Catholic chaplains/principals promote summer camp run by dissidents, gay activists: parents protest
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.
Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario
David McNorgan, President
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]
Donald Trump says he will promote LGBT ‘equality’ as president
CONCORD, New Hampshire, February 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Does Donald Trump support the gay agenda or oppose it? On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, observers are still scratching their heads about where the GOP frontrunner actually stands.
Trump has repeatedly and consistently said he supports the natural definition of marriage, but can a President Trump be relied on to promote it resolutely and cogently? It is this question that has many marriage activists expressing concern about his increasingly likely hold on the GOP nomination.
In fact, the National Organization for Marriage has gone so far as to say that Trump has “abandoned” the pro-marriage cause.
Trump himself underscored the problem on the weekend when he told a New Hampshire television station that from the White House he would push “equality” for homosexuals even further forward.
A cable news reporter self-identifying as a lesbian asked him last Thursday after a rally in Exeter, "When President Trump is in office, can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?"
“Well, you can and look - again, we're going to bring people together. That's your thing, and other people have their thing,” Trump told Sue O’Connell of New England Cable News. “We have to bring all people together. And if we don't, we're not gonna have a country anymore. It's gonna be a total mess.”
Following the comments, Trump appeared Sunday on ABC’s This Week program with George Stephanopoulos and would not commit to appointing Supreme Court justices who’d overturn Obergefell, though that would be his “preference.”
“We’re going to look at judges. They’ve got to be great judges. They’ve got to be conservative judges. We’re going to see how they stand depending on what their views are. But that would be my preference,” he told Stephanopoulos. “I would prefer that they stand against, but we’ll see what happens. It depends on the judge.”
Trump’s comments follow his statements during a Fox News Sunday interview last week, when he said, “If I'm elected, I would be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things, but they've got a long way to go.”
“[Marriage] should be a states rights issue,” Trump continued. “I can see changes coming down the line, frankly.”
When asked by Fox if he “might try to appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage,” Trump replied, “I would strongly consider that, yes.”
The real estate mogul criticized the Supreme Court for the Obergefell decision imposing homosexual “marriage” on all 50 states last June, but then later in August, Trump voiced support to NBC News for banning companies from firing employees on the basis of sexual orientation. “I don't think it should be a reason” to fire workers, he said at the time on Meet the Press.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and a number influential evangelicals have endorsed Senator Ted Cruz in the race for president. The Texas senator has not only committed to appointing pro-marriage justices, but says the president and the states can rightly defy the “fundamentally illegitimate” ruling just as President Lincoln defied the Dred Scott decision.
NOM has also been highly critical of Trump, saying he has “abandoned” their cause. The organization said in its January 27 blog post just prior to the Iowa Caucus that “Donald Trump does not support a constitutional amendment to restore marriage to our laws. Worse, he has publicly abandoned the fight for marriage. When the US Supreme Court issued their illegitimate ruling redefining marriage, Trump promptly threw in the towel with these comments on MSNBC: ‘You have to go with it. The decision's been made, and that is the law of the land.’”
NOM had said the week before that Trump “has made no commitments to fight for marriage, or the rights of supporters of marriage to not be discriminated against and punished for refusing to go along with the lie that is same-sex 'marriage.'”
New Hampshire voters have been tracked as showing support for homosexual “marriage,” as a poll last February showed 52 percent of Republican NH primary voters saying opposing gay “marriage” is unacceptable.
The latest CNN/WMUR tracking poll shows that overall 33 percent of likely Republican primary voters support Trump, giving him a growing 17-point lead over the nearest GOP contender. RealClearPolitics polling average in the state puts him at 31.0 percent support, with Marco Rubio second at 14.7, John Kasich third at 13.2, and Ted Cruz fourth at 12.7.
The unravelling of Chris Christie
February 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- I'm a member of the clergy and for the past eight years have lobbied the powerful in Trenton, covering the administrations of both Governors Jon Corzine and Chris Christie. I did much of my work on behalf of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, associated with Tony Perkins' Family Research Council. I am currently the President of the Center for Garden State Families.
Those of us who are engaged in the fight to secure the right to believe, speak, and practice the Christian faith in America were all heartened by the election of a Pro-Life Governor in 2009. Not only did Chris Christie run as an open Pro-Lifer, but he adopted a position in support of natural marriage in the course of the campaign. And when legislative Democrats attempted to pass same-sex marriage in the lame duck session, so they could have outgoing Governor Corzine sign it into law, Chris Christie rallied opposition and stopped it. Those were the early, hopeful days; but as Governor, Chris Christie has presented himself in an inconsistent, even scatterbrained way, often making decisions that go against earlier stated beliefs.
One of his first decisions was to make a liberal Democrat the state's Attorney General. Once approved by the Senate, and she was, the Attorney General could not be fired by the Governor, as was the case with other cabinet officers. This gave a liberal Democrat enormous power and she used it to join up with liberal Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in filing a brief against Christians in a case called Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Just one day after being sworn in, the newly appointed state Attorney General took the most aggressive legal posture available to defend former Governor Corzine’s one-gun-a-month handgun rationing law, moving to dismiss an NRA lawsuit to overturn the law, and later vigorously opposing the NRA’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the case. Because of this appointment, New Jersey did not join in the lawsuits to overturn ObamaCare.
