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(update: After a complaint by the diocese Mrs. Galvao has chosen to cancel the prayer vigil at the chancery on Good Friday)

HAMILTON, Ontario, April 21, 2011 ( – An organization of Ontario Catholic parents is launching a 50-day prayer campaign on Good Friday in an effort to convince Ontario’s bishops to renounce their support for a government equity strategy that they say threatens the integrity of Catholic sexual teaching in the schools.

“We’d like to encourage our bishops to look at this document again,” said Kim Galvao of Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario.  “We just want parents to educate themselves and to have the laity speak up.  We feel like our voice hasn’t been heard.”

“There’s a lot of issues that haven’t been discussed, and it’s all been swept in very quickly in the name of equity,” she continued.  “Do they really understand what this means for parents?”

The group is calling Catholics in Ontario to engage in a 50-day period of prayer and witness from Good Friday on April 22 to the Feast of Pentecost on June 12th.  They’re asking them to pray daily for one hour “beseeching God to give our shepherds, Ontario’s Bishops, the courage to reject McGuinty’s Equity mandate.”

The group is running a prayer vigil outside the Diocese of Hamilton’s chancery office on Good Friday at 11:00 a.m. and another at 2:00 p.m. on Pentecost.  They are encouraging Catholics in other dioceses to arrange similar prayer times in front of their chanceries.  The purpose, they say, is to consecrate the bishops, priests, school boards, and children to Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph.

Pro-family groups have warned that the equity and inclusive education strategy, if implemented in the Catholic schools without clear safeguards, would empower board employees sympathetic to the homosexual cause and provide a foothold for homosexual activists in the Catholic system.

Last week, the Ontario bishops requested Catholic school boards in the province begin setting up a network of clubs at all publicly-funded Catholic high schools with the “primary goal” of combating “bullying related to sexual orientation.”

The government, however, has expressly forbidden such groups from helping homosexually-inclined students to reform their sexuality – a fact that has many Catholic parents expressing concern with the bishops’ approach.

“We feel that the Catholic Church and school boards caved under pressure due to unfair tactics by both the government and gay activists seeking to undermine Catholic teaching,” said Galvao.

“Every person deserves dignity and respect, but this [equity strategy] makes it out that we disrespect people if we have a different idea,” she continued.  “It’s almost like they’re bullying Catholic parents to be quiet.  If you have a different idea, don’t speak up.”

“We need to be a clear visible sign and we want our diocese to know that we care what is happening to our Catholic School System.”