Mean Spirited, Small-minded Bishops

By Stan Persky | January 19, 2001

And the winner of this week’s award for Canada’s most mean-spirited, small-minded, venom-packed message: the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops.

Or should we call them the Heterosexual Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops? They’re the ones who sent a "strongly worded letter of complaint" to Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson last week. Conference president Bishop Gerald Wiesner of Prince George, B.C. chastised the G-G because her office’s software sent an automatic sorry-I-can’t-attend-your-wedding-but-best-wishes message to a pair of gay couples about to be betrothed in Toronto.

Wiesner told Clarkson that the G-G should respect Canada’s laws–including a definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
"This controversial action by the office of the G-G offends most faiths, almost all of which believe that marriage by definition is the sacred union of a man and a woman…" said the bishop.

Her Polite Excellency assured the bishops that she wasn’t making a political, moral, or theological statement, but was merely trying to be "unfailingly considerate and gracious on the principle that every Canadian deserves respect and politeness from this office." If only the Heterosexual Council of Roman Catholic Bishops entertained a similar notion of courtesy. (And no, we will not pepper this award notice with precise statistics on the number of Roman Catholic Church members, priests, bishops and cardinals who are

Stan Persky: (221 w.)


  • Stan Persky

    Stan Persky taught philosophy at Capilano University in N. Vancouver, B.C. He received the 2010 B.C. Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. His most recent books are Reading the 21st Century: Books of the Decade, 2000-2009 (McGill-Queen's, 2011), Post-Communist Stories: About Cities, Politics, Desires (Cormorant, 2014), and Letter from Berlin: Essays 2015-2016 (Dooney's, 2017).

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