CALGARY, Alberta, Mar. 1, 01 (CWNews.com/LSN.ca) - The
bishop of Calgary in the western Canadian province of
Alberta said this week that he may declare the head of the
Progressive Conservative Party a "persona non-grata" at
Catholic churches in his diocese for his pro-abortion
On Calgary's QR77 radio on Tuesday, Bishop Fred Henry spoke
about the "scandalous behavior" of Catholic Joe Clark,
leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, who has
declared himself "pro-choice." The bishop stated,
"Practically speaking, this may mean that Joe Clark is not
going to be a welcomed personage to speak in Catholic
schools in this diocese. And it may well be that should Joe
Clark predecease me, he may not have the bishop burying him
from the cathedral."
Joe Woodard of the Calgary Herald newspaper reported the
radio quotes. He notes that the bishop said he was not
going to deny Clark a Christian burial, but he was going
"to call him to account for his statements in public, which
I think are scandalous." Bishop Henry said that, rather than
defending their professed faith, "sometimes politicians
prefer to bury their heads in the sand and thereby expose
another part of their anatomies for public viewing."
When asked if he would excommunicate Clark, the bishop said
that would be handling it the "wrong way." He said, "One is
seeking to get people to convert -- to change their minds,
and hitting them over the head with a club is not going to
do much good."
Bishop Henry compared the common political line, "I'm
personally opposed to abortion, but I cannot force my
morality on others" to someone being "personally opposed to
child abuse" but unwilling to defend them. "We do it (impose
morality) all the time; it's a matter of what morality we're
going to impose," Henry said.
"If one happens to be a Catholic, there cannot be a split
between one's internal kind of views and thoughts... and
what one says publicly. One has a duty, whether he likes it
or not, to preach the word of God. This is part of the very
mission of the Church, which is not confined to guys like
myself who wear this funny Roman collar...."