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Analysis: False Gospel of ‘Equity’ Lures Ontario Catholic School Boards

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LifeSiteNews.com

TORONTO, Ontario, June 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Many parents are raising serious concerns about what they see as the ready willingness of far too many Catholic School Boards across Ontario to get into bed with the heavy-handed, often dangerous ideologies of the Ministry of Education’s “Equity and Inclusivity” initiatives.

One of the first major waves of these initiatives was seen in the Ministry of Education’s recent attempt to introduce a controversial new “Health and Physical Education” curriculum into grades K-8, by September 2010.  This curriculum was drawn up from the recommendations of the ministry’s “strategy” document, also known as PP119, in which all school boards, including Catholic, would be mandated to present a plan to implement the “Equity and Inclusivity” doctrine.  It was only after a backlash from many sectors that Premier Dalton McGuinty decided to shelve the problematic document that was supported by a myriad of homosexual lobby groups.

Despite opposition from parents, Church and other religious leaders across Ontario, some Catholic school boards were ready to accept “carte blanche” the equity "health" curriculum.  Linda Staudt, a superintendant for the Windsor/Essex Catholic District School Board, was said to have "praised the contents of the proposed curriculum," according to the Windsor Star.  Staudt stated that "the entire document really does an excellent job in promoting healthy, active living ... the family life component is just part of it."  Amazing comments coming from a superintendant of Catholic education: the family life component encouraged the normality of masturbation and anal sex, and put the homosexualist lifestyle at par with traditional marriage. 

Interestingly, Staudt was joined by two trustees of her board in attending the ministry’s Equity Symposium in Toronto this month.  No doubt she will be formative in establishing the final “equity” policy for the board, the draft for which they are currently requesting feedback.

What many parents are not aware of is that even though the “Health” curriculum was pulled, the “Equity and Inclusivity Initiatives” for all three school boards are going ahead full throttle.  Boards are expected to bring completion to their draft policies by September of 2010.  This policy is to be accountable, transparent and must meet the politically correct ethos of “equity and inclusivity” as envisioned by the former Minister of Education, Kathleen Wynne, who is openly homosexual and who piloted the whole “Equity” initiative.

Recently, the Ministry of Education, through the Ontario Education Services Corporation, invited representatives from every school board across Ontario to attend a symposium in Toronto on June 17, 2010.  This symposium was stacked with representatives from the controversial Ontario Human Rights Commission, the O.E.S.C. and other groups that support the homosexualist manifesto.  
          
The ministry held workshops with charismatic guest speakers such as Chris D’Souza, to “educate” and “help” boards enforce their plan.  Among other stipulations, the plan requires boards to recognize sexual orientation as grounds for non-discrimination, “regardless of their moral traditions and religious principles on the subject,” as explained in recent LSN articles.

Translation: The Ontario Government under Dalton McGuinty, Leona Dombrowsky, the current Minister of Education, and Chris D’Souza’s aggressive homosexualist lobby advocates from AMENO and Harmony know what’s best for Ontario families and our children!  If you have a problem with your “heterosexist” and “homophobic” views, using the vernacular of the “Equity” revolutionaries, they will be more than happy to “unlearn” you - a nifty t-shirt slogan often seen on D’Souza, during his hundreds of seminars and workshops presented to school boards, Catholic included, across Ontario.  “Even homophobia needs to be addressed, regardless of what Catholics believe about the sexual orientation,” said D’Souza, the chair of both the Equity Summit Group and the Antiracist Multicultural Education Network of Ontario, according to Niagarathisweek.com.

D’Souza, the former Equity and Diversity Officer of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board, energetically sells McGuinty’s golden equity calf, piggy-backing the controversial pro-homosexualist doctrine on the important issues of anti-bullying and anti-racism within the schools.  Anyone, teacher, student or parent, who speaks out against this multi-faceted sex agenda or the Ministry of Education’s “strategy” is immediately tarred with the images of racists and bigots, and shut down with smear tactics all too familiar in the anti-life abortion movement.  Once you start to peel away at the thin veneer of politically correct ethics, you begin to behold a much more sinister truth behind the homosexualist Trojan horse, slowly working its way into our children’s classrooms.

At the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s website, occdsb.on.ca, there is a link under the tab Equity and Inclusivity Education Strategy, that sources one of D’Souza’s Power Point Presentations.  In it, he states that every educator has a “moral obligation to engage in politically correct and inclusive language in every conversation you are part of.”  He then lists the potential realms of marginalization that we are all called to build special rights for, in our Catholic, French and public school boards, and every aspect of society.  Those “marginalized” people include but are not limited to “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Transgendered, Two-Spirited, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and Ally.” 

Given D’Souza’s clear acceptance of very un-Catholic positions on human sexuality, (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, art. 2331-2400), one might ask why so many Catholic School Board leaders are bringing him in to form the minds and consciences of students and staff. Are the Gospel values of the dignity of every human person and the practice of authentic social justice, as taught in Scripture, social encyclicals and the writings of the saints, not enough?  Are we to replace the glorious deposit of Faith, built on the shoulders of giants with the shallow ethos of equity?

D’Souza states, as quoted in Niagarathisweek.com that “the Jesus Christ I follow is one where every child feels welcomed.”  The real question that parents should be asking Chris D’Souza, and indeed the Senior Administrators and Trustees of their school boards, especially Catholic, is whether or not we are to welcome and promote all ideologies in the classroom.  Is there such a thing as absolute inclusion or equity?  Or are we to decide what should be included based upon whether it is grounded in truth, goodness, natural law and the common good of all people involved? 

The Catholic School system’s response to this question ought to be crystal clear!  It is not what Jesus Christ Chris D’Souza follows that should be our concern, but rather the true Jesus of the Gospels who both loves the sinner and hates the sin; the Lord who told Mary, the adulteress, that she was forgiven but to go and sin no more.  It is that same Christ who said to "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).  Though D’Souza has a lot of good messages in his presentations, it the hidden leaven within that ultimately spoils the whole loaf in the bread of life of the Catholic Separate School System.

Today’s homosexualist movement that is being sold wholesale by mega media networks and lauded by countless celebrities, is not at all about tolerance or to simply “live and let live.” This movement is completely intolerant, inequitable and un-inclusive of any person or institution that does not put on the pink shirt of homosexualist pride and welcome this counter-Christian indoctrination with open arms. This movement is an aggressive, radical propagandist machine, decades in the making, that is forcing its agenda into the sanctity of everyone’s home, into the youngest of children’s classrooms and now even into your Church, Synagogue and Mosque. 

Make no mistake, this is a culture war, and the hearts and minds of our children are at the very center of the battlefield. 

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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