TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-LGBT Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) trustee has suggested people forgo attending the Archdiocese of Toronto-endorsed “Lift Jesus Higher” event because one of its sponsors is the pro-life and pro-family Campaign Life Coalition.
“I would never recommend any of my constituents to go to an event sponsored by Campaign Life Coalition,” TCDSB trustee Markus de Domenico told the board at its February 16 meeting, referring to the upcoming “Lift Jesus Higher” event, of which CLC is a sponsor.
De Domenico‘s brief comment came after a spokesman gave a presentation to the board promoting the event, which is set to take place on March 4 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and will include a Eucharistic Healing Procession and Holy Mass offered by Toronto archbishop Cardinal Thomas Collins.
In response to de Domenico’s statement, the spokesman for the event can be heard clarifying that CLC is just one of the multiple event sponsors, suggesting that even if one were to dislike the pro-life and pro-family group, it should not be a reason to not attend.
In contrast to the Toronto trustee’s statement, Helena Karabela, a trustee for the nearby Halton Catholic District School Board, told LifeSiteNews that she views CLC as “Canada’s premier political pro-life organization.”
“We need them to evaluate and promote pro-life politicians. I cannot imagine why any pro-life politician in Canada would not value their vital work. CLC is an essential resource for any person of good will to be able to vote their conscience for most political offices in this country,” she added.
Both CLC’s director of communications Pete Baklinski and its director of political operations Jack Fonseca also weighed in on de Domenico’s remarks.
“He opposed a Catholic evangelization event whose mission is to bring souls to Jesus Christ, and at the same time opposed a pro-life organization whose primary goal is to save babies from pre-natal murder,” Fonseca reacted in an email to LifeSiteNews.
“[His statement] tells you all you need to know about trustee de Domenico,” continued Fonseca, adding, “He is thoroughly unfit to be a steward of a faith-based Catholic school board. He should resign in disgrace.”
Baklinski, also via email, told LifeSiteNews that CLC is “not in the least surprised that this school trustee would explicitly state that he ‘would never recommend’ that Catholic students attend a Catholic conference that focuses on educating and motivating young people to be authentically Catholic.”
Both Baklinski and Fonseca highlighted de Domenico’s voting record since being elected trustee for the TCDSB in 2018, particularly his vote in favor of the Catholic board recognizing and celebrating so-called gay “Pride Month” each June.
As mentioned by Fonseca and Baklinski, while de Domenico serves as a Catholic trustee, and CLC is well-known among the faithful as being Canada’s foremost defender of the Church’s pro-life and pro-family teachings, his opposition comes as little surprise to those familiar with his history as a TCDSB member.
In November 2019, de Domenico came under fire by CLC after the pro-life organization accused him of misrepresenting his views in the pre-election questionnaire he had submitted to the group one day before the October 22, 2018, municipal elections.
In the questionnaire, de Domenico had checked “yes” when asked if he was in favor of repealing former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne’s controversial “sex ed” curriculum, and likewise checked “yes” when asked if he was opposed to the “anti-scientific theory of gender identity in schools.”
His answers on the questionnaire had earned him a “green light” rating by CLC, indicating him as a supportable candidate for faithful Catholics.
However, shortly after de Domenico was elected, he began to vote in a manner CLC considered contrary to his questionnaire answers, which led the pro-family group to accuse him of intentionally misleading the public in the follow-up to the election.
Addressing de Domenico’s voting history, Fonseca told LifeSiteNews:
Is it any wonder thