Bishop Fred Henry Supports a Ban on Gambling

After all the furor that he had cost in the last few months, the public is already very familiar with him right now. He will do whatever it takes to bring back lost "sheep" to the flock. Even if they do happen to run Catholic Schools.

Next Month, Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, the very visible leader of the Catholic population in Calgary, Canada, will meet with Calgary's Catholic School Board and there will be little bargaining room for the board's trustees. Bishop Henry is very determined to stop the board for using gambling related activities such as casino and bingo games as a way to raise funds for the school.

Bishop Henry is willing to discuss how long will it take the local schools to find ways to raise the money other than the usual ways, but that is as far as he is willing to negotiate on the issue. They must stop what they are doing because it is "morally incorrect" and so far, the schools have not followed Bishop Henry's directive in the matter.

Bishop Henry said that he will not budge from his position. The Schools have to get out of using casino games and bingo as a source of revenues. The only thing that they can negotiate about is "How" they will get out and "When" they will stop using those means for revenue fundraising.

He added that he is trying to be realistic about the situation, but they must set the matter of the withdrawal now and find as early as possible alternative sources of funding. He want to see some progress about the whole situation and the gradual breakaway of schools from bingo and casino dependence.

Bishop Henry recalls that parishes in his jurisdiction also had the stop their fundraising efforts through gambling years ago and how one parish resisted the move. They fell into line when Bishop Henry threatened them with closing. He said that the end still does not justify the means and that is the end of the matter.

If the school still does not cooperate in the matter, Bishop Henry said that they would face serious consequences. As he had threatened in his last letter to the school board, the Bishop will not be presiding at the Calgary Catholic School District mass which usually marks the beginning of the school year. The chaplain of the board would be there instead.

So, depending on the result of the next month's meeting between Bishop Henry and the board, the bishop could up the stakes and could go further like remove priests from the schools or take away the school's designations as Catholic.

Bishop Henry discloses that he have spoken with Chairman of the Board a lot of times and he wants to see if they can sort out the matter and moved on from there. He's hopeful that they can work things out.

Bishop Henry said that he and the board must come to an understanding. If they still remain defiant on the matter, he will not let up on the pressure to them. Ultimately, they must understand that they have no choice.