Columns

From the category archives: Opinions

Bishop Fred Henry

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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Christmas douses crossfires among relatives, co-workers

Bishop Fred Henry

December 23, 2013

A recurring theme of the feasts, stories and songs of Christmas is reconciliation – vertical and horizontal reconciliation. We experience being forgiven by God and others. We are also empowered to forgive others, ourselves, and even God. The alienated and the estranged are united.

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Truth and Reconciliation – justice denied

Bishop Fred Henry

September 30, 2013

The purpose of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is to tell Canadians the story of the policy of the Government of Canada regarding "Indian Residential Schools" and the impact it had on aboriginal children and their families.

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Respect, courtesy matter in life, at Church

Bishop Fred Henry

June 10, 2013

When I was seminarian, one of our compulsory courses was our half-hour Saturday night etiquette class. After a full week of facing the rigours of philosophical or theological study and reflection, this was a necessary, rather light subject but a hard discipline.

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Abortion myths obscure need for a new law in Canada

Bishop Fred Henry

March 18, 2013

In Kia's Super Bowl ad (which we weren't able to see on Canadian television stations), a son asks his father where babies come from. The father (behind the wheel of a new Kia Sorento) is so distressed by the question, he concocts a story about how babies come from a distant planet called Babylandia.

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Canada builds on the hope of Haitians

Bishop Fred Henry

February 4, 2013

The Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict is a "summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Saviour of the world" (Porta Fidei 6).

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