Catholic School Board Committee Approves Pro-Gay Manual, Does Not Teach Homosexual Acts Sinful

Director of the Board says, "differences of opinion in areas like theology, faith, and morals" is "natural and healthy for a living, dynamic Church"
Fri Nov 2, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST

By John-Henry Westen

WATERLOO, Ontario, November 2, 2007 ( - The Family Life Advisory Committee (FLAC) of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) met last night to consider objections to a pro-homosexual teacher resource manual which were raised by the local group Defend Traditional Marriage and Family (DTMF).  Despite a petition signed by nearly 500 Catholic parents opposing the book, FLAC decided to retain "Open Minds to Equality" in an 11-5 vote.
  Page 16 of the book states: "The heterosexism in our society fosters homophobia, the fear and hatred of homosexuality which is grounded in prejudice and stereotyping." The book provides role play and group activities which train children into viewing the homosexual lifestyle as normal and natural.

  Of note, at the meeting one of the members, asked if students in the Catholic schools of the board are taught "that homosexual acts" are sinful.  The response from the board committee was "no."

  DTMF communications director Jack Fonseca told he was disappointed with the decision. "In our view, this decision is a betrayal of Catholic parents," he said. "They sent their kids to a Christian school for the express purpose of helping them form an authentic Catholic faith. And that faith includes the Church’s teaching on sexual morality."

  Fonseca explained, "Allowing the continuation of a resource that may have the effect of normalizing homosexual behaviour is an astonishingly un-Catholic decision. It’s disrespectful to the founder of the Catholic Church."

  The committee’s recommendation now goes to the Director of the Board of Education Roger Lawler for his decision on the matter which will be presented to the Board on November 26.

  Lawler told that he has not yet decided on the matter and will make his decision in the following weeks.

  Asked if he knew about the teaching in schools regarding homosexual acts being sinful Lawler replied, "I’m not going to comment on that because I wasn’t there for the context of the question."

  In a procedures memorandum to another board committee, Lawler spoke of legitimate differences of opinion on matters of "faith and morals".  "Faith and one’s understanding of faith is not static. As we learned and have been taught as a Post-Vatican II people, we are a Church with rich diversity," he wrote.  Adding: "Diversity also can bring about differences of opinion in areas like theology, faith, and morals. This is natural and healthy for a living, dynamic Church."(see the memo here:
"We should be able to trust that a teacher will say (of the objectionable portions) that’s not for us here," said Hartnett.  She stressed that students did not have access to the books and that "Much of the book has excellent teachings, about diversity, very little deals with sexuality at all."

  Hartnett suggested that if there were books and resources more clearly objectionable that the board would "absolutely" remove them.  "I can tell you that this school board has in fact been very good when we have asked for specific things to be removed, and they would do it."

  According to Fonseca, however, the group has brought up numerous objectionable materials the Catholic school board has permitted.  However, the board agreed only to discuss the teacher resource manual.

  The group has also discovered other homosexuality promoting materials in various Catholic schools in the board.  "Out: stories of lesbian and gay youth" a pro-gay video directed by David Adkin is available at some Catholic schools in the board, as is "Rainbow boys" a fictional novel by Alex Sanchez about "coming out".

  Minutes of meetings of the FLAC from January 25 note the approval of students being referred to an active homosexual therapist for "LGBTTTSIQ sensitivity training/counselling". (see the minutes here: )

  The gay therapist, David Vervoot, is an active homosexual who has raised a son with his male partner.

  According to his website "Rainbow Therapist", Vervoot has offered anti-homophobia workshops in high schools and presented on topics such as "Building LGBT Community Supports in Rural Cities" and "Creating Accessible Health Care Services For Queer Communities". He has been on the committees of Guelph Pride, Guelph’s LGBT Lending Library, and co-founded the Waterloo Wellington Gay & Bi fathers peer support group.  (See Vervoot’s website here: )

To respectfully voice concerns:

His Excellence Bishop Anthony Tonnos
  700 King St. W.
  Hamilton, ON L8P 1C7
  Phone: (905) 528-7988
  Fax: (905) 528-1088

Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Bergie
  Phone: (905) 528-7988
  Fax: (905) 528-1088

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