TORONTO, July 31, 2003 ( – Thanks to a major Canadian news service’s spin, many Canadians have likely acquired a distorted understanding of what Calgary’s Bishop Fred Henry actually said in his spoken comments about the Prime Minister’s support for homosexual ‘marriage’.  Today’s Globe and Mail newspaper featured a front page story on Bishop Henry’s comments and the Vatican’s new document on homosexual unions. Within the story the bishop was correctly quoted as having said of Jean Chretien, “He’s putting at risk his eternal salvation. I pray for the Prime Minister because I think his eternal salvation is in jeopardy. He is making a morally grave error and he’s not being accountable to God.”

However, the bishop’s pastoral concern for the PM’s spiritual welfare was twisted into a harsh condemnation by the article’s opening line. Reporter Kim Lunman wrote, “Prime Minister Jean Chrétien risks burning in hell if he makes same-sex marriage legal in Canada, a Roman Catholic bishop from Alberta warned yesterday.” The sub-heading of the article read, “Bishop says PM risks eternal damnation by backing bill on same-sex marriage”. The mid-day Internet update of the Globe story did not even bother to include Henry’s actual comments and just used the “burning in hell” quote.  Bishop Henry used neither “burning in hell” nor “eternal damnation” in his remarks about the Prime Minister’s persistent violation of Catholic moral teaching. Nevertheless, these phrases were picked up by numerous clients of Canadian Press and Broadcast News, which used the Globe story, and were disseminated across Canada and internationally.

Prominent Canadian radio station CFTR 680 reported throughout the day that the Prime Minister was told by the bishop that he “risks burning in hell”. The bishop’s actual comments were not reported. When called by LifeSite, CFTR reported that it used the Broadcast News (Globe) story as its source. CFRB, Canada’s largest audience radio station, also reported throughout the day that the bishop said the “Prime Minister risks going to hell” and again did not quote the bishop’s actual words. A CBC national television news interviewer reported the bishop indicated that Chretien “is risking eternal damnation”.  The Globe and its affiliated Canadian Press and Broadcast News has a long history of anti-Catholicism and advocacy for legal, tax-funded abortion and acceptance of homosexuality. For a number of years it even featured regular columns by a prominent advocate of pedophilia or, as he called it, “intergenerational sex”.  See the front page Globe story:(first paragraph)   See the Globe’s mid-day Breaking News update:(see 14th paragraph)  See second paragraph of CBC’s on line Canadian Press report