Friday, August 24, 2012

Ontario Catholic leaders have no intention of defending Catholic education

Every Day For Life Canada would like to share with its readers this timely message which was recently released by Sharon McMillan, the Co-ordinator of Communications and Media Relations for the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association. It was sent to all trustees and directors of education. This is very important information for parents to know since the new school year for 2012-13 opens in just over a week.

Parents can easily conclude from this politically correct message that OCSTA has no intention of defending Catholic education when it comes in conflict with Bill 13. In fact, directors are instructed to tell school principals that where there’s a contradiction between the teachings of the faith and Bill 13, it will be the law that takes precedence. So why bother having Catholic trustees,  Catholic unions and Catholic teachers? Parents please read the language spin coming from a Catholic leader and you’ll soon realize that there’s nobody in the school system that will protect your children’s moral education and make sure that they are being taught the truth. The Windsor-Essex Catholic School Board has already said yes to Gay/Straight Alliances, GSAs, in their schools. Can your local school be far behind? Is this the real beginning of the end of Catholic education in Ontario? It's also a complete violation of parental rights.

The doublespeak message from McMillan makes it very clear that Catholic schools don’t have to follow the rules set out in the Respecting Difference document. Remember this is a document written by Catholic trustees with the support of our bishops and now the association says it has no intention of adopting these guidelines in schools when implementing Bill 13, the  Accepting Schools Act. This is a complete betrayal of what trustees are called to do as stewards of Catholic education. Parents can no longer trust the schools to do what is right, and so we urge them to monitor what goes on in their schools and act accordingly. To do nothing is to accept and promote the lies and deceptions because Bill 13 cannot be reconciled with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  We must not allow our children to be used as moral guinea pigs for a government and a school system that wants to force its misguided ideology on their innocence and the rest of society.

We will now let OCSTA's hypocritical message speak for itself:  

“Last spring, following the passage of Bill 13, The Accepting Schools Act, OCSTA shared with CDSBs messaging to address media questions and to clarify for parents and students the position of Catholic schools regarding this legislation and Gay Straight Alliances in Catholic schools. For your reference and convenience please see below the messaging that was previously distributed. 

“Of particular note at this time are the following three key messaging points:

“The Respecting Difference Resource created for Catholic schools provides guidelines for ensuring that student-led groups to combat bullying reflect Catholic values and adhere to Ministry guidelines.

Respecting Difference groups to address bullying related to sexual orientation will operate like all other student-led equity based groups in Catholic schools. As per legislation, if requested by students, these groups may be called GSAs.

“If a student or students in Catholic schools wish to name a group a Gay Straight Alliance this will be allowed as Catholic school principals will adhere to the law. This does not, however, remove the right of a principal to ensure the appropriateness of materials used in Catholic schools.

“When the government’s Accepting Schools Act legislation was first announced, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association joined the Minister at Queen’s Park in support of provincial efforts to eliminate bullying in schools and to provide effective supports for students who are bullied.

“For decades Ontario governments have called upon Catholic school boards to share our perspectives on the creation of legislation that will serve the best interests of all Ontario students.

“We followed that tradition with the development of this legislation and shared perspectives with this government that offered our distinctive faith-based approach to combating all types of bullying in our schools.

“It is unfortunate that some of our concerns regarding Bill 13 were not addressed in the final version of this legislation, but as part of Ontario’s strong and vibrant publicly funded system Catholic school boards will comply with what will now be law.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the government to meet the needs of our students in a manner consistent with the Education Act and the Denominational rights of Catholic schools.

Where there is a contradiction between language in the guidelines for Respecting Difference Groups and the provisions of Bill 13, with respect to naming a support group, the legislation will take precedence.

“Ontario’s education system is considered one of the best in the world and that is because of the educational innovation, student achievement, and distinctive contributions of students, staff and board leadership teams that comprise the four distinct segments of our system, which include English-Public, English-Catholic, French-Public and French-Catholic school boards.

“Discussions in these groups will be initiated and driven by students in a way that allows for dialogue on important issues threatening the safety and well-being of students and/or the school environment.

“Like any environment in a Catholic school, the safety of students participating in these groups will be a priority and will be addressed by the presence of a trained educator who can help facilitate dialogue, if needed; provide reference and guidance on the tenets of the Catholic faith, as needed, and; ensure that the privacy of students is protected as much as possible.”  

