CALGARY, Mar. 7, 2001 ( – Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, was interviewed by CTV News and Current Affairs yesterday about his statements chastising Progressive Conservative leader Joe Clark, a self-professed Catholic, for his pro-abortion stand. Interviewer Valerie Pringle was hostile in her choice of words to describe the bishop’s actions but Bishop Henry was not ruffled and answered her questions with flair.

Asked why Clark was “targeted,” the bishop explained that Clark is a resident of Calgary diocese about whom he has a serious pastoral concern. He added, “I expressed my disappointment at some of our Catholic politicians, how they seem to almost take their faith as if this were simply a privatized sort of matter and kind of checked it at the doors to the halls of Parliament, much like you might check a coat. And I said this is unacceptable for us. There must be consistency between the timeless principles that we espouse in our daily life between our political commitment and our moral conviction.”

Pringle noted Henry’s indication he would not lead Clark’s funeral service, and then asked if the bishop was “offended by Pierre Trudeau’s funeral at the Basilica?”, referring to the very public church funeral for the former Liberal prime minister, who legalized abortion in 1969, at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal last fall. Bishop Henry responded, “Yes, I was…. there were some issues or questions there that might make one kind of pause and consider whether or not this was an appropriate funeral to have or not.”

Pringle quoted Clark as saying, “I’m personally opposed but I can’t impose my morality on everyone else.” Henry responded, “Yeah. That’s the sort of thing that someone says, Yeah, I’m opposed to child abuse but I can’t impose my morality on anybody else. It’s inherently a contradiction and it’s a problem.” Pringle demanded, “You think that’s analogous” to which the bishop responded, “That’s right.”

Pringle summarized, “So, for all Catholic politicians, they should subscribe exactly and – what? – try and put laws together that reflect that?”, and then asked, “So no separation of Church and State?” Bishop Henry responded that Catholics are “called to serve God first and, like Thomas More” and the issue is not one of Church and State but of “calling Catholics to be Catholics. And as a bishop [that is] my responsibility.”

Pro-lifers wishing to congratulate Bishop Henry may contact him at:  Most Rev. Frederick Henry   tel: (403) 218-5526 fax: (403) 264-0272   120 – 17th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2S 2T2 Canada;  [email protected]

(with files from Pro-Life E-News)

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