Peter Baklinski

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Catholic chaplains/principals promote summer camp run by dissidents, gay activists: parents protest

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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Correction: This article originally stated that James Loney had “sued” the Knights of Columbus for homosexual discrimination. This is incorrect. Loney publicly accused the Knights of discrimination, but did not launch a lawsuit. We regret the error.

BANCROFT, Ontario, 9 January, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Concerned pro-family leaders and parents are wondering why the Ontario Catholic Principals’ Council as well as the Ontario School Chaplains association are promoting a non-denominational “social justice” camp to students run by dissident Catholics and homosexual activists.

Camp Micah, which operates every August near Bancroft, Ontario, is a six day “ecumenical camp” that seeks to form young people to become the future leaders in “faith and justice,” according to the camp’s director.

The camp’s leadership team includes a laicized Catholic priest and three pro-gay activists, one who performs homosexual ‘marriages’, another who is a practicing homosexual and vocal critic of Catholic teaching on homosexual activity, and a third who leads a gay-straight alliance in a public school.

The FAQ on the camp’s website tells students not to be concerned if they “don’t go to church on Sunday” since “some of us [staff] don’t go to church every Sunday either”. While camp officials write that they are “passionate about the gospel of peace and justice”, the name of Jesus doesn’t appear anywhere on the camp’s website.

Leaders for renewal in Catholic education, pro-family leaders, and parents have called promotion of the camp at Catholic schools a “great scandal”, “disturbing and totally unacceptable”, and problematic.

Camp Micah’s staff

Camp Micah’s director and founder is Dwyer Sullivan, a 75 year-old laicized Catholic priest and former Basilian. Sullivan, now married, is a retired Catholic high school teacher who taught in the areas of social justice and world religions. 

Camp Micah staff include Monica Moore, a minister at Affirming United, a branch of the United Church of Canada. Affirm United exists to work for the “full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in The United Church of Canada and in society.” Moore, who believes that issues on sexual morality are decided by a majority vote, has officiated at numerous same-sex ‘weddings’ at her various posts.

Staff also include James Loney, a homosexual activist who received international renown after being held hostage in Iraq for several months while working with Christian Peacemaker Teams in 2005. However, he is also known for having accused the Ontario Knights of Columbus for alleged homosexual discrimination in 2006 after the group ceased financing the Ontario Catholic Youth Leadership Camp where Loney was an employee for several years. Loney alleged at the time that the Knights specifically closed the camp because of his post-Iraq public revelation of being gay. The Knights stated that they closed the camp to “review” its “mandate and effectiveness.”

Loney, a lapsed Catholic who lives with another man in Toronto, wrote in a 2005 article titled “Confessions of a Spiritual Couch Potato,” that he “avoid[s] prayer like the plague—the kind where you stop, sit or kneel, do nothing but be, even if for only ten minutes. It’s agony-in-the-garden every time; the easiest thing is to let the cup pass. The thought of fasting nauseates me, and as for Sunday mass—that weekly spiritual reboot and virus check—well, let’s just say I’ve accumulated a significant inventory of mortal sins.”

The camp’s program director is Colleen Barrett, a staff advisor for the Gay Straight Alliance at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge, ON.

Sullivan told the Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario association in a meeting last year that the province and all those present at the meeting would “benefit” from having students “engaged in the kind of leadership for justice and faith that Camp Micah teaches.”

A call to Camp Micah director Dwyer Sullivan for comment was never returned.

Endorsing Camp Micah

The Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario have endorsed the camp on their website, calling it a “retreat/camp experience for our young people based on the values of peace and justice.”

The Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario endorsed the camp in a 2010 newsletter, calling the camp a place that “challenges youth to reflect on their personal leadership gifts, builds community and models leadership skills for transforming the world.”

Various Catholic high schools throughout the province have promoted the camp online or in newsletters, some calling it the “best leadership camp for Catholic high school students in Ontario.”

Saint Paul Catholic High School in the Niagara region pointed out in a 2012 newsletter that a “number of students” from Niagara Catholic District School board have attended the camp in the past, adding that “it has been an amazing opportunity to build Christian leadership skills which then strengthened the school faith community upon their return.”

