Ontario Gov’t to Catholic Schools: You Can’t Say Abortion is Wrong

No. Really.

Thank God for the First Amendment (though it’s only a paper barrier, as Obama’s assault on religious liberty demonstrates).

The only answer to this is for Catholics to quietly and firmly resolve to defy the State and say what they damn well please anyway.

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  • I wish it were for taking a bravely chosen stand, but I expect to be in prison by age 50 simply because I can’t control my mouth or my temper.

    • Marion (Mael Muire)

      The virtue of temperance is the one by which we govern, for the love of God, our appetites and our passions. If we are our own masters, we have no need to govern our passions. If we are the trusted servants of a beloved master who is also our brother and our King, then we do govern them. As Christians, we have been bought, and at a price. The King who has bought us and then freed us to be His friends and trusted servants will help us with the virtue of temperance, if we ask Him.

      • You always have something useful to say, Marion. Looking at where I am and what’s going on day to day though, I have to wonder how it fell apart this one time.

  • The comment that Catholic schools shouldn’t teach that abortion is wrong was made by the minister for women’s affairs, whatever that is, who also claims to be a Catholic. The claim was made that the province’s new anti bullying law, which was first used to force Catholic schools to accept gay-straight alliances, should also prohibit girls from being told that abortion is wrong. The immediate result of that was a gang of gays showed up at my daughter’s school and gave a presentation on how the Church is wrong, bronze age jews, and shellfish, while the teachers looked on, silent.

    For myself, I have two comments. First, we should never, ever have accepted full government funding for our schools. When we accepted that we accepted full government say in our schools. Secondly, and I usually avoid talking about bishops, and I hate throwing mud at them, but our bishops have shown no leadership in these attacks on our schools.

    • Dave P.

      Question: if Ontario schools have the courage to resist this, will the government come down on them?

      • bear

        Hard to say. The article was slipshod writing, the point of which seems to be an argument not about which party is pro choice and which is pro life, but over who is more prochoice. The actual statemnent was not made by the Minister of education, and does not reflect official government policy in the schools. Yeet.

      • Roveet

        As bear alludes to,
        the fight is already over.
        When the “anti-bullying” legislation wasn’t yet in force, there was a considerable amount of controversy in the Canadian press on the issue. All of the serious Canadian Catholic commentators had something to say about it, and even secular editorialists who saw the danger in what the government was proposing predicted that if the bishops called parents and school administrators to civil disobedience, and it went to court the legislation would overturned on constitutional grounds.
        The problem is that the bishops didn’t do anything. A few of them expressed their dismay, but they gave distinct impression that they just wanted to let the whole thing blow over. There are major power politics involved here. Putting up resistance would have driven a wedge into the Catholic school system as the teacher’s unions and the majority of elected school trustees (who for the most part are just ambitious politicians who see an easy way to start out in elected office) would have likely initiated a programme of massive dissent against the authority of the bishops. It would be widespread, open disobedience of a “Catholic” institution, supported by the majority of parents and students. There was a real chance that after a fiasco of this magnitude the government would finally revoke the right to publicly funded separate schools, a move which would be supported by the majority of voters. Indeed, it may be that this is exactly what the government wanted, and that now, with this abortion comment, they are deliberately being more and more provocative.
        So the bishops stood by. I suppose they still think that they have a modicum of power and influence over Catholic education in this province, that it’s better to have a catholic education system which is compromised by secularism and yet can impart some experience of the faith, than no catholic system at all. The problems with this strategy are too obvious to point out. Moreover it is really questionable whether there is anything authentically Catholic left in the schools at all anyway aside from (sometimes) the physical presence of a crucifix in the classrooms. The bishops still haven’t quite figured out that the Catholic church is no longer part of the establishment, and that they are secretly disdained by our ruling classes.

        Plainly speaking, the bishops are standing by while institutions which have been established to teach the faith are routinely supporting intrinsic evil. This already went on for years, under the surface with low level dissent rampant. Now it is out in the open and Caesar has set itself up as a parallel moral authority.
        I am not ordinarily of the “bishop-bashing” type, but what’s going on in Ontario right now represents a complete abdication of responsibility on their part. This is plain to anyone with the eyes to see it. It is extremely demoralizing for faithful Catholics, particularly parents.

        • bob

          On this:
          The “government would finally revoke the right to publicly funded separate schools”
          Why shouldn’t the government revoke public funding of religious schools, and why shouldn’t the religious schools reject the funding?
          As Bear notes, it is the source of the problem. Public funding of religion = public control of religion, every time, no exceptions.

          • Yeah. If the bishops are worried that we might lose the Catholic school system, they should rest easy and not worry about it for another second, for it is already lost.

      • Patricia

        Catholics have their right to schools enshrined in our Canadian constitution. Teachers at my daughter’s school continue to teach that abortion is wrong – and have done so just yesterday. It’s quite a stretch to say that the anti-bullying legislation covered abortion. My guess is that Broten is merely a puppet for the strong anti-Catholic, abortion rights liberals that run the education system in Ontario and who have been doing so since the late 1960’s. We are all complicit in what is going on in Ontario and Canada. As long as many good Catholics continue to turn their backs on society and prefer living an insular life, things in Canada will only get worse. We need to have our young people become doctors, nurses, teachers, politicians, lawyers and judges. You can gripe all you want about how bad society is, but until we get out and confront it in a meaningful way, nothing will change.

