Canadian Catholics are mourning the loss of one of the local Church’s most ardent defenders of life. Monsignor Vincent Foy, who died March 13 from natural causes at age 101, is remembered especially for his decades-long battle to promote the Church’s authentic teaching on procreation.
A canon lawyer and priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto for 78 years, Msgr. Foy was “an inveterate defender of the sacredness of all human life, especially that of unborn babies,” said Basilian Father Alphonse de Valk, former editor of The Interim and founding editor of Catholic Insight Magazine.
“His greatest and most courageous contribution to Canada’s pro-life cause came when he decided that he could no longer be silent about the betrayal by a large majority of Canada’s bishops” of the Church’s teaching on contraception, Fr. de Valk told LifeSiteNews.
That betrayal came in the form of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 1968 Winnipeg Statement, released two months after Pope Paul VI published Humanae Vitae in July 1968, which reaffirmed Catholic teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil.
In the Winnipeg Statement, the bishops “contradicted and opposed” Humanae Vitae, “virtually nullifying the encyclical in large part in North America and elsewhere,” said Fr. de Valk.
The “bishops fell into the trap of moral relativism,” Msgr. Foy wrote in Tragedy at Winnipeg, his major critique of the document first published in Challenge Magazine in 1988.
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