Christian Persecution: Canada and Catholic Schools

Deacon Greg Kandra, who blogs at The Deacon’s Bench, just published a post titled Canadian official: Catholic schools cannot teach that abortion is wrong.

The post reads in part:

Details from the web site New American:
The Education Minister of Ontario, Canada — a professing Catholic who sends her children to Catholic schools — declared October 10 that the province’s publicly funded Catholic schools may not teach students that abortion is wrong because such teaching amounts to “misogyny,” which is prohibited in schools under a controversial anti-bullying law.
“Taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be considered one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take,” Laurel Broten said during a press conference.
“Bill 13,” she asserted, “is about tackling misogyny.”
Passed in June, Bill 13 requires schools to provide “a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.” The law specifically mandates that schools — Catholic schools included — establish “gay-straight alliance” organizations. Now, it seems, it will also be used to infringe even further on religious freedom by prohibiting Catholic schools from teaching that abortion is sinful.(Read more here.)

  • DWiss

    Get ready. It’s coming our way.

  • Terry

    Thanks for posting this, Rebecca. The state of affairs here in Ontario is beyond distressing. I heard the Cardinal’s speech defending Catholic education and all I can say is… is cheap. It was the Bishops who got us into this mess in the first place. I know of at least one Catholic high school where the March for Life organizers have been told they can’t bring students to the March this coming May. Actions speak louder than words. I withhold praise for the Cardinal’s words until he and the bishops follow it up with concrete action.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      We’ve talked about this in the past. I can only say I’m saddened by what’s happening in Ontario, but I now that so long as people like you are there, hope is also there. We must all pray for and support one another.

      • Arkenaten

        See, even you Catholics can’t agree among yourselves. At least atheists all agree the world is flat and the moon is made of cheese.

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  • Nick

    Wha? What the hell? The arrogance on the part of legislators just astounds me. And this is a policy against bullying? Yeah, sure, and in the process bully our school system into submitting to the dominant paradigm with over-the-top policies. Lovely.

    This law is outrageous!!!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Yes it is.

    • Arkenaten

      And maybe Ill learn to spell and type correctly, too?

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Douglas, why did you take your blog down?

        • Arkenaten

          The Christians kept sending me death threats :)

  • nineamendments

    You might enjoy this thoroughly engrossing – and informative article.
    With more than a bit of irony, the then Prime Minister Brundtland of Norway said of the Rio conference: “States that do not have any population problem–in one particular case, even no births at all [the Vatican]–are doing their best, their utmost, to prevent the world from making sensible decisions regarding family planning.”

    “In 1968 when Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the view that all mechanical or chemical contraception was sinful, the Catholic bishops of fourteen different countries respectfully disagreed and told the faithful that they were not sinners if they could not accept this papal teaching.”

  • Virginia

    “publicly funded Catholic schools”

    Ah, yes, and therein lies the root of the problem. I know it’s difficult to imagine how the Catholic Church could possibly fulfill her educational and charitable missions without public funding, especially in the area of health care given those massive costs, but Caesar’s money always comes with strings attached.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Virginia, I agree. It’s one thing that makes me leery of government funding for “faith-based initiatives.”

      • Terry

        We Ontario Catholic taxpayers are the ones who fund the Ontario Catholic school system and the right to Catholic education is guaranteed in our Constitution. The private Catholic schools aren’t immune to the Education Minister’s statement, either. The Ontario government is finding ways to make them follow their anti-Catholic policies.

        • Arkenaten

          How would you feel if they were allowed to teach Creationism?

          Catholicism cannot even agree on certain priciples. When the Vatican issued policy statements regarding contraception being inherrantly evil, the Catholic Bishops of Canada refused to follow such doctrine and I read somewhere they assured the ‘flock’ that a) it was not evil and b) they were not regarded as sinners for using contraception.

          Even the Chutch are past masters at Cherry Picking.
          It doesn’t really bother me, merely illustrates once again the rampant hypocrisy.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Thank you Terry. I am too ignorant of the Canadian system to make that statement. I was thinking of the way we do things here in America. Thank you for this information.

        • Lydia McGrew

          Actually, I’ve been trying to look into this, and my understanding is that the law in question applies only to schools that receive state funding. Do you have definite documentation that the law under which the Education Minister is making this diktat applies to Catholic schools regardless of whether they receive government money?

          • Rebecca Hamilton

            Lydia, would you remind me of this after the election? I’m happy to clarify this, but I don’t have time to do it this week. Please, just ding me again, and I’ll find out what the specific facts are.

            • Lydia McGrew

              Thanks, Rebecca, no problem. To clarify, my comment was addressed to Terry because of her assertion, qua Canadian, that this does not apply only to schools that receive public funding. I had been definitely told by another Canadian that Bill 13 does only apply to schools that receive such funding. I did a lot of googling yesterday, and here’s what I could turn up: The text of the law (which I didn’t read word-for-word but on which I did several text searches) doesn’t refer expressly to funding but does seem to assume an overall structure of school boards routinely answerable to the education ministry, which would seem to apply to schools that are *already* answerable to the ministry in some regular way. One article I came up with included a quotation from a pro-abortionist saying in so many words that if the schools didn’t accept public money, they could teach “whatever they wanted within reason,” which has a slightly ominous sound but was apparently meant to say that this particular bill wouldn’t apply directly to such schools. On the other hand, a different site quoted an activist from the hearings on the bill saying that all schools, including purely private schools, _should_ be answerable to the norms of Bill 13. That’s somewhat weak evidence as to what the actual legal application of the bill is. It might reflect only the desires of the particular activist. The specific question directed to the Education Minister in the interview specifically referred to schools on which money is being spent.

              All in all, the appearance to this American is that the bill doesn’t clearly apply to schools that don’t receive public money but that there is a slight edge of ambiguity that might allow further pushy administrations to try to go in the direction of putting its norms onto purely private schools. Normally, as an American, I would assume that such questions are cut-and-dried: Either the bill applies to private schools or it doesn’t. But my research thus far indicates that it *probably* doesn’t but that this isn’t absolutely cut-and-dried.

              If you get any more info., or if Terry has more info., I’ll be very interested. Thanks! And a blessed Feast of All Saints. (I’m Protestant but like the Feast of All Saints anyway.)

              • Rebecca Hamilton

                Thanks Lydia. Blessings.