Pro-family leaders and parents react

One Ontario Catholic school system teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, told LifeSiteNews that it comes as “no surprise” that “leaders in our schools are supporting a social justice leadership camp where three prominent members of staff are publicly at odds with Church teaching”.

The teacher said that supporting the camp reflects the “desire by some in the system to encourage staff and students to ignore the Church’s authority and to ‘promote change’ so as to change the Church”.

Jack Fonseca, program director for Campaign Life Coalition, said that “this camp isn’t training youth to be faithful Christians at all, but rather, left-wing political activists.”

Andy Pocrnic, a Catholic father from Ottawa, called it a “great scandal” to have a camp promoted by Catholic principals and chaplains that is “staffed by gay activists.”

“When parents send their kids to Catholic schools they expect whatever is being promoted within those schools to be in harmony with the Catholic faith,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Instead, we find these leaders actively undermining that faith and betraying their duty to protect the children in their care.”

Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholics called the camp’s promotion in Catholic schools “disturbing and totally unacceptable”.

Kim Galvao, head of Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario, called social justice camps like Camp Micah problematic for their propensity to turn young people against the Catholic Church and its teachings on sexual morality.

Galvao said her own experience in social justice groups as a young high school student led her to “doubt” that the “Catholic church was doing the right thing in terms of social justice.”

“My experience in social justice caused me to question the church’s teaching not only on contraception but on many other aspects that lead to confusion and doubt.”

Galvao wondered why it appears that “at every turn [Catholic] educators are trying to undermine what Catholic parents are trying to teach their children.”

“Who’s side are they on? What’s the point of being Catholic if this kind of camp is the kind of extra curricular activities we are giving our children. This should be boycotted at all cost.”

Galvao suggested that Catholic principals and chaplains should “look at other camps that come from a Catholic perspective” and that “support” Pope Benedict’s teaching that working for peace in the world includes working to end to abortion and protect true marriage and the family.


Contact info:

*NOTE: See Composing Effective Communications in Response to LifeSiteNews Reports

Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario
David McNorgan, President
Cathedral CSS
30 Wentworth St. N.
Hamilton, ON L8L 8H5
Ph:  (905) 522-3581, x3020
Email david.mcnorgan@csco.ca

Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario
Carole Allen, President
400 - 161 Eglinton Ave. East
Toronto, ON M4P 1J5
Ph: (416) 483-1556
Email president@cpco.on.ca

Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
Catholic Pastoral Centre
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1W2
Ph: (416) 934-0606, ext. 609
Email archbishop@archtoronto.org


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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Arguments don’t have genitals

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

“As soon as he grows his own uterus, he can have an opinion.”

That was a comment left on The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s Facebook page by a woman who presumably opposes men speaking out against misogyny, domestic abuse, rape culture, and female genital mutilation as well. Apparently, you see, male genitals disqualify people from speaking out on various human rights issues deemed by women who define themselves by their uteruses while protesting angrily against being defined by their uteruses as “women’s issues.”

Which abortion isn’t, by the way. It’s a human rights issue.

To break it down really simply for our confused “feminist” friends: Human beings have human rights. Human rights begin when the human being begins, or we are simply choosing some random and arbitrary point at which human beings get their human rights. If we do not grant human rights to all human beings, inevitably some sub-set of human beings gets denied protection by another group with conflicting interests. In this case, of course, it is the abortion crowd, who want to be able to kill pre-born children in the womb whenever they want, for any reason they want.

Science tells us when human life begins. Pro-abortion dogma is at worst a cynical manoeuvre to sacrifice the lives of pre-born human beings for self-interest, and at best an outdated view that collapsed feebly under the weight of new discoveries in science and embryology. But the abortion cabal wants to preserve their bloody status quo at all costs, and so they make ludicrous claims about needing a uterus to qualify for a discussion on science and human rights.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

In fact, feminists love it when men speak up on abortion, as long as we’re reading from their script, which is why the carnivorous feminists have such a support system among the Deadbeat Dads for Dead Babies set and the No Strings Attached Club.

