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Monday, 25 June, 2001, 18:28 GMT 19:28 UK
Cardinal's people say goodbye
By BBC News Online's Brian Ponsonby
At a church in the south side of Glasgow on Monday, several hundred Catholics came to remember and pay their respects to Cardinal Thomas Winning.
But rather than take part in a sombre service, the congregation laughed and celebrated his life.
For them, the "superstar" of the Catholic Church in Scotland - as Bishop Joseph Devine referred to him - had never lost the common touch.
Holy Cross Church in Crosshill gave ordinary Catholics from the south side of the city their chance to say goodbye.
Several hundred filtered through its doors before the service at St Andrew's Cathedral got under way at 1200 BST.
They were greeted by church passkeepers - ordinary people from Holy Cross parish who gave up their spare time to ensure the televised service passed smoothly and with dignity.
A framed photograph of Thomas Winning in his red cardinal robes grinned at people of all ages as they made their way to the pews.
Zest for life
Perhaps this was appropriate for a service that would constantly refer to the late cleric's sense of humour and zest for life.
Just before 1200 BST, a huge screen positioned in front of the altar flickered into life and relayed pictures from the city centre service.
The eyes of the congregation, usually fixed on a single priest, followed the senior church figures, politicians, and ordinary people taking their places.
Others closed tightly in prayer during a reading from St Paul's letter to the Romans and the Gospel, delivered by Deacon Frank Wilson.
However, mostly people's eyes lit up and laughed as Bishop Joseph Devine led a humorous tribute to Scotland's most senior catholic.
As the service progressed, the congregation faithfully followed the events at St Andrew's - moving, laughing and singing in unison.
When it was over they emerged from the south side church into bright sunlight, stopping to say hello to familiar faces and share thoughts about their late cardinal.
Many of them had met "Tom" on several occasions while others had admired his work and enthusiasm from afar.
Bridget Corr travelled from her parish to attend the special screening at Holy Cross.
"I wanted to go to the mass and receive holy communion and I felt it wasn't the same sitting in the comfort of the house," she said.
She recalled meeting him on a recent trip to Lourdes and talked warmly of his ability to make people feel welcome and appreciated.
She also said that although Cardinal Winning "did not get a good response sometimes" he was "quite right" to speak out on controversial issues like abortion and Section 28.
One of the many people attending the televised service on their lunch break from work was Patricia Moran.
Although her local parish is Christ the King in Croftfoot, she said she "wanted to be part of a crowd to take it all in".
"I know family and friends are gathering at home to watch it but I couldn't be part of that, so, I just wanted to be with other people," she said.
She added: "I think he was a good leader but he was outspoken."
Frank McAveety, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, was also in the congregation.
Mr McAveety paid tribute to the churchman's "forthright" views.
"I think underpinning what Tom Winning was about was a sense of what it was to be a Catholic in Scotland," he said.
"The fact that he brought catholicism out, perhaps, from behind the doors to the mainstream, indicates that Catholics are playing a role in modern Scotland."
Another politician in the congregation was Springburn councillor Alan Stewart, who attended with his 89-year-old mother.
He said he would remember the "fighting qualities" of Cardinal Winning, his "human values" and the way he "defended causes with vigour".
Mr Stewart added: "In the year 2001 you need priests with vigour to tackle all these economic and political problems that exist in the world and I think it's important that the church has a say there."
Overseeing the televised service at Holy Cross was local parishioner and passkeeper Charles Campbell.
He said: "It was a social event for the parishioners of the church. It got them together."
Mr Campbell knew the cardinal personally for many years and was in Rome when he was elevated to the office of cardinal in 1994.
He summed him up simply by saying: "He was a man of the people and had time for everyone."
That was a sentiment shared by everyone who made their own personal pilgrimage to Holy Cross on Monday.
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