LifeSiteNews.com

Kids pulled out of Catholic school after teacher denied Resurrection in class

LifeSiteNews.com
By LifeSiteNews.com

NORTH BAY, Ontario, August 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The parents of a grade 12 student in an Ontario Catholic high school whose teacher denied the Resurrection of Christ in the classroom last year have decided to remove their children from the Catholic school board after the Catholic school denied anything inappropriate had occurred. The teacher in question has since quit the Catholic school and moved to the public school board.

Francesca Sinicrope, who has since graduated, told LifeSiteNews in June that her sociology teacher at L’École Secondaire Catholique Algonquin told her class that “people have taken the Bible too literally.”  “He began saying that it was like a metaphor that you follow … He said that Jesus never resurrected,” she explained. 

Francesca’s mother Pauline told LifeSiteNews that the difficult decision to pull her other children from the school came only after she and her husband had exhausted every avenue to obtain assurances that the problem would be resolved. She said the educational leaders and church hierarchy to whom she appealed had provided no response, and given them “no other choice.”

While the principal at the time had said an investigation cleared the teacher of wrongdoing, another classmate corroborated Sinicrope’s account.  “He began talking about how we as Catholics took the understanding of the Resurrection too far,” said Celine Giroux.  “The moral is right, it’s just the story is wrong,” the teacher said, according to Giroux.

The Sinicropes have enrolled their two younger daughters, Marina (going into grade 7) and Sabrina (going into grade 11), in the local public school board where the parents feel their children’s faith will be less at risk.  The move is expected to cost the Catholic board up to $80,000 based on government revenue allocation estimated at up to $10,000 per student, per year.

“The fact that my own Bishop did not respond to our concerns about heresy being taught openly in the classroom, was probably the final straw,” said Mrs. Sinicrope.  “It felt like a punch to the gut.”

The school board trustees also did not respond to her written complaints. After getting no response from these authorities, she wrote to the Papal Nuncio for Canada.

Mrs. Sinicrope said she recognizes that there are potential problems with the public school system, but that at least there her daughters know what to expect and will not have to contend with deciphering or second-guessing whether a religious teaching is faithfully Catholic or whether it is partly “heresy.” In addition, she and her husband feel they are obligated in principle to pull out their daughters as an act of protest and to avoid the risk of scandal.

“We felt that if we left our daughters in the Catholic system, just to save ourselves hassle, we might be sending a message to the Board that Catholic parents aren’t really bothered by the teaching of false doctrines in class ... and that the board can turn a blind eye the next time this sort of problem occurs,” she explained.

Mrs. Sinicrope said she was “disgusted” by the response of the school principal, Mr. Daniel Villeneuve, who has since left the position.

Villeneuve told them in May that their complaint was “thoroughly investigated” and that they found that the teacher’s “beliefs and program delivery are in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church that reviewed many beliefs and practices under Vatican II.”

Several weeks after the Sinicropes finalized their decision to move their daughters, they received a phone call from the high school’s new principal.  He pleaded with Mr. Sinicrope to not remove Marina and Sabrina, explaining that the resurrection-denying teacher had quit and decided to take a teaching job in the public system starting in September.

The Sinicropes say the offer was too little too late. “The new principal still did not admit that any wrong-doing ever occurred,” said Mrs. Sinicrope. “He didn’t tell us the teacher was fired for contradicting Catholic doctrine. That would’ve restored our confidence. Instead we’re told he suddenly quit and now everything’s supposed to be ok. Well, that doesn’t inspire confidence. It just confirms that something is still very wrong in the Catholic system.”

The Sinicropes’ decision comes as school boards across Ontario face a crisis of declining enrolment with large-scale school closures as a result.  Besides pulling their kids out of the Catholic school system, the Sinicropes also redirected their taxes to the public board.

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie or the school after multiple attempts.


Contact Information:

Ecole Secondaire Catholique Algonquin
555 Algonquin Avenue
North Bay, ON
Canada P1B 4W8
Phone: 705-472-8240
Email form: http://www.northbaychamber.com/index.php?module=rolodex&uop=message_member&id=459

Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie
Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe
30 Ste-Anne Road
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada P3C 5E1
Phone: 705-674-2727
Fax: 705-675-9889
Email: chancery@diocesecentre.com

Truth. Delivered daily.

Get FREE pro-life, pro-family news delivered straight to your inbox. 

Select Your Edition:


Advertisement
Featured Image
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

Advertisement
Featured Image
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

,

He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

,

German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook