Anglicans apologize for ‘Nazi’ remark

The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa has apologized for comments made by an archdeacon which likened remarks made by downtown residents against a homeless centre to “Nazi Germany.”

“They were not constructive to moving the dialogue forward,” the Very Rev. Shane Parker wrote in a letter to the Sun’s editor Wednesday afternoon.

At a meeting Monday night, things took an ugly turn when residents spoke harshly against relocating a homeless centre to their Sandy Hill neighbourhood.

During an interview with the Sun Tuesday, Archdeacon David Selzer said he was “appalled” by those comments.

“There was a huge degradation of people using Centre 454 as human beings,” Selzer said Tuesday. “People were saying we ought to get rid of these people, carted away. It sounded like Nazi Germany.”

The diocese also apologized to residents in person during another meeting Wednesday night. That seemed to smooth ruffled feathers.

“I was happy to see that he started with it and no one had to ask,” said Dave Bagler of Action Sandy Hill. “It seemed like a very sincere apology.”

In the letter, Parker said the diocese is “determined to handle the move responsibly, working with the residents through constructive dialogue.”

“The diocese has a long history of working with the poor and homeless, and with the help of our neighbours we can make a big difference in the lives of many,” Parker wrote.

The diocese is meeting with Coun. Mathieu Fleury Monday.

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