Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 9, 2002
Priest right to deny marriage
Planned Parenthood employee 'conflicted', says Bishop Henry
By ART BABYCH
"The truth of Catholicism goes deeper than simple selfish needs of the moment."
- Thomas Langan
Maes has declined to comment publicly, deferring questions to Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, who told the Canadian Press he supports the priest's decision not to marry the couple.
"No Catholic can responsibly take a pro-choice stand when the choice in question involves the taking of innocent human life," he said. There is no "wiggle room" when it comes to the abortion issue in the Catholic Church, he added.
"She is in a conflicted position and something has got to give," said Henry. "She can be excommunicated for her activities at Planned Parenthood if she's involved in counseling someone to get an abortion or facilitating it."
Planned Parenthood offers birth control and free pregnancy tests, and presents abortion as an option for dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
The Medicine Hat News quoted Planned Parenthood Alberta's executive director Melanie Anderson as stating "I think the Church should be concerned about what kind of precedent they're setting.
"They could find themselves with some very empty pews."
She said Planned Parenthood has about 200 volunteers, employees and affiliates around the province, many who are married or members of the Catholic Church.
Langan, however, said Planned Parenthood is an "anti-Catholic, pro-abortion organization (that) has no place telling Catholics how the sacraments ought to be administered."
Ling said she is pro-choice, not pro-abortion and that she won't quit her job. She also said she would not return to her parish nor any Catholic Church in the future.
Mae's decision to refuse to marry the couple came after Ling was quoted in a Medicine Hat News article linking her to Planned Parenthood.
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