OECTA continues to challenge the Catholicity of Catholic schools.
For example, OECTA's statement of principles includes the pledge that it will "promote Catholic values," but the association's annual general meeting in March 2006 opened with an address by the notorious dissident and excommunicated Catholic Joanna Manning on "Cracking the DaVinci Code: Women in the Church Then and Now."
Later, a resolution was put forth asking that policies on human rights in the OECTA handbook be amended to include the addition: "That the association work to provide an inclusive learning and working environment for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-gendered and two-spirited students and teachers." The resolution was defeated, but only narrowly, as it received support of 56 per cent of the delegates, short of the 2/3 majority required for a constitutional change. This was another attempt to introduce anti-Catholic teaching and practices under the guise of "rights."
A separate resolution on cloning and embryonic stem cell research proposed that OECTA denounce "all threats to life, such as euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, genocide, racism, sexism and homophobia." The last two are not defined entities but only feelings, and are not at all comparable to the other items listed.
A third resolution--which ultimately did not make it to the floor--proposed amending the OECTA prayer by deleting the words "Catholic teachers" in favour of "teachers in Catholic schools," supposedly in recognition of the fact that the association now includes "many teachers who are not Catholic." If passed, OECTA would have ceased to be a Catholic organization.
Toronto Star columnist Ian Urquhart reported on March 6 that OECTA was one of the sponsors of "an unabashedly glitzy" fundraising affair ($800 a ticket) for the Ontario Liberal party at the Toronto Convention Centre the week before. This continues OECTA's unacceptable policy of using members' dues to shore up politicians of one political party. The same policy is embraced during municipal elections.
Internal correspondence obtained by Catholic Insight shows that leaders within the OECTA local in Peterborough have been agitating in support of Ed Cachia, the Catholic priest who was suspended after publicly promoting women's ordination and then excommunicated after starting a new schismatic and heretical religion under the title of Christ the Servant Church. According to the Northumberland Today newspaper, Catholic teachers in the area are supporting him and his new religion, but are "lying low" in terms of public profile until it is determined whether such an action will jeopardize their jobs. OECTA has already assured such dissenters of its legal support.
Finally, an OECTA conference on "Educating for the Common Good," August 24-26, 2006, will include workshops on "building inclusive communities in Catholics schools" and "eco-feminism." It will feature as a guest speaker an unrepentant Gregory Baum, a former priest and excommunicated dissident theologian.
Catholic teachers should give serious consideration to electing a different set of delegates.