Catholic school boards bowing to secularism.
Because of full funding, very rapid expansion required the hiring of many teachers, some of whom had little loyalty to the Church. This weakening solidarity was further encouraged by open dissent from Catholic teaching among many teachers in the 1980s and 1990s, organized by the feminists around Joanna Manning and the bi-weekly (and now defunct) Catholic New Times newspaper. This dissent was given intellectual credence by theologians and priests in Europe and North America.
Consequently, a good number of Catholics voted with their feet and began to homeschool their children. Today, there are some 20,000 homeschoolers in Ontario, many of them Catholic.
Secularism was and is aided and abetted by a corrosive cultural climate and the promotion of a morally permissive lifestyle. This has affected, above all, the family and marriage. In Canada, in 2005, the situation was made even more difficult when Parliament legislated legal equality for an unnatural and false imitation of marriage--so-called same-sex marriage (SSM).
Equality for SSM
Over the last 10 years, Catholic Insight has devoted much effort to explaining the dangers and ill consequences of granting homosexuals legal equality with traditional marriage (see our website: www.catholicinsight.com, for some 30 or more articles on the subject). Today, this phenomenon is beginning to penetrate the Ontario Catholic school system. (See our April, 2007, article, "Who controls the souls of our children?" which gives some examples).
One serious difficulty in the debate surrounding the homosexual issue in the schools and society, often not recognized by those unfamiliar with the "gay" drive for equality, is the double meaning of terms used in common by both those who resist the approval of the homosexual lifestyle and those who promote it, terms such as sexual orientation and homophobia. (See the article "Ontario bishops address homosexuality in schools," C.I., Jan. 2007, esp. page 17. See also our Website).
Homophobia is a prime example. What does it mean? Those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle, such as the Catholic Church, use the term to indicate opposition and condemnation of aggression and unjust discrimination against members of the homosexual community.
But the homosexualist collective, on the other hand, applies homophobia to anyone who disagrees that homosexuality is a healthy and normative lifestyle. In their mind, homophobia comprises any opposition, no matter what it may be.
In April, Catholic Insight reported lengthy articles in the February and March, 2007, issues of the homosexual Xtra! newspapers, declaring open warefare on all private schools and especially, all Catholic schools, accusing them of "religious bullying" and "homophobia." The homosexual collective demands that all opposition to the homosexual way of life cease immediately; it says such opposition should be classified as "hatred," punishable under provincial Human Rights codes and even under federal hate-crime laws. And experience shows that various Human Rights Commissions agree with them.
The Hamilton-Wentworth Family Action Council has described its ongoing struggle with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) to preserve the right to oppose the homosexual lifestyle in the public school system (see its website: www.hamiltonfamilyaction.org). The HWDSB even rejects medical and scientific facts as "homophobic."
In Kitchener, ON, too, there is a struggle going on. The Defend Traditional Marriage and Family organization consisting of pro-life supporters recently reported on its efforts to protect children in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board from the board's own Family Life Advisory Committee (FLAC). In recent times this board appears to have approved referrals of Catholic students to a therapist who has spent years promoting the homosexual lifestyle. The board also appears to have approved pro-homosexual materials, a workshop, and a three-year program ("OK 2B Me") in support of what it claims are 'gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-sexual and queer' children, aged 5 to 18. It also approved the organization PFLAG--Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (LifeSiteNews.com, August 9, 2007).
On September 5, the WCDSB issued a News Release declaring that all these allegations are falsehoods. It denounced its accusers. Yet, the News Release itself gives everything away.
It tries to defend the term homophobia by suggesting that "the Catholic Church, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and Waterloo Catholic District School Board" are one in their "stand on the issue of homophobia and the dignified treatment of homosexual people." (p.5). But, of course, they are not. Ontario school policies and the Ontario Human Rights Commission's views are now interpreted as the homosexualist collective would like it: "any bias and any comment or action that is known to be unwelcome" is described by the Ontario Human Rights Code as "harassment" and, therefore, discriminatory and punishable.
On August 15 we learned that in May 2007, the TCDSB, in its document Workplace Harassment, had moved to prohibit all teachers and staff from complaining or objecting to "same-sex partner status." It turns out that two other unacceptable prohibitions had previously been imposed already, namely "marital status" and "sexual orientation."
