TORONTO, Ontario, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The superintendent in charge of “equity and inclusion” at the Toronto Catholic school board, who has come under fire from Catholic parents and ratepayers after appearing to ridicule Catholic teaching on homosexuality, says his comments were “taken out of context.”

The school board did not respond to a direct question about whether superintendent Keyes agrees with the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are gravely depraved and the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered,” as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In an interview with Xtra, Canada’s top gay magazine, on June 22, Patrick Keyes appeared to ridicule an amendment that would have required the Catechism of the Catholic Church to be referenced whenever homosexuality is discussed.  “[The amendment] stated that every time a teacher spoke about homosexuality they had to also say to students, ‘By the way, you’re intrinsically disordered,’” he said.

“For some people, [homosexuality] represents some sort of hedonism, a terrible hedonistic view of life. That’s what the opposition is to this,” he said.

“Not all gay people are the same.  That’s like imagining Paris Hilton is the poster child for heterosexualism,” he added.  “There’s great diversity among all of us … I’m listening to some people and I’m thinking, ‘How can you believe God is love if that’s what they’re saying to other people?’ Some people really feel the souls of their children will be in danger.”

The Toronto Catholic District School Board turned down a request for an interview by LifeSiteNews.com, to clarify Keyes’ interview with Xtra.

In a statement, the school board told LifeSiteNews that Keyes’ comments were “taken out of context.”

They said the quote, “By the way, you’re intrinsically disordered,” was “a factious remark to the reporter suggesting that would not be how a teacher would respond.”

“Mr Keyes, detailed to the reporter that students are not singled out, but rather a compassionate, respectful and sensitive approach is undertaken,” they said.  “Mr Keyes also delineated the difference between an inclination and an action, and between a person and their conduct.”

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Xtra by press time.

Keyes’ comments, as quoted in Xtra, were criticized by Alan Yoshioka of Reclaim the Rainbow Toronto at a board meeting June 23, and then subsequently in a press release by the Ontario Catholic Parents’ Association.

Yoshioka called the quotes “doctrinally inaccurate” and “grossly callous,” and said they would “without a doubt … wound students who experience same-sex attraction.”

“The Catechism calls no person intrinsically disordered. Not one,” insisted Yoshioka.  “For young people struggling with deep shame, this may be hard to truly accept. But in our deepest essence, every one of us is created in the image and likeness of God, beloved by God.”

“It is a widespread and persistent misunderstanding on the part of the gay and lesbian communities, duly reflected by Xtra! this week, to imagine that the Church says to members of these communities, ‘You are intrinsically disordered,’” Yoshioka explained.  “The Catechism is quite precise. At paragraph 2357 it says, ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ An act is not a person. At paragraph 2358 it says the homosexual inclination ‘is objectively disordered.’ An inclination is not a person either.”

The Ontario Catholic Parents’ Association called for Keyes to apologize to parents, saying they were insulted at the implication that it is over the top to worry that the souls of their children will be in danger.

“I cannot envision any Catholic teacher ever saying what Keyes imagined,” said Teresa Pierre, spokesman for the OCPA.  “This is a caricature of what the Catechism teaches, and it is unacceptable to find it attributed to an administrative officer charged with handling the Church’s doctrines in a respectful manner.”

The OCPA called on Mr. Keyes and the TCDSB to issue a statement clarifying Keyes` support for the teaching of Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in the schools.


Contact Information:

Most Rev. Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto (ON) M4T 1W2
Tel: (416) 934-3400 #609
Fax: (416) 934-3452
E-mail: archbishop@archtoronto.org

Most Rev. John A. Boissonneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
55 Shaver Avenue South
Etobicoke (ON) M9B 3T3
Tel: (416) 207-4983
Fax: (416) 207-4984
E-mail: bishop.boissonneau@rogers.com

Most Rev. William Terrence McGrattan, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto (ON) M4T 1W2
Tel: (416) 934-3400 #507
Fax: (416) 934-3445
E-mail: central.region@archtoronto.org

Most Rev. Vincent Nguyen, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto (ON) M4T 1W2
Tel: (416) 934-0606
Fax: (416) 934-3433
E-mail: vnguyen@archtoronto.org