Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Calgary Roman Catholic Bishop Fred Henry resigns, new bishop appointed

Bishop Fred Henry, Calgary’s leading Catholic authority for 19 years, has resigned from the Calgary Catholic Diocese.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published the news Wednesday morning, but gave no reason for Henry’s departure.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation and has appointed William Terrence McGrattan, Bishop of the Diocese of Peterborough, as his successor.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published the news Wednesday morning, but gave no reason for Henry’s departure.

Henry, 73, has held the Catholic church’s highest office in Calgary since he was appointed in January 1998.

Previous to that he served nearly three years as bishop of Thunder Bay.

Bishop of Peterborough, Most Rev. William McGrattan listens to comments from Mayor Daryl Bennett during the official opening and blessing ceremony for the new addition at St. Catherine Catholic Public School on Thursday, September 25, 2014 in Peterborough. About 800 schoolchildren, staff and parents attended the special ceremony. Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/QMI AgencyThe outspoken church leader has been a polarizing figure here in Alberta — his conservative, faith-based positions on contemporary issues such as same-sex marriage, gender identity and assisted suicide often drew criticism from outside the church, most recently as he butted heads with the NDP over their controversial Bill 10 and gay-straight alliances within schools.

Last year he was assailed by some parents and members of the LGBTQ community for a letter castigating provincial guidelines that direct
schools to fully accommodate LGBTQ students.

The letter was widely criticized, characterized by one LGBTQ worker as the “fanatical” position of a church leader “out of touch” with “modern realities faced by youth.”

McGrattan, his 60-year-old successor, has been the bishop of Peterborough since April 2014.

His diocese made headlines last year after a priest became the subject of a police investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct alleged to have taken place in the 1980s at the summer camp. 

Police announced last month they would not lay charges. 

The diocese, however, was to conduct an internal investigation of its own, one that would include a “comprehensive review of the exercise of responsible priestly ministry,” a diocese spokeswoman told The Peterborough Examiner.

McGrattan previously served as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Toronto.

He was born in 1956 in London, Ontario where he later attended St. Peter’s Seminary, obtaining a Master’s of Divinity in conjunction with the University of Western Ontario.

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