Lou Iacobelli

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Who will protect Ontario’s school children?

Lou Iacobelli
By Lou Iacobelli
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TORONTO, Ontario, February 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The provincial government in Ontario has now for years been pushing school boards to accept a radical social/sexual indoctrination agenda. In 2010, the McGuinty Liberals had to withdraw the Health and Physical Education curriculum because it contained explicit sexual material that many believed to be inappropriate for young children. Parents were outraged that their government would try to teach children what Christians see as immoral content with little or no consultation.

In 2011, schools began implementing the “Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy”, and presently the proposed Bill 13, if passed, will see the legal protection of dozens of socially constructed sexual “orientations”. There is a campaign by provincial governments in Canada to normalize the LGTB, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life-style, and in a number of provinces to establish gay/straight alliances in schools. In Ontario, this is now clear because McGuinty has rejected the Catholic document called “Respecting Difference” on how to deal with the issue of bullying in schools. It was released this past week by the Catholic trustees and backed by the Ontario Bishops.

In all these adult efforts pushing for political correctness, who is speaking for the children? Who will protect Ontario’s students from this psychological and moral abuse?

School boards and teachers’ unions have not been there to defend students. In fact, to help schools normalize and promote the LGTB life-style, boards are using resource Internet guides written by activist groups like Egale for grades 7-12 called MyGSA . According to Egale, the website is for youth and educators across this country for “safer and inclusive education”. The Toronto District Board of Education website currently links and endorses this site.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the public teachers’ union, has already developed a number of guides that are friendly and promote the LGTB agenda. One is called, Creating Spaces: Embedding Equity in Education, and another is titled, Shout Out: Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism.


Parents can no longer trust governments, school boards and teachers’ unions

Why are our governments using tax payer money and partnering with Egale to offer training workshops on “LGBT”? This sexual indoctrination in our schools and our society is the result of policies deceptively called, “Inclusive and Equitable” education.

Of course it helps, at least in Ontario, to silence and buy the co-operation of many voters with the Liberals’ decision to fund All-Day Kindergarten. This unnecessary extra schooling is pedagogically unsound. The added year will also cost Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars; nevertheless, this is of little importance to politicians interested in getting votes and appeasing consciences.

The Liberals didn’t consult with Ontario parents and citizens if they wanted the LGBT curriculum. We think we know why: the majority of parents and students don’t consider the LGBT agenda a priority or something they would endorse. The LGBT is completely politically driven and socially manufactured. As a result, the ruling government can toss aside even the mere appearance of passing “Equity” policies and laws democratically. Why do you think they had the effrontery never to mention the LGBT issue during the election if they believe it’s so important?

Why concern yourself with a consultation process when you can simply get bureaucrats to approve the deception of “Equity” education. The government merely instructed the ministers of education, got the school boards and trustees on side with more programs and money. Then they launched a political campaign about the need to end bullying in schools and to do that, among other things, it mandated and encouraged schools to implement the doublespeak of the “Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy”.

The last step was to collaborate with gay activists to provide the schools with the resources to accomplish the task. If you listen to the LGBT rhetoric, it seems that governments have now decided that one of the most important issues facing Ontario and the nation is the protection and support of students with a dozen different sexual orientations. But please read on, regrettably there’s more.

Egale’s MyGSA website goes further and lists for visitors, these could be young students, homosexual organizations like Outrage!, Stonewall, PFLAG, and pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. The website’s recommended resources includes a book for teens called Coming Out: A Handbook for Men that includes sex advice involving grotesque sexual acts not worth mentioning here. To suggest that this material is a good resource for students is psychologically and morally abusive.

People in authority are taking advantage of their positions and tempting students to sin by exploring immoral behaviour. Parental warning: your children can be visiting websites like MyGSA fully endorsed by some teachers, your local school board, teachers’ unions and our provincial government.


Who will protect the children?

Given all this evidence, it’s only natural that parents be suspicious of governments and their political educational agenda. Politicians may be working to please people’s sexual orientations and get re-elected, but who is there to protect the children and their souls? Isn’t it part of a government’s responsibility to keep children from harm? And to be building the common good? Don’t students have the right to their moral and sexual innocence?

The government, the schools boards and teacher unions that ought to be defending students instead are introducing programs that are abusive to their moral and sexual wellbeing.