Governor Christie appointed a radical "sexologist" to run the NJ Department of Children & Families. This appointee would later resign when it emerged that she had held the top job in an organization that had supported a study advocating the normalization of some forms of adult-child sex.
His judicial appointments were also confusing. While claiming to oppose same-sex marriage, Governor Christie nominated an openly gay Republican to the state Supreme Court who supported it. Even Democrats wouldn't support this plainly unqualified appointment, and he never served. The Governor supported the advancement of a liberal Democrat to the job of Chief Justice, while refusing to support the re-appointment of a Republican and the Court's most conservative member. He also appointed a controversial defense attorney who had defended a number of Islamic extremists who had violated immigration law.
In 2013, many of those in the Christian community opposed legislation that banned young people from receiving counseling and therapy to lead them away from homosexuality. As an ex-gay myself, I could have personally attested to the benefits of such counseling, much of which is no different than what is found in contemporary twelve-step programs. However, the Christian community opposing the ban was not afforded the opportunity to meet with the Governor. Only the homosexual community with its pro-ban agenda was given that benefit.
Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.
I don't blame the Governor for this, but I do blame his staff. As President Ronald Reagan said, "personnel is policy," and Governor Christie's choices in personnel have not advanced the policies he campaigned on, and often it was the direct opposite.
New Jersey ended up being just the second state in the country that only allows young people to receive counseling that advocates homosexuality, but bans by law counseling that advocates heterosexuality. When he signed it into law, Governor Christie embraced the made-up "science" of the propagandists, when he cited un-specified "research" that "sexual orientation is determined at birth." This is the so-called "gay-gene" trope that has baffled those engaged in the Science of Genetics because it has never been discovered.
As a candidate for Governor, Chris Christie talked the talk and raised the expectations of Christians in New Jersey. As Governor, and especially in his appointments, Christie undermined our confidence in his leadership. Christians should ask tough questions before extending our faith in him again.
Pro-life investigator hits back with new footage after judge blocks release of abortion sting videos
SAN FRANCISCO, February 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A new video from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) shows two National Abortion Federation (NAF) employees saying that abortion clinics would be interested in kickbacks from profits on fetal tissue and body part sales.
The video comes three days after a San Francisco imposed an injunction sought by NAF against CMP videos that one of the abortion group's attorneys said meant that "NAF's members can sleep a little easier tonight."
CMP accused the pro-abortion organization of hiding behind the court.
According to U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick, however, NAF "made...a showing" that release of CMP videos would harm rights to privacy, freedom of association, and liberty of NAF members.
"Critical to my decision are that the defendants agreed to injunctive relief if they breached the agreements and that, after the release of defendants’ first set of Human Capital Project videos and related information in July 2015, there has been a documented, dramatic increase in the volume and extent of threats to and harassment of NAF and its members," wrote Orrick.
Additionally, the judge found that CMP's videos “thus far have not been pieces of journalistic integrity, but misleadingly edited videos and unfounded assertions," and that nobody from the abortion industry “admitted to engaging in, agreed to engage in, or expressed interest in engaging in potentially illegal sale of fetal tissue for profit" in the CMP videos.
However, in a new video released today that is unrelated to the injunction, a NAF employee told undercover journalists that kickbacks "definitely [sound] like something some [of] our members would be really interested in," with another chiming in that money from private purchasers to abortion clinics were "a win-win" for clinics.
The undercover investigators, who had purported to be part of a biotechnology company with an interest in fetal parts, were offered the chance to be at a NAF conference. “We have an exhibit hall and then we also have the general conference. But I mean, this is a very great way to talk to our members. We have a group purchasing program through our membership,” the journalists were told. “So it seems like this would be a really great option to be able to offer our members, as well.”
This is the second ruling against CMP in recent weeks, and the second by Orrick since July. The San Francisco judge issued a restraining order against CMP related to NAF's 2014 and 2015 meetings in San Francisco and Baltimore that Friday's ruling extended.
The other recent ruling came in the form of an indictment of CMP's David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Merritt and Daleiden turned themselves into Houston authorities for booking and processing last week. After being released on bail, Daleiden spoke at a LifeSiteNews/Christian Defense Coalition press conference after which more than 100,000 petition signatures backing Daleiden were dropped off to the Harris County, Texas District Attorney's office.
According to Orrick, who says he reviewed the more than 500 hours of recordings from CMP, "It should be said that the majority of the recordings lack much public interest, and despite the misleading contentions of defendants, there is little that is new in the remainder of the recordings. Weighed against that public interest are NAF’s and its members’ legitimate interests in their rights to privacy, security, and association by maintaining the confidentiality of their presentations and conversations at NAF Annual Meetings. The balance is strongly in NAF’s favor.”
NAF did not respond to a request for comment about the allegations by Orrick and a NAF spokesperson that CMP's videos have caused threats and other security concerns against NAF members.