    • SecretAgentMan

      Shellfish? My comment was a bit too short for the filter that will only allow Patheos-approved spam, so I will ask again, shellfish?

      • Right next to the prohibition against male/male sex in the old testament is another prohbition against eating shellfish. Gay activists are fond of pointing that out, and asking why is it that we can overturn the prohibition on shellfish, but not the one on gay sex, is one of their more common tactics.

  • I hope the schools rebel. I know the Catholic schools here, in Alberta. focus on “human life is sacred for conception to natural death.” That is pro-life. But they don’t actually talk about how many abortion happen every year and those who make that choice are doing grave evil. That is they don’t connect the dots between the doctrinal and the political. Not sure if Ontario schools will still be allowed to do that. Then there is always the student, usually my kid, that brings out that pesky political angle and makes the teacher squirm.

  • Ann

    Canadian Catholic schools are fully funded by the government.

    So, that’s what happens when you are beholden to the flow of gov’t money.

    Kind of like here, but different.

    • beccolina

      That’s why many home school families, myself included, are leery of vouchers. It sounds great, but once the government is giving us voucher money for our schooling, they will want a say in what we are and are not teaching.

      • Ann

        My kids go to Catholic school, and as much as I would love a voucher as well, I totally agree with you. Be very careful what you wish for.

      • Nonymous

        Yes. Once you take assistance, you will become “state actors” and subject to state control. Applying the “state actor” doctrine to homeschoolers won’t happen immediately; the state will wait until homeschooling has become so dependent on assistance that there will be no alternative.

  • Ted Seeber

    In Oregon, a math teacher was recently told he can’t say “God Bless You” when somebody sneezes- and he’s under investigation for asking Planned Parenthood Teen Outreach Program volunteers who they worked for and who they were paying students $5 for signed permissions slips for.

    The culture of death is MUCH more advanced than I ever realized.

  • Irenist

    Ontario Catholic schools won’t resist this because most of their parents, staff, and teachers don’t want to resist it. As Roveet said above, the bishops don’t resist this because they are afraid of losing their remaining fingerhold on the cliff: the schools might rebel against them, or the state might take the schools away. Part of what’s needed, it seems to me, is fearless leadership from the bishops that lets go of the fingerhold, if need be, and trusts God to catch them. But then, that decision is a prudential one for the bishops, and my opinion is only my own.
    The deeper problem, of course, is that Mass attendance in Anglophone Canada is only around 30%, with the lack of catechesis and discipleship that presumably goes with that. When the Church was on fire to follow the Holy Spirit, not even Nero could scare us: we engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience avant la lettre, and we prevailed against the arrayed tortures of a world empire. Now that we are lazy and secular and refuse to die that Christ might live in us, the shallow-minded remarks of some petty jobsworth in Ottawa are enough to get us to surrender completely. So long as we are such detestable cowardly traitors to Christ, this is the sort of casual bullying we can expect, and deserve. God chastised Israel with the Assyrians. We should be grateful if all he sends us is Canadians!

  • James Isabella

    So, a government official wants to use an anti-bullying law to bully the church into giving her its lunch money.

    How amusingly perverse.

  • Julia

    I recall someone joking once about Judas Iscariot being the first bishop to accept goverent funding.

    That seems appropriate now, somehow.

  • JohnP

    Interesting discussion. I don’t view an anti-abortion stance as misogynistic, but I’m a man. I am a pro-choice man and I agree with “stop accepting public funds” and you can teach what you want. In accepting public funds, you accept the guidelines of the governing public. If you want complete freedom, obtain complete financial freedom. Further, I expect most parents sending their children to Catholic School will understand they’re receiving a “Catholic” education. The parents themselves can either deprogram that Catholic education or re-enforce it however they chose. I don’t think I have a problem with both sides of the argument being fairly presented in either Catholic Schools or Public Schools. I think the education is fuller if both sides of the argument are genuinely presented.

    • Irenist

      “In accepting public funds, you accept the guidelines of the governing public.”
      So if you run a private school in Mississippi, and the local school board wants you to teach creationism, you’ll accept the guidelines of the governing public? I sure wouldn’t.
      (Tangential peeve: Why is the otherwise wonderful Seton Home Study Program so anti-Darwinian? The Catholic home school subculture seems rather influenced by evangelicalism in that regard. Such a letdown. Anyone know a good, morally orthodox Catholic home school program that accepts theistic evolution rather than creationism or I.D.?)

      • Nonymous

        Just kibbitzing, but maybe that’s what “educators” call a “teachable moment.” Do the anti-Darwin program with the kids and then argue with it; develops critical thinking skills, shows there’s a range of opinion on issues, and tells kids not to believe everything they read uncritically.

    • Nonymous

      I agree with this. But I’d also point out that systems of public education punish choice by taxation. Parents who choose private education also pay for public education. Vouchers are an unacceptable solution to this problem — they expect public, tax-funded institutions to respond like market-based providers without the flexibility and exclusivity that market-based providers enjoy. It’s a tough problem.