‘Unacceptable,’ Says Bishop
Sun, January 16, 2005
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
to adultery, prostitution and pornography, Calgary’s outspoken Catholic
bishop is calling on his flock to resist the same-sex marriage movement,
adding the state has a duty to suppress public expressions of homosexuality.
In a pastoral letter, Bishop Frederick Henry says the same-sex marriage
movement is seeking to bring homosexual activity and lifestyle into gradual,
if reluctant, acceptance by the general community.
“Marriage and the family are the foundations of
society, through which children are brought into this world and nurtured as
they grow to adulthood,” says Henry in his letter.
‘HOW DARE HE?’
“Since homosexuality, adultery, prostitution and
pornography undermine the foundations of the family, the basis of society,
then the state must use its coercive power to proscribe or curtail them in the
interests of the common good.”
The letter, to be read to southern Alberta’s
quarter-million Catholics in their churches this weekend, has angered
Calgary’s gay and lesbian community, with one gay activist calling Henry a
“I mean that quite sincerely,” said Stephen Lock,
Calgary representative of the Canadians for Equal Marriage Coalition. “How
dare he? This is supposed to be a good Christian?”
Lock called the letter hateful.
In an interview, Henry said society has a right to reject
something that is abnormal.
He insisted marriage is not a matter of rights, but of
biological and psychological fact. He said two individuals of the same sex
will never be able to marry because it is an insurmountable biological
“The reality is, some people have same-sex attractions.
And homosexual people, of course, have rights that must be respected, like
employment rights, housing rights, pension rights.
“But we can’t endorse homosexual activity or the
lifestyle as normative. Society is within its rights to say ‘no,’ this is
Lock, however, rejected Henry’s assertion that same-sex
marriage threatens the institution of marriage and the family.
“This doesn’t take away anybody else’s rights
whatsoever,” he said. “Heterosexual couples will still have the right to
marry and have children. And gay couples will have the right to marry and have
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