Cardinal von Galen Award – Fall/Winter 2005: Bishop Fred Henry

Bishop Fred Henry of the Diocese of Calgary, Canada is the recipient of our award this quarter. Bishop Henry has an impressive track record of speaking out and enforcing Catholic doctrine in a country where it is growing increasingly dangerous to do so. In 2002 he cancelled the wedding of a member of his diocese who, it was discovered, was an employee at an abortion mill; in 2003 he stated publicly that then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien was putting his soul in danger by legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada; he has aimed blistering criticism at legislation for assisted suicide and euthanasia and said that if he were his bishop he would excommunicate Prime Minister Paul Martin because he is “guilty of a grave offense against God” for his support of abortion and same-sex marriage!

Bishop Henry is also no stranger to persecution: he has been slandered by a powerful newspaper magnate in his province, threatened with death multiple times and been hauled before the Provincial Human Rights Commission twice for his defense of traditional marriage.  If anyone deserves the award for a prelate who speaks out about injustices, it is Bishop Fred Henry, “The Lion of Calgary”!

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