May Not Allow Him Cathedral Funeral or Speaking Rights In Catholic Schools

CALGARY, Feb 28, 2001 ( – On Calgary’s Dave Rutherford QR77 radio show on Tuesday Bishop Fred Henry spoke about the “scandalous behaviour” of Roman Catholic Progressive Conservative Leader Joe Clark who declares himself “pro-choice” while calling himself Catholic. 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 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.” 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”. “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 . . .”

See the write-up on the radio comments in National Post at:


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