TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Since it was launched on Friday, over 3,500 Canadians and counting, mostly from Ontario, have signed a petition calling on Dalton McGuinty’s Education Minister to resign after she told media that Catholic schools should no longer be teaching that abortion is wrong.
Campaign Life Coalition, which launched the petition, says Liberal Minister Laurel Broten’s comments amounted to a declaration of war on Catholic education.
Speaking Wednesday in reaction to a press conference at Queen’s Park organized by CLC with the support of three Tory MPPs, Broten said Catholic teaching on abortion is “misogyny” and therefore violates the government’s newly-enacted “anti-bullying” legislation.
“We do not allow and we’re very clear with the passage of Bill 13 that Catholic teachings cannot be taught in our schools that violates human rights and which brings a lack of acceptance to participation in schools,” she said.
Jim Hughes, CLC’s national president, called on Canadians to respond to the “totalitarian” remarks by signing the petition and calling on the government to reverse course.
“We must show the McGuinty Government that they cannot get away with this denial of religious freedom, this attack on life and family,” he said. “With your generous support we will launch a massive campaign and defeat this insane proposal.”
As of the time of publication, the petition had 3,768 signatures.
Since LifeSiteNews first published Broten’s comments Wednesday, they have ignited a firestorm of criticism from pro-life and faith leaders in both Canada and the U.S. and across denominational lines. While largely ignored or buried by Canada’s mainstream media, the controversy won attention south of the border from agencies such as WorldNetDaily, American Family Radio, and The New American.
At Broten’s press conference on Wednesday, a reporter pointed out that in the debates around the “anti-bullying” bill there was no mention of abortion and asked why she was now making the connection.
“Bill 13 has in it a clear indication of ensuring that our schools are safe, accepting places for all our students,” she said. “That includes of LGBTQ students. That includes young girls in our school. Bill 13 is about tackling misogyny, taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take.”
The bombshell earned a quick rebuke from Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto before a crowd of 1,700 the next day at the annual Cardinal’s Dinner.
“Defending the voiceless is our mission,” said the Cardinal, who heads the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario. Catholic identity must be respected “when it comes to protecting the freedom of all in the school community to engage in pro-life activities in order to foster a culture of life in which the most vulnerable and voiceless among us are protected and honoured throughout their whole life on earth from the moment of conception to natural death.”
“Both the constitution and the Education Act make it clear that the Catholic identity of the school must be respected,” he added.
Tim Hudak, Opposition Leader
19 Duncan Street
Toronto, ON M5H 3H1
Lisa MacLeod, Education Critic
Tel: 416-325-6351 Fax 416-325-6364
Address: Room 451, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A8
Most Rev. Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
President of Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto (ON) M4T 1W2
Tel: (416) 934-3400 #609
Fax: (416) 934-3452