SPUC concerned about pro abortion conference at Catholic centre
5 June 2002
SPUC concerned about pro-abortion conference at Catholic centre Belfast, 5 June 2002--SPUC in Northern Ireland has been most concerned to discover that a conference centre run by the Servites, a Catholic religious order, plans to host a pro-abortion meeting next weekend. The Benburb Conference Centre, which is in the grounds of the Benburb Servite priory, is the venue for the annual residential conference of the Women's Information Group. One of workshops will be led by Georgie McCormack of the Family Planning Association. In response to enquiries from SPUC, Raymond O'Connell, manager of the conference centre, defended his decision to host the meeting by claiming that the centre was a neutral venue. Betty Gibson, chairman of SPUC Northern Ireland, commented: "The fact that this conference is being held at Benburb Priory gives a veneer of Church approval which could be very detrimental to the pro-life cause, especially as it comes at a critical time when the Catholic bishops are opposing the FPA in Northern Ireland's courts. I would be astounded if the Church authorities allowed this conference to go ahead." SPUC is taking the matter up with the Servite order.