‘Betrayed,’ ‘stunned’: Family leaders on claim that Cardinal asked Ontario PCs to ‘back off’ sex-ed fight
TORONTO, December 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Ontario pro-family advocates opposing the sex-ed program, including Muslims, Hindus, Catholics and other Christians, and say they feel “betrayed” after news surfaced last week that Progressive Conservative House Leader Jim Wilson alleged the party backed off the sex-ed fight on the urging of Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins.
“As a parent who has been fighting against the premature sexualisation of children for so long, at times to the point of exhaustion, I am utterly stunned to hear the Catholic Church may have asked the PC Party to back off from its opposition to the sex-ed changes,” said Muslim anti-sex-ed campaigner Khalid Mahmood, who is the Organizer Thorncliffe Parents Association.
“Hundreds of families in our Muslim community, including my own, have sacrificed so much to oppose this radical curriculum, including slander and ridicule by the Liberals and their media allies. To now learn that the highest ranking Catholic Bishop in Ontario may possibly have sided with the Liberals – against our families – is felt by us as a devastating betrayal. If Wilson’s account is true, it would be beyond comprehension,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Vinod Sharma, president of United Hindu Congress Canada located in Toronto, told LifeSiteNews he was upset to learn about a high pro-file politician claiming to have made a serious political decision at the behest of a Catholic leader.
“If what Mr. Wilson related is even partly accurate, then it’s a huge betrayal,” he said.
Last week LifeSiteNews broke the story of Catholic MPP Jim Wilson claiming that Cardinal Collins told him personally in a private meeting to “back off” opposing the sex-ed program.
Cardinal Collins has denied the charge. In a statement, his spokesman, Neil MacCarthy, told LifeSiteNews that Wilson’s portrayal of the meeting was “grossly inaccurate,” while not denying that the meeting had taken place.
Despite the Cardinal’s response, pro-family advocates say Wilson’s account “seems to ring true” in light of the decision by the province’s Catholic leadership to allow the sex-ed program into Catholic schools and to be taught through a so-called Catholic lens while not saying a word against the unfiltered curriculum being forced on children in all other schools.
"Wilson's account seems to ring true to everything else we've seen emanating from the Catholic bishops,” Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews.
“I saw this in my own diocese of Hamilton, where, last minute, the Bishop's office ordered a priest to cancel a talk on sex-ed that the parish's Young Adults Group had scheduled me to present. That intervention made it pretty clear to me that the Bishop's office did not want Catholics to oppose Premier Wynne's controversial sex curriculum,” he said. The bishop of Hamilton is the Most Rev. Douglas Crosby, OMI, current president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Fonseca said that everywhere he goes to make presentations to concerned parents about the sex-ed program, he hears the same question put to him time and again: “Why isn’t the Catholic Church fighting this? Why aren’t the bishops out in front defending parents and protecting children from being sexualized by this dangerous Liberal program?’”
He said that the idea that the curriculum can be taught from a faith perspective is simply a delusion.
The Ontario curriculum largely follows the Planned Parenthood/SIECUS sexual ideology, which holds that pleasure is the sole purpose for sexual activity, that humans of every age have a right to sexual activity, that human sexual behaviour is no different than animal sexual behaviour, that no form of sexual activity is abnormal, and that sexual “taboos” in place by society or religion must be overcome for the sake of sexual freedom.
To achieve these ends, the Ontario sex-ed program teaches children from the youngest ages, in co-ed classrooms, about their own sexual organs and those of the opposite sex. They are taught the names of sexual parts of the body and shown images. As they advance, they are given information about how the sexual organs fit together, about how to make sexual plans, about how to properly use contraception to avoid becoming pregnant, and how to give sexual consent to someone asking for sex.
Fonseca said that parents with kids in the Catholic system should be “under no illusion” that any meaningful ‘faith perspective’ will be applied to the curriculum.
“How on earth can you teach the evil ideology of ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ through a Catholic lens? It’s impossible because those ideologies are irreconcilable with Catholicism, and in fact, attack the very image of God in creation.”
“How do you teach the sex-ed components of contraception, masturbation, and anal sex through a Catholic lens? Unless you’re going to instruct Catholic children all those acts are sinful and ought never to be practiced, it’s impossible. And if you do that, you wouldn’t be following the government curriculum anymore, contrary to Catholic leadership stating that it will meet all of Premier Wynne’s curriculum expectations,” he said.
Lou Iacobelli, a retired Toronto Catholic teacher who raises awareness about the problems with the sex-ed program, told LifeSiteNews that whatever exchange happened between Cardinal Collins and Wilson does not alter the fact that there has been “nothing but silence” from Catholic leadership after the curriculum was re-introduced by the Wynne government last February.
“This is very sad for parents in this province who are looking for moral leadership on the issue of educating their children,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Why have the bishops not spoken out about this attack on children's innocence and safety with one strong voice? I have even been asked by non-Catholic members of the Canadian Families Alliance why Cardinal Collins has not done more to stand up against the explicit sex curriculum; it saddens me that I don't know the answer.”
Iacobelli related that a couple of months ago he was scheduled to give a talk about the sex-ed program to the Catholic Women's League, but the meeting was suddenly cancelled the night before because he was told there was concern that his presentation “would in some way contradict the bishop's position.” He was not told the name of the bishop.
Ghada Melek, a Coptic Christian and mother of two daughters, who has actively opposed the sex-ed curriculum, told LifeSiteNews that she was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the "political games and intrigues” that have resulted in a “dangerous" program being imposed on schools across the province.
“The undeniable fact remains that the Catholic Church in Ontario has done absolutely nothing to oppose the sex-ed. But this battle is not the Cardinal’s to give up. No matter how you look at it, it amounts to a betrayal to parents who know what’s best for their kids and who stand totally opposed to the sex-ed."
Melek said that the cardinal’s strategy of filtering the program for Catholic children while doing nothing for public system children is not even a Christian position to take.
“Even if the Cardinal’s intention was to teach the curriculum in Catholic schools through a Catholic lens, his position only means that he is abandoning us, non-Catholics, who are fighting for our children and for our parental rights. I don't think this is even a Christian position to take,” she said.
In 1992, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called it “inappropriate” for Church authorities to “endorse or remain neutral toward adverse legislation, even if it grants exceptions to Church organizations and institutions.”
“The Church has the responsibility to promote family life and the public morality of the entire civil society on the basis of fundamental moral values, not simply to protect herself from the application of harmful laws,” it added.
Some pro-family advocates suspect one reason Catholic leadership decided not to oppose the sex-ed program was so that it would not jeopardize its funding from the provincial government.
Sam Sotiropoulos, a former trustee of the Toronto District School Board and a practicing Greek Orthodox Christian who campaigned against the program, told LifeSiteNews he was “not surprised at all” to hear the MPP’s account of a top Catholic leader deciding to not oppose the curriculum, given the $6 billion in funding the province’s Catholic schools receive annually from taxpayers.
“It’s easily arguable that if the Cardinal decided not to oppose this curriculum it was because he didn't want to jeopardize Catholic school funding. He had six billion reasons to take this position and convince others to do the same.”
“Everyone knows the curriculum is loaded with elements contrary to Catholic teaching. So, if he did ask MPP Jim Wilson to stand down, the question needs to be asked: who is the Cardinal serving, God or Mammon? Either he's a cardinal of the Catholic Church or he's an employee and agent of the state. Which is it?” he asked.
Iacobelli said there is much more than funding or charitable status at stake when it comes to Catholic leadership making educational decisions.
“What matters most is protecting and saving children's souls, both in the Catholic and public schools,” he said.