10 comments:

  1. "Where there is a contradiction between language in the guidelines for Respecting Difference Groups and the provisions of Bill 13, with respect to naming a support group, the legislation will take precedence."
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    Doesn't this mean that they will be in GSAs in name only as the name of the group was the only thing Bill 13 specified?

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  3. me again..I agree 100% with you!

    from http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121929_divini-illius-magistri_en.html :

    For the mere fact that a school gives some religious instruction (often extremely stinted), does not bring it into accord with the rights of the Church and of the Christian family, or make it a fit place for Catholic students. To be this, it is necessary that all the teaching and the whole organization of the school, and its teachers, syllabus and text-books in every branch, be regulated by the Christian spirit, under the direction and maternal supervision of the Church; so that Religion may be in very truth the foundation and crown of the youth's entire training; and this in every grade of school, not only the elementary, but the intermediate and the higher institutions of learning as well. To use the words of Leo XIII:
    It is necessary not only that religious instruction be given to the young at certain fixed times, but also that every other subject taught, be permeated with Christian piety. If this is wanting, if this sacred atmosphere does not pervade and warm the hearts of masters and scholars alike, little good can be expected from any kind of learning, and considerable harm will often be the consequence.[50]

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    1. These days the language of the politically correct has been so decoupled from meaning that the statement can mean many things. However, in this context one message it gives parents is that the GSAs in Catholic schools will be just like those in public schools. So they will be there not only with the same name, but we can assume in substance as well. This is why the government insisted on the same name for the groups in both public and separate schools. The Accepting Schools Act was never developed to combat just anti-bullying and the claim to make our schools safer. There was an ideological premise to the legislation. Thank you for writing.

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  4. Thank you for sharing that Church wisdom with our visitors.

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  5. It seems like the students are running the schools, as they get to choose what these clubs are called. It's time for congregations and individuals to put the trustees' toes to the fire. They are good at collecting their honorariums, going to conferences, etc., now it's time to show Catholic leadership, or step aside.

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  6. This is an email that I have received from Morris who is a Catholic teacher and a former colleague. With his permission, I share his insightful message with our readers. Thank you for writing and pointing out, among other things, the catastrophic mental health issues that no doubt will increase because of the current state of our society and education in Ontario:

    "Thanks for keeping me informed. You continue to be a very good friend to me and I am blessed for it. I continue to pray Lou especially for Catholic education and for people like yourself who are doing the Lord's work by standing up to what is immoral and destructive. Barack Obama also seems to be selling out to the homosexual agenda and that saddens me because there are many Americans who are not prepared to accept that sort of lifestyle and behaviour, ideology etc... I sometimes think we are living in Sodom and Gomorrah. Illicit behaviour, lifestyles and ideologies seem to be the norm today in our self-indulgent, consumeristic and secular society. Hence this is why I believe we have a great deal of depression, mental health issues and anger in our world. Many people have clearly rejected God and Jesus Christ. I pray that each and everyday God helps me to understand his will better and that he give me the strength and good judgement to carry out his will. For me, you continue to be an inspiration and a beacon of light. I will continue to pray for you and your family as well as for all those who have strayed from our loving saviour. Your heart continues to remain open for the Good Lord to work through you. Keep it up my friend."

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  8. Here's another email I got from Frank and I post it in its entirety with his approval:

    "Morris I too second your comments on the wonderful job Lou is doing promoting the truth and the word of God in his blog Everyday For Life For Canada.

    The primary role for Catholic school boards is to be concerned for the souls of the students that are in their precious care. All the spin coming from the school boards and the Ontario liberal government mean nothing because Almighty God has spoken very firmly on leading others astray. Here's what the Holy Bible has to say on this matter in Matthew 18:6 "But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depths of the sea."

    These Catholic school officials have a very serious responsibilty to these children. I pray that they uphold the word of God and the Magesterium of the Holy Catholic Church in all that they say and do. Pray many rosaries for this intention."

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  9. They've covered up far too much. Crooked rich institution. A big corporation. My tax dollars will NEVER support a Catholic school. Pay for it yourselves or take your kids to Sunday school.

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