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WATERLOO, Ontario, June 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — An Ontario Catholic school board reversed its decision to have schools fly a “Catholic” version of the pro-homosexual “Pride” flag after backlash from across the spectrum.
LGBTQ activists and allies blasted the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) for not planning to fly the “traditional” rainbow Pride flag in June, which is designated as “Pride” month across the province.
And pro-family groups such as Parents As First Educators (PAFE) and Campaign Life Coalition blasted the board for the scandal of planning to recognize “Pride Month” at all, including flying a “Catholic” version of the Pride flag.
Meanwhile, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board is raising the pro-homosexual rainbow Pride flag in front of its schools this month to demonstrate its commitment to “inclusion” — a practice it began last year.
The so-called Catholic version of the Pride flag that the WCDSB planned to raise at schools depicts Jesus with his arms outstretched over an array rainbow-coloured figures, above the words “We are all wonderfully made,” and a quotation from 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.”
“This is a sacrilege and an obscene scandal,” said Jeff Gunnarson, national president of Campaign Life, Canada’s national and largest pro-family, pro-life political lobbying group, in an email to supporters.
The proposed “Catholic Pride” flag references scripture in a way that “reinforces and endorses one of the main lies of LGBT activists,” which is that “gay people are born that way.”
This is “arguably the most powerful weapon used by the LGBT activists to normalize homosexuality in the minds of the public,” he said.
But the proposed “Catholic Pride” flag “is a symptom of a much more profound problem: the lack of faith. Celebrating ‘Pride’ in any way, even acknowledging it, is heretical to the Catholic teaching on human sexuality,” Gunnarson told LifeSiteNews.
“And it only rubs salt in Christ's wounds to create such a flag, suggesting Jesus would partake in such a celebration. The creators of the flag and anyone who approves it should have their heads and hearts examined. They have effectively ex-communicated themselves,” he said.
Campaign Life asked supporters to contact board members as well as Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton to protest the move.
It also launched a petition, which at last count had 4,100 signatures and had been signed by at least 3,000 people when the WCDSB announced Friday it had changed its mind.
“After receiving feedback from the broader community — but, more importantly, also from some of our students — it is clear that the WCDSB’s decision to fly a provincially developed image on a flag during June, to mark Pride month, which was intended to send a message of unity and support, has instead led to division,” the board stated in a press release.
“Out of sincere respect for all viewpoints shared, the school board will not fly any flag during Pride month.”
However, the board still expects schools to hang the “Catholic Pride Flag” in entrance hallways next year while it decides what to do.
“The proposed flag will be displayed in school foyers throughout the 2020-21 school year, as the school board consults with the LGBTQ community on next steps leading to Pride Month 2021,” the press release stated.
“Heaven has given us a much welcome reprieve, with the school board’s last-minute decision to not go ahead with the sacrilegious Gay Pride flag, nor to celebrate the homosexual lifestyle for the entire month of June,” Gunnarson told LifeSiteNews.
“However, we cannot pat ourselves on the back too much. From the WCDSB’s press release, it is clear that the board was more influenced by the gay lobby’s cries of orchestrated outrage,” he said.
Indeed, during a heated virtual board meeting last Monday, WCDSB school trustee Melanie Van Alphen described plans to fly the proposed “Catholic” version rather than the rainbow Pride flag as “insulting” and “disrespectful” to individuals who identity as homosexual, lesbian and transgendered, the Kitchener-Waterloo Record reported.
“People will not recognize this to represent Pride because it’s not the Pride flag,” Van Alphen said.
WCDSB director of education Loretta Notten, who has known LGBTQ sympathies, also weighed in.
“I personally find it disappointing that more Catholic boards don’t fly the Pride flag during the month of June especially,” she told the Record, pointing to the Thunder Bay Catholic board flying the flag as presumably a good example, and noting there were two student petitions last year asking the WCDSB to fly the Pride flag.
Decisions about a “Catholic” version of the flag were made “in consultation with the larger Catholic education community” with the Institute of Catholic Education providing a number of images, Notten said.
The local unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) also objected to the board planning to fly a “Catholic” version of the “Pride” flag rather than the rainbow, which OECTA Waterloo reported on Twitter it raised in front of its office June 1.
“It’s about voice,” Patrick Etmanski, president of the Waterloo OECTA told a local radio show.
ldquo;We have people who are trying to express their voice, and we have a group at the school board who believe that they may know what’s better, in terms of that particular symbol and that issue.”
Campaign Life is urging supporters to continue to lobby WCDSB trustees, as well as Notten, principals and teachers and Bishop Crosby to ensure the board will “commit to never celebrating Gay Pride Month in any way, shape or form, neither with the official flag of homosexual power, nor with an altered version to sacrilegiously impute to Jesus Christ affirmation of sodomy and other homosexual acts,” Gunnarson said.
“The Catholic faithful grows weary of this heresy committed by so-called Catholic leaders, from clergy to school superintendents. How long will we put up with this abuse of the Catholic name and of Our Lord? We may wake up too late. God have mercy on us,” he added.
Meanwhile, St. Jerome’s University, a Catholic college affiliated with the University of Waterloo, and also in Bishop Crosby’s diocese, raised the Pride flag on campus for the first time Monday to mark Pride month.
To sign Campaign Life Coalition’s petition, go here.