We sent e-mails to the board's 12 trustees, asking for an explanation, but by September 13, not a single reply had been received.
What does it all mean? The Catholic philosophy of education has always maintained that the teacher has to be an example and model of Catholic integrity. But the TCDSB, Canada's largest Catholic school board, tells us that teachers' personal lives--that is, whether they are divorced, have mistresses, or live common-law--are purely private and of no one else's concern. Staff, parents, nor anyone else may object.
Just when this prohibition on the questioning of the marital status of teachers or staff was introduced into the document Workplace Harassment is not known to me. But, it appears to have been some time ago. It is directly contrary to the history of Catholic education in Canada.
Sometime later, the TCDSB must have decided that "sexual orientation" is also beyond discussion. Readers will remember that the term has never been defined, which is the reason parliamentarians discussing a proposed Charter of Rights in 1981 and 1982 refused to include it in Section 15 of the final document. However, that was changed by the Supreme Court in 1995, without discussion or the presentation of evidence.
As we explained in April, the Vatican never uses this term, again because of its double meaning. The Church uses the term "attraction." Sexual orientation, on the other hand, has been given the interpretation that GLBTTQ persons are born that way, and that the condition is permanent, both incorrect notions.
Meanwhile, the scope of the term "sexual orientation" has steadily grown. First, it meant "gay" and lesbian. Then "bisexual" was added, making the acronym GLB. But it kept growing and today has broadened to GLBTTQ with the addition of "trans-gendered," "two-spirited" and "queer." A definition provided by the American Psychiatric Association lists 25 or more possible weird additions--all of them, by Christian standards, aberrations and perversions. But the TDCSB tells us these phenomena may not be questioned or opposed in its schools.
In May 2007, this board added a prohibition against questioning "same-sex partner status," the kind of questioning we had done in an April 2007 article about a teacher at Cardinal Carter Academy of the Arts in North York, ON.
The issue that arises is this: who has introduced these anti-Catholic prohibitions? As mentioned above, no answers have been forthcoming from the board itself.
Anyone familiar with school board meetings will know that they are dominated by the administration, not the trustees. The administration knows what it wants done and what it wants to avoid doing. In questions like this, lawyers are usually involved as well. Many lawyers today do not believe in God's law (natural moral law), only in the law of the land. One can readily imagine getting legal advice saying that, as long as homosexuals do not openly proselytize, nothing can be done about them. But that is not acceptable to Catholics. When a person, who publicly presents him or herself as no longer adhering to Catholic standards of behaviour, steps before a class of children, he or she is proselytizing for a point of view opposed to Catholic teaching.
Today, then, the TCDSB prohibits all comments on marital status, sexual orientation (whatever that may mean ten years from now) and "same-sex partner status." This can only be understood in one way: the TDSCB no longer accepts Catholic teaching on homosexuality or on the nature of the Catholic school.
When lawyers say that there is nothing wrong with such an anti-harassment policy, it is because they themselves are ignorant of what is going on in the world. Canada has witnessed fifteen years or more of provincial Human Rights Commissions punishing all opposition to the drive for legal and cultural equality ranging from city mayors declining to celebrate Gay Pride days to numerous individuals who did no more than declining to cooperate.
People keep asking: "What's wrong with same-sex 'marriage'? I don't see anything wicked in it!" The first effect of making so-called same-sex marriage legal and giving it "equality" with real marriage was the legal abolition of real marriage; i.e., the Judeo-Christian definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. It no longer exists in Canadian law. The only definition in law that exists today is the one that suits homosexual activists.
The next consequence that follows from destroying the true understanding of marriage is the imposition of a false understanding. This is what we face now.
Comment: Readers can find the names of the 12 TDCSB trustees, as well as their mailing and e-mail addresses, in the August 29, 2007 daily dispatch of LifeSiteNews.com.
Fr. Alphonse de Valk, a member of the Congregation of Saint Basil (C.S.B.), is the editor of this magazine.
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|Title Annotation:||ONTARIO ELECTION * SECTION|
|Author:||de Valk, Alphonse|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2007|
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