Peter Baklinski

,

Catholic chaplains/principals promote summer camp run by dissidents, gay activists: parents protest

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
Image

Correction: This article originally stated that James Loney had “sued” the Knights of Columbus for homosexual discrimination. This is incorrect. Loney publicly accused the Knights of discrimination, but did not launch a lawsuit. We regret the error.

BANCROFT, Ontario, 9 January, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Concerned pro-family leaders and parents are wondering why the Ontario Catholic Principals’ Council as well as the Ontario School Chaplains association are promoting a non-denominational “social justice” camp to students run by dissident Catholics and homosexual activists.

Camp Micah, which operates every August near Bancroft, Ontario, is a six day “ecumenical camp” that seeks to form young people to become the future leaders in “faith and justice,” according to the camp’s director.

The camp’s leadership team includes a laicized Catholic priest and three pro-gay activists, one who performs homosexual ‘marriages’, another who is a practicing homosexual and vocal critic of Catholic teaching on homosexual activity, and a third who leads a gay-straight alliance in a public school.

The FAQ on the camp’s website tells students not to be concerned if they “don’t go to church on Sunday” since “some of us [staff] don’t go to church every Sunday either”. While camp officials write that they are “passionate about the gospel of peace and justice”, the name of Jesus doesn’t appear anywhere on the camp’s website.

Leaders for renewal in Catholic education, pro-family leaders, and parents have called promotion of the camp at Catholic schools a “great scandal”, “disturbing and totally unacceptable”, and problematic.

Camp Micah’s staff

Camp Micah’s director and founder is Dwyer Sullivan, a 75 year-old laicized Catholic priest and former Basilian. Sullivan, now married, is a retired Catholic high school teacher who taught in the areas of social justice and world religions. 

Camp Micah staff include Monica Moore, a minister at Affirming United, a branch of the United Church of Canada. Affirm United exists to work for the “full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in The United Church of Canada and in society.” Moore, who believes that issues on sexual morality are decided by a majority vote, has officiated at numerous same-sex ‘weddings’ at her various posts.

Staff also include James Loney, a homosexual activist who received international renown after being held hostage in Iraq for several months while working with Christian Peacemaker Teams in 2005. However, he is also known for having accused the Ontario Knights of Columbus for alleged homosexual discrimination in 2006 after the group ceased financing the Ontario Catholic Youth Leadership Camp where Loney was an employee for several years. Loney alleged at the time that the Knights specifically closed the camp because of his post-Iraq public revelation of being gay. The Knights stated that they closed the camp to “review” its “mandate and effectiveness.”

Loney, a lapsed Catholic who lives with another man in Toronto, wrote in a 2005 article titled “Confessions of a Spiritual Couch Potato,” that he “avoid[s] prayer like the plague—the kind where you stop, sit or kneel, do nothing but be, even if for only ten minutes. It’s agony-in-the-garden every time; the easiest thing is to let the cup pass. The thought of fasting nauseates me, and as for Sunday mass—that weekly spiritual reboot and virus check—well, let’s just say I’ve accumulated a significant inventory of mortal sins.”

The camp’s program director is Colleen Barrett, a staff advisor for the Gay Straight Alliance at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge, ON.

Sullivan told the Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario association in a meeting last year that the province and all those present at the meeting would “benefit” from having students “engaged in the kind of leadership for justice and faith that Camp Micah teaches.”

A call to Camp Micah director Dwyer Sullivan for comment was never returned.

Endorsing Camp Micah

The Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario have endorsed the camp on their website, calling it a “retreat/camp experience for our young people based on the values of peace and justice.”

The Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario endorsed the camp in a 2010 newsletter, calling the camp a place that “challenges youth to reflect on their personal leadership gifts, builds community and models leadership skills for transforming the world.”

Various Catholic high schools throughout the province have promoted the camp online or in newsletters, some calling it the “best leadership camp for Catholic high school students in Ontario.”

Saint Paul Catholic High School in the Niagara region pointed out in a 2012 newsletter that a “number of students” from Niagara Catholic District School board have attended the camp in the past, adding that “it has been an amazing opportunity to build Christian leadership skills which then strengthened the school faith community upon their return.”

Pro-family leaders and parents react

One Ontario Catholic school system teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, told LifeSiteNews that it comes as “no surprise” that “leaders in our schools are supporting a social justice leadership camp where three prominent members of staff are publicly at odds with Church teaching”.

The teacher said that supporting the camp reflects the “desire by some in the system to encourage staff and students to ignore the Church’s authority and to ‘promote change’ so as to change the Church”.

Jack Fonseca, program director for Campaign Life Coalition, said that “this camp isn’t training youth to be faithful Christians at all, but rather, left-wing political activists.”

Andy Pocrnic, a Catholic father from Ottawa, called it a “great scandal” to have a camp promoted by Catholic principals and chaplains that is “staffed by gay activists.”

“When parents send their kids to Catholic schools they expect whatever is being promoted within those schools to be in harmony with the Catholic faith,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Instead, we find these leaders actively undermining that faith and betraying their duty to protect the children in their care.”

Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholics called the camp’s promotion in Catholic schools “disturbing and totally unacceptable”.

Kim Galvao, head of Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario, called social justice camps like Camp Micah problematic for their propensity to turn young people against the Catholic Church and its teachings on sexual morality.

Galvao said her own experience in social justice groups as a young high school student led her to “doubt” that the “Catholic church was doing the right thing in terms of social justice.”

“My experience in social justice caused me to question the church’s teaching not only on contraception but on many other aspects that lead to confusion and doubt.”

Galvao wondered why it appears that “at every turn [Catholic] educators are trying to undermine what Catholic parents are trying to teach their children.”

“Who’s side are they on? What’s the point of being Catholic if this kind of camp is the kind of extra curricular activities we are giving our children. This should be boycotted at all cost.”

Galvao suggested that Catholic principals and chaplains should “look at other camps that come from a Catholic perspective” and that “support” Pope Benedict’s teaching that working for peace in the world includes working to end to abortion and protect true marriage and the family.


Contact info:

*NOTE: See Composing Effective Communications in Response to LifeSiteNews Reports

Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario
David McNorgan, President
Cathedral CSS
30 Wentworth St. N.
Hamilton, ON L8L 8H5
Ph:  (905) 522-3581, x3020
Email [email protected]

Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario
Carole Allen, President
400 - 161 Eglinton Ave. East
Toronto, ON M4P 1J5
Ph: (416) 483-1556
Email [email protected]

Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
Catholic Pastoral Centre
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1W2
Ph: (416) 934-0606, ext. 609
Email [email protected]

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

,

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

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
Image
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.” 

Advertisement
Featured Image
Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

, ,

Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

The Editors
By

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!

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, ,

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

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
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. 

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook