PEMBROKE, Ontario, Oct. 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After Ontario’s Education Minister shocked Catholics last week by declaring that under the law their schools should not be teaching that abortion is wrong, the Bishop of Pembroke insists that the Church has no intention of letting the government define the Catholic faith.

The Church will “defend her legitimate autonomy from outside organizations which attempt to define the content of Roman Catholic teaching,” Bishop Michael Mulhall stated in a letter to parishes on Oct. 11th. “As a Bishop of the Catholic Church, this is a sacred obligation and a joyful mission which was entrusted to me on the day of my ordination.”

On Wednesday, Minister Laurel Broten told media that Catholic teaching on abortion is “misogyny” and therefore violates the government’s newly-enacted “anti-bullying” legislation. “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.

The Minister also claimed that there is no “contrast or … conflict between choosing a Catholic education for your children and supporting a woman’s right to choose.”

The bombshell prompted a quick rebuke from Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, who heads the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario. Campaign Life Coalition demanded Broten resign.

Calling the remarks “totalitarian” and a declaration of war on Catholic education, CLC on Friday launched a petition campaign that has since yielded over 5,000 signatures.

In Bishop Mulhall’s letter, e-mailed to LifeSiteNews by the Diocese of Pembroke, he said Broten’s statement was “very disturbing but hardly surprising.”

“As we begin this Year of Faith, I take this opportunity to assure you, the faithful, parents, children and administrators of Catholic Schools and other Catholic Institutions that the Catholic Church will continue to preach the beauty of the Gospel of Christ in its fullness and without compromise,” he continued.

“As Bishop of Pembroke I will continue this mission in the parishes and in those recognized Catholic institutions in the Diocese of Pembroke,” he added.

Sign the petition here and support Campaign Life Coalition’s campaign here.

Contact Information:

Tim Hudak, Opposition Leader
19 Duncan Street
Suite 401
Toronto, ON M5H 3H1
Phone: 416-861-0020
Toll-free: 1-800-903-6453
Fax: 416-861-9593
Email: tim.hudakco@pc.ola.org

Lisa MacLeod, Education Critic
Email:  lisa.macleod@pc.ola.org
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
E-mail: archbishop@archtoronto.org