Male abortion activists have even begun to complain about “forced fatherhood,” a new cultural injustice in which they are expected to bear some responsibility for fathering children with women they didn’t love enough to want to father children with, but did appreciate enough to use for sex. Casual fluid swaps, they whine, should not result in custody hearings.

This is not to mention a genuine social tragedy that has men forcing or pressuring women to have abortions or abandoning them when they discover that the woman is, indeed, pregnant.

Or the fact that abortion has assisted pimps, rapists, and misogynists in continuing the crimes of sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and sex-selection abortion.

And coming against these disgusting trends are thousands of men in the pro-life movement who believe that shared humanity means shared responsibility, and that when the weak and vulnerable are robbed of their rights, we have to stand up and speak out.

We are not at all convinced by the feminist argument that people should think with their reproductive organs or genitals. We think that the number of people currently doing that has perhaps contributed to the problems we face. And we refuse to be told that protecting the human rights of all human beings is “none of our business” and “outside of our interests.”

Arguments don’t have genitals, feminists. It’s a stupid argument trying to protect a bloody ideology.

Reprinted with permission from CCBR.


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Rachel Daly

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Gvmt strikes UK Catholic school admission policy that prefers Mass attendees

Rachel Daly
By Rachel Daly

St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Epsom, England, was ordered to change its admissions policy after it was ruled discriminatory by the nation's Office of Schools Adjudicator, according to Your Local Guardian. St. Joseph's reportedly had been granting preferred acceptance to students whose families attended Mass at the affiliated church.

St. Joseph’s School is for students from age 4 to 11 and describes itself as “enjoy[ing] a high level of academic success.” The school furthermore places high priority on its Catholic identity, affirming on its homepage that “We place prayer and worship at the center of everything we do.”

The school states in its current admissions policy that it was "set up primarily to serve the Catholic community in St Joseph’s Parish" and that when the applicant pool exceeds 60 students, its criteria for prioritizing students includes "the strength of evidence of practice of the faith as demonstrated by the level of the family's Mass attendance on Sundays." 

Opponents of this policy reportedly argue that since donations are asked for at Mass, it could allow donation amounts to influence acceptance, and that forcing non-accepted local students to seek education elsewhere imposes a financial burden upon their families. 

Click "like" to support Catholics Restoring the Culture!

As Your Local Guardian reports, the adjudicators dismissed claims that donation amounts were affecting school acceptance, given that it is impossible to track donations. Nonetheless, the adjudicators maintained that "discrimination ... potentially arises from requiring attendance at the church rather than residency in the parish."

The Office of Schools Adjudicators, according to its website, is appointed by the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State of Education, to perform such functions as mediating disputes over school acceptances. The Office's ruling on St. Joseph's will require the school to release a revised admissions policy, which is expected in the next few days.

Reprinted with permission from the Cardinal Newman Society.


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Carolyn Moynihan

African women at risk of HIV, hostages to birth control

Carolyn Moynihan
By Carolyn Moynihan

Which should be the priority for a health organisation: preventing an incurable disease, or preventing a natural function that might have adverse physical consequences?

Preventing the disease, you would think. But the World Health Organisation would rather expose African women to HIV-AIDS than withdraw its support from a suspect method of birth control, arguing that childbirth is also risky in Africa. Riskier, apparently, than the said contraceptive. And at least one of WHO’s major partners agrees.

This is one of the stories you will not have read in coverage of the International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne last week, despite the fact that WHO made an announcement about it during the conference and the findings of a highly relevant study were presented there.

The story is this: there is increasing evidence that the method of contraception preferred by family planning organisations working in Africa (and elsewhere) facilitates the transmission of HIV. The method is the progesterone injection in the form of either DMPA (Depo Provera, the most common) or NET-En (Noristerat).

Millions of women in sub-Saharan Africa receive the injection every three months. The method overcomes problems of access. It can be given by nurses or health workers. A wife need not bother her husband for any special consideration; the teenage girl need not remember to take a pill.

But for 30 years evidence has been accumulating that, for all its “effectiveness” in controlling the number of births, the jab may also be very effective in increasing the number of people with HIV.

Three years ago at another AIDS conference in Rome, researchers who had analysed data from a number of previous studies delivered the disturbing news that injectables at least doubled the risk of infection with HIV for women and their male partners.

That study had its weaknesses but one of the experts present in Rome, Charles Morrison of FHI 360 (formerly Family Health International, a family planning organisation that also works in AIDS prevention), considered it a “good study” and subsequently led another meta-analysis that addressed some of the issues with previous research.

Last week at the Melbourne conference he presented the results. His team had re-analysed raw data on the contraceptive use of more than 37,000 women in 18 prospective observational studies. Of these women, 28 percent reported using DMPA, 8 percent NET-En, 19 percent a combined oral contraceptive pill, and 43 percent no form of hormonal contraception. A total of 1830 women had acquired HIV while in a study.

The analysis showed that both injectables raised the risk of infection by 50 percent:

Compared to non-users [of any hormonal contraceptive], women using DMPA had an elevated risk of infection (hazard ratio 1.56, 95% CI 1.31-1.86), as did women using NET-En (1.51, 95% CI 1.21-1.90). There was no increased risk for women using oral contraceptives.

Similarly, comparing women using injections with those using oral contraceptives, there was an elevated risk associated with DMPA (1.43, 95% CI 1.23-1.67) and NET-En (1.30, 95% CI 0.99-1.71).

Morrison also noted:

The results were consistent in several subgroup and sensitivity analyses. However, when only studies which were judged to be methodologically more reliable were included, the increased risk appeared smaller.

Morrison acknowledged that observational studies such as the FHI analysis depended on have their limitations. He is looking for funding to conduct a randomised controlled study – something that, after 30 years of suspicions and evidence, still has not been done.

So what is his advice to the birth control industry? Stop using this stuff in regions with a high prevalence of HIV until we are sure that we are not feeding an epidemic?

No.

One reason is that FHI is at least as interested in contraception as it is in HIV prevention. Though its website reflects a broad range of development activities, its core business is integrating birth control programmes with HIV prevention. The WHO – one of its partners -- describes the US based, 83 percent US government funded non-profit as “a global health and development organization working on family planning, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.”

Another reason is that FHI 360 has a vital stake in precisely the kind of contraceptives that are under suspicion. Its annual report refers to:

Our trailblazing work in contraceptive research and development continues, as we develop and introduce high-quality and affordable long-acting contraceptives for women in low-income countries. Research is under way to develop a new biodegradable contraceptive implant that would eliminate the need for removal services. We are also working with partners to develop an injectable contraceptive that would last for up to six months. Currently available injectables require reinjections monthly or quarterly, which can be challenging where health services are limited.

That project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID.

So Morrison did not argue in Melbourne for restrictions on the use of injectables, and neither did the WHO, whose representative at the conference outlined the UN body’s new guidelines on contraception and HIV. Mary Lyn Gaffield said a review of studies up to – but not including Morrison’s – did not warrant a change to WHO’s policy that DMPA and NET-En should be available, without restriction, in areas of high HIV prevalence.

The most WHO will advise is that women should be informed of the risk:

“Women at high risk of HIV infection should be informed that progestogen-only injectables may or may not increase their risk of HIV acquisition. Women and couples at high risk of HIV acquisition considering progestogen-only injectables should also be informed about and have access to HIV preventive measures, including male and female condoms.”

Condoms? How do they defend such cynicism? By equating the risk of HIV with the risks of motherhood – complications of pregnancy or childbirth, maternal death and the effect on infants... And yet motherhood remains risky precisely because 90 percent of the world’s effort is going into contraception!

Seven years ago a meeting of technical experts convened by WHO to study the injectables-HIV link showed the reproductive health establishment worried about that issue, to be sure, but also concerned that funding was flowing disproportionately to HIV-AIDS programmes, setting back the cause of birth control. The integration of family planning and HIV prevention spearheaded by FHI 360 looks like they have found an answer to that problem.

Whether African women are any better off is very doubtful. They remain pawns in a game that is, above all, about controlling their fertility. They and their partners are encouraged to take risks with their health, if not their lives, while researchers scout for funds to do the definitive study.

FHI had an income of $674 million last year, most of it from the US government. Couldn’t it give Charles Morrison the money to do his research today?

Reprinted with permission from Mercatornet.com.


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