Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Bishop Fred Henry

Provincial guidelines are like poking a grizzly with a stick

Bishop Fred Henry
March 7, 2016

A sure sign that spring is near, according to Parks Canada, is the sight of the first grizzly bear of the season coming out of winter hibernation. As this natural process unfolds, it is an apt time to review the recommended bear safety tips for people visiting mountain parks: Ensure pets are on a leash while out walking; travel in groups and make noise; have bear spray within reach and know how to use it. The number one safety tip is "Knowing how to reduce an encounter before it happens, as that is good for people and good for bears."

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Totalitarianism in Alberta

Bishop Fred Henry
January 15, 2016

Prior to becoming pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio on May 25, 2012 gave a Te Deum homily commemorating the establishment of Argentina's first national government following the revolution of 1810. The major thrust of his homily was that only the commandment of love, in all of its simplicity - steady, unassuming, but firm in conviction and in commitment to others - can save us. We need to re-root ourselves in a sovereign love that is simple and deep, to love God above all else and our neighbour as ourselves.

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Abolishing gender an assault on the human person

Bishop Fred Henry
November 23, 2015

In my lifetime, the mainstream liberal culture first championed divorce; divorce was followed by contraception and the proliferation of pornography, contraception by abortion and euthanasia, euthanasia by homosexual conduct, homosexual conduct by the entire abolition of distinctive gender. But all these assaults are really attacks on the primal truth of the book of Genesis, "Male and female he created them" (Genesis 1.27).

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Party leaders fail to deal with reality

Bishop Fred Henry
September 14, 2015

Despite the great recent excitement about the success of the Toronto Blue Jays, I want to focus on and apply something once said by Casey Stengel. Stengel was a longtime major league New York Yankee (and Mets) Hall of Fame baseball manager whose unique way with the English language became known as "Stengelese."

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Decision-making requires sound analysis

Bishop Fred Henry
May 18, 2015

A farmer hired a man to work for him. He told him his first task would be to paint the barn and said it should take about three days to complete. But the hired man was finished in one day. The farmer set him to cutting wood, telling him it would require about four days. The hired man finished in a day and a half, to the farmer's amazement.

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Muslims must halt religious distortions that spawn terror

Bishop Fred Henry

January 26, 2015

'We are not all Charlie." The Jan. 7 terrorist attack by Islamic militants on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris brought, and rightly so, widespread condemnation. The massacre of 12 civilians, including two policemen, one of whom was Muslim, constituted a heinous crime and there is a need to express our solidarity with the French people and the affected families. On Jan. 10, the international media reported that up to 2,000 civilians in and around the town of Baga, Nigeria, were slaughtered by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

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Tweedledum and Tweedledee lead our political parties

Bishop Fred Henry

May 26, 2014

My mom often used the expression – "tweedledum and tweedledee." My dad explained that it means – "six of one, half a dozen of the other." For example, two matters, persons or groups can be very much alike, as in Uncle George says, he's not voting in this election because the candidates are Tweedledum and Tweedledee. I later discovered that these terms were actually invented by John Byrom, who in 1725 made fun of two quarrelling composers, Handel and Bononcini, and said there was little difference between their music, since one went "tweedledum" and the other "tweedledee." The term gained further currency when Lewis Carroll used it for two fat little men in Through the Looking-Glass (1872).

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Bishops eager to celebrate with pope, but got a lesson in prayer

Bishop Fred Henry

April 28, 2014

As auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of London, I made my first ad limina visit in 1987. An ad limina visit is made every five years by diocesan bishops. It entails venerating the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, officially visiting the four major basilicas, meeting with various officials of the Secretary of State, the curia and their respective congregations, pontifical councils and tribunals. The unquestionable highlight is, of course, meeting the successor of Peter, the bishop of Rome who, in this case, was Pope John Paul II.

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Prosecute Johns, see prostitutes as the real victims

Bishop Fred Henry

March 17, 2014

On Dec. 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a unanimous decision which struck down three Criminal Code provisions regulating prostitution: living off the avails of prostitution; communicating in public for purposes of prostitution; and keeping or being found in a bawdy house. Initially, I was not only saddened by this decision but perplexed by the reasoning behind it.

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Add Christ, Church to provide recipe for a happy marriage

Bishop Fred Henry

February 17, 2014

As a bishop, I subscribe to and read several different publications in a futile attempt to keep up. I never seem to get ahead of the game. Half-jokingly, I tell people that I have a large filing cabinet at home on which are two piles of periodicals and unread books. One pile is comprised of those that I want to read; the other, a much larger pile, that other people think that I ought to read. I usually opt for a selection from the smaller pile.

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