Calgary Bishop Fred Henry's outspoken comments

Here are some of the more colourful comments from outspoken Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, who once dubbed Justin Trudeau "Tweedledum-dumb."

Latest is strongly worded letter opposing the province's new LGBTQ guidelines for schools

Bishop Fred Henry, 72, was installed as the seventh bishop of Calgary in 1998. (CBC)

Calgary Bishop Fred Henry is under fire after he penned a strongly-worded letter opposing the province's new LGBTQ guidelines for schools.

The outspoken 72-year-old clergyman has courted controversy several times in his almost two decades as spiritual leader of Calgary's Roman Catholics. Here are some of his more colourful comments:

On gender identity

"Our teaching is rather simple and direct. God created beings as male and female. In doing so, he gave equal dignity to both man and woman. In his plan, men and women should respect and accept their sexual identity."

On gay-straight alliances

"GSAs and QSAs are highly politicized ideological clubs which seek to cure society of 'homophobia' and 'heterosexism,' and which accept the idea that all forms of consensual sexual expression are legitimate. The view of sexuality that they espouse is not Catholic."

On the abortion debate 

"Now we have a new player I call 'Tweedledum-dumb,' our wannabe prime minister, Justin Trudeau, with his own brand of bilingualism. He pledges open nomination races, and at the same time, says: 'I have made it clear that future candidates need to be completely understanding that they will be expected to vote pro-choice on any bills.' Apparently, logic isn't his strong suit."

On banning HPV vaccination in Catholic schools

"I want to commend those Catholic School Districts which took the courageous stance 'no' to the Alberta Government's voluntary HPV vaccination program. They got it right! ... Arguments in favour of widespread availability of the HPV vaccine are emblematic of a collective loss of nerve in the face of powerful libertine pressures within our culture."

On same-sex marriage legislation

"[Prime Minister Jean Chrétien] doesn't understand what it means to be a good Catholic... 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."

On gambling

"The premier [Ralph Klein] and his do-nothing minister of education [Gene Zwozdesky] should not be allowed to continue to say, 'Oh, look at all the money we're putting into education' when in actual fact they're not keeping up with some of the basic essentials." 

On health care

"There has been so much talk for so long with so few specifics about the so-called "Third Way" that I was beginning to expect something draconian in terms of controlling costs… Regrettably, the recently announced Alberta plan, entitled Health Policy Framework, is even worse than my imaginings… Are you listening Ralph?"

On Justin Trudeau's eulogy to his father

"This was riveting and heart-wrenching drama: "Je t'aime, Papa!" It was good television. Some would even say good politics. Nevertheless, it was also bad liturgy. 

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