese’s pro-life office, the 16,000-circulation supplement coincided with Pro-Life Awareness Week, April 28 to May 4. It included items on a wide range of interest to pro-life, pro-family supporters, including the Health Care Consent Act, palliative care, the Second Pan-American Conference on the Family, local pro-life organizations and an update on jailed activist Linda Gibbons.

Alex Schadenberg, director of the London diocese pro-life office, said the supplement was prompted by Pope John Paul II’s request that a “day for life” be celebrated in every diocese. The pope’s request was announced in the encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life).

Schadenberg said the items included in the supplement were designed to raise awareness of the pro-life office and related services. The supplement includes a directory of local pro-life organizations, as well as a list of “life-affirming” services such as Birthright, pregnancy counseling offices and Natural Family Planning centres.

The article on Linda Gibbons, Schadenberg said, was included to explain her motivations in refusing to obey the province’s permanent injunction against pro-life witnessing at hospitals and abortion clinics. Since the fall of 1994, Gibbons has spent several months in jail for her action.

“Some people might have the idea that Linda Gibbons deserves to be in jail for continually ignoring the injunctions,” Schadenberg said. “We wanted to show that Linda is standing up not only on defence of the unborn but for what she sees is a freedom of speech issue.”

The article encourages readers in southwestern Ontario to send letters of support to Linda.

This was the second pro-life supplement to be published by the diocese of London. Schadenberg expressed hope that the supplement will appear on a yearly basis.