Man on a Mission

 — Aug. 2, 20012 aoüt 2001

Man on a Mission: Incoming bishop encourages frank talk on future of Catholicism

by Jason Warick, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

The man who will take over this fall as Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Saskatoon isn’t saying where he stands on controversial issues such as birth control or the ordination of women, but he does believe these issues need to be talked about openly.

“I know many of these things need to be discussed,” bishop-elect Father Albert LeGatt said during an interview at the Catholic Pastoral Centre on Fifth Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

“For me to say I agree or disagree with this, I would just say I have a basic trust in the teachings of the church. We need to continue to discuss this.”

LeGatt said the Catholic faith is dynamic, and is always trying to evolve. The church’s increasing openess to ecumenism, or collaborating with other faiths, is one example.

“The churches are in a far less defensive mode (toward each other) than 30 or 40 years ago. In the end, this is about the glory of God.”

The church must have a focus on outside issues rather than simply worrying about going to mass or reading the bible, he said.

“The church must have purpose beyond itself — justice for those who are suffering. The church should be a part of the world,” he said.

LeGatt, who taught French in Ghana for four years in the 1970s, said he has some new ideas, but he wants to hear from some of the estimated 90,000 Catholics in the Saskatoon Diocese first.

He said he wants to respect the church’s history but to continue to try new approaches as well.

“There’s a sense of tradition I honour and respect. (But) if something is alive, is significant and real, people will want to be a part of that.”

The 49-year-old native of Pathlow, Sask. has spent his entire career in the parishes of Prince Albert, and was most recently studying toward a masters degree at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. He said he was “honoured and humbled” when he first heard the news he would become a bishop.

LeGatt’s ordination mass will take place some time this fall.

Although the Pope makes the final selection of new bishops, names are submitted by local bishops, and passed on through various other levels before reaching the Vatican.

The search for a new Saskatoon bishop began after former bishop James Weisgerber was appointed archbishop of Winnipeg.

Posted: Aug. 2, 2001 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Albert LeGatt, bishops, Catholic, Saskatoon
Transmis : 2 aoüt 2001 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Albert LeGatt, bishops, Catholic, Saskatoon

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