The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Winnipeg, Adam Exner, has rebuked Joseph Borowski for a large sign on the wall of his store and the use of same in an advertisement placed in several magazines.

Borowski’s sign was painted on the outside wall of his store in July, after the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) had expressed preference for ‘Amendment A’ of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s three proposals to re-legalize abortions.

The sign portrayed a caricature showing P.M. “Mal-roney” (sic) kneeling and kissing the feet of a fat women entitled, “Pro-choice Feminists,” with a third figure, of  a bishop entitled “CCCB” kneeling behind the Prime Minister, kissing his feet.

A picture of the sign was carried on the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press (September 13) and the Montreal Daily News (September 14).  The WFP reported Mr. Borowski saying that the Archbishop had admonished him for “misguided zeal.”

In the text of his magazine advertisement, Borowski had accused the CCCB in Ottawa of “unconditional surrender” to the abortion forces.  This, Archbishop Exner wrote, “is unjust and harmful.”

Borowksi would not release the text of the letter, but he acknowledged that, “it’s the toughest letter I’ve ever received.”  The sign was painted over the day after Mr. Borowski received the letter.

In an interview with The Interim, Mr. Borowski explained that the Archbishop demanded he apologize publicly in a new advertisement placed in the same magazines where he advertised earlier.  In accordance with those wishes, the apology will appear in an October issue of the Western Report.

However, in his written reply to the Archbishop, Mr. Borowski told The Interim he had expressed his feelings about the Archbishop’s analysis.  He had pointed out to him that his own condemnation did not concern individual bishops, but rather, their organization in Ottawa, the CCCB.  While “I may have been too harsh in my condemnation,” he added, the CCCB was “dead wrong” in their attitude as well as in their stand on the political issues.

“There is absolutely no doubt that their stand has done a great deal of harm,” Borowski said.