In addition,there is a total disregard of Christian values that are based on natural law. The push to normalize the LGTB sexual agenda has no natural, moral or legal basis. The acceptance of the LGTB lifestyle has been masked as “human rights” and turned into a topic of taboo because anyone who dares to disagree is quickly attacked as being “homophobic” or bigoted. But shouldn’t a truly “Equity and Inclusive” policy make plenty of room for those who don’t accept it?

In the end, the only true hope is for parents to protect their children’s morality and true sexuality; they must act quickly before the province and school boards turns the children against their parents on these issues. Our government is now bullying Christians: it’s high time for parents to reclaim their rights and to push back. If parents don’t defend their children from this Orwellian nightmare, who will?

This article is a slightly condensed version of an article posted on the Lou Iacobelli blog Every Day for Life Canada.

Lou Iacobelli and his wife are retired former teachers with a combined total of 64 years of teaching experience with the Toronto District Catholic School Board. Lou is a member of the board of directors and spokesperson for The Parental Rights in Education Defense Fund (PREDF)

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Lisa Bourne

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Cardinal Dolan: Debate on denying Communion to pro-abortion pols ‘in the past’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

As America heads into its 2014 midterm elections, a leading U.S. prelate says the nation’s bishops believe debate over whether to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians is “in the past.”

The Church’s Code of Canon Law states in Canon 915 that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Leading Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI himself, have said this canon ought to be applied in the case of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. However, prelates in the West have widely ignored it, and some have openly disagreed.

John Allen, Jr. of the new website Crux, launched as a Catholic initiative under the auspices of the Boston Globe, asked New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan about the issue earlier this month.

“In a way, I like to think it’s an issue that served us well in forcing us to do a serious examination of conscience about how we can best teach our people about their political responsibilities,” the cardinal responded, “but by now that inflammatory issue is in the past.”

“I don’t hear too many bishops saying it’s something that we need to debate nationally, or that we have to decide collegially,” he continued. “I think most bishops have said, ‘We trust individual bishops in individual cases.’ Most don’t think it’s something for which we have to go to the mat.”

Cardinal Dolan expressed personal disinterest in upholding Canon 915 publicly in 2010 when he told an Albany TV station he was not in favor of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians. He said at the time that he preferred “to follow the lead of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who said it was better to try to persuade them than to impose sanctions.”

However, in 2004 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI the following year, wrote the U.S. Bishops a letter stating that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. 

Cardinal Ratzinger sent the document to the U.S. Bishops in 2004 to help inform their debate on the issue. However, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then-chair of the USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, who received the letter, withheld the full text from the bishops, and used it instead to suggest ambiguity on the issue from the Vatican.

A couple of weeks after Cardinal McCarrick’s June 2004 address to the USCCB, the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger was leaked to well-known Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, who published the full document. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office later confirmed the leaked document as authentic.

Since the debate in 2004, numerous U.S. prelates have openly opposed denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

In 2008, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley suggested the Church had yet to formally pronounce on the issue, and that until it does, “I don’t think we’re going to be denying Communion to the people.”

In 2009, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. in 2009 said that upholding of Canon 915 would turn the Eucharist into a political “weapon,” refusing to employ the law in the case of abortion supporter Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, said in a 2009 newspaper interview that pro-abortion politicians should be granted communion because Jesus Christ gave Holy Communion to Judas Iscariot.

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However, one of the Church’s leading proponents of the practice, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, insists that denying Communion is not a punishment.

“The Church’s discipline from the time of Saint Paul has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion,” he said at LifeSiteNews’ first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City in early May. "The discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin."  

Only days earlier, Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told LifeSiteNews that he has no patience for politicians who say that they are “personally” opposed to abortion, but are unwilling to “impose” their views on others.

On the question of Communion, he said, “Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?”

Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala, told LifeSiteNews around the same time that ministers of Holy Communion are “bound not to” give the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion.

Pro-life organizations across the world have said they share the pastoral concern for pro-abortion politicians. Fifty-two pro-life leaders from 16 nations at the recent Rome Life Forum called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to honor Canon 915 and withhold Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy.

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‘His bones are basically like paper’: Parents refuse to abort baby with rare condition

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By Kirsten Anderson

At just 11 weeks old, little Layton Diven is not like other babies. Every time his parents pick him up or cuddle him, there is a chance they will break his bones. In fact, Layton has already suffered more than 20 fractures in his short life – beginning at the moment of his birth.

Layton has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a rare disease that makes his bones brittle and prone to breakage. There are several types of OI, and Layton’s type, OI Type III, is the most severe type found among infants. Most babies born with the disease, like Layton, are born with multiple fractures, especially along the rib cage. Many struggle to breathe or swallow. The incurable disease is progressive, so it will get worse as he gets older.

Layton was diagnosed with OI in the womb, but abortion wasn’t an option for his parents, Chad and Angela Diven, who considered their baby a gift from God, no matter his condition.

“We weren't going to have an abortion, so he was born with the disease,” Angela Diven told KSLA. “God chose me for him, to be his mom, so I have to take that huge responsibility and do what's best for him.”

That responsibility comes with a heavy price. Layton requires 24-hour care, but both Angela and Chad have full-time jobs. He can’t go to regular daycare, because it’s not safe for him.

“You can't just pick him up like a normal baby,” Diven said. “You can't dress him like a normal child; his bones are basically like paper. He can't go to daycare because of his condition. He's medically fragile, and a daycare can't handle him."

Childcare costs are just the beginning, though – the treatments Layton will need throughout his life are expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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Layton is currently receiving pamidronate IV therapy, which will help to strengthen his bones. But in order to be able to stand or walk, he will need metal rods implanted in his legs – an operation that will cost the Divens $80,000. The OI specialist coordinating Layton’s care is in Omaha, Nebraska, while the Divens live in Louisiana. As he grows, Layton will also require special equipment, such as a wheelchair, along with extensive physical therapy.

Despite the hardships they knew would come, the Divens stepped out in faith to bring Layton into the world. Now, they are reaching out to the internet for help to shoulder the financial burdens that came with their baby blessing. The family has set up both a GoFundMe and a Facebook page called “Lifting Up Layton Diven,” where people can receive updates on Layton’s condition and contribute to the cost of his care.

To donate to baby Layton’s medical trust fund, click here.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

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By John-Henry Westen

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial assignment as patron of the Order of Malta.

The timing of the move is key since Cardinal Burke is currently on the list to attend October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family. He is attending in his capacity as head of one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, so if he is removed prior to the Synod it could mean he would not be able to attend.

Burke has been one of the key defenders in the lead-up to the Synod of the Church's traditional practice of withholding Communion from Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried.

Most of the Catholic world first learned of the shocking development through Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, whose post ‘Exile to Malta for Cardinal Burke’ went out late last night.

If Burke’s removal from the Signatura is confirmed, said Magister, the cardinal “would not be promoted - as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere - to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous - but ecclesiastically very modest - title of ‘cardinal patron’ of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.”

At 66, Cardinal Burke is still in his Episcopal prime.

The prominent traditional Catholic blog Rorate Caeli goes as far as to say, “It would be the greatest humiliation of a Curial Cardinal in living memory, truly unprecedented in modern times: considering the reasonably young age of the Cardinal, such a move would be, in terms of the modern Church, nothing short than a complete degradation and a clear punishment.”

On Tuesday, American traditionalist priest-blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf also hinted he had heard the move was underway. “I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now,” he wrote. “The optimist in me was saying that the official announcement would not be made until after the Synod of Bishops, or at least the beginning of the Synod. Or at all.”

“It’s not good news,” he added.

Both Magister and Zuhlsdorf predicted that the controversial move would unleash a wave of simultaneous jubilation from dissident Catholics and criticism from faithful Catholics. The decision to remove Cardinal Burke from his position on the Congregation for Bishops last December caused a public outpouring of concern and dismay from Catholic and pro-life leaders across the globe.

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Both men speculated on the reasons for the ouster. 

Magister pointed out that Burke is the latest in a line of ‘Ratzingerian’ prelates to undergo the axe.

“In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most ‘Ratzingerian’ of the Roman curia,” said Magister.

He added: “Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf observed that Pope Francis may also be shrinking the Curial offices and thus reducing the number of Cardinals needed to fill those posts. He adds however, “It would be naïve in the extreme to think that there are lacking near Francis’s elbows those who have been sharpening their knives for Card. Burke and for anyone else associated closely with Pope Benedict.” 

“This is millennial, clerical blood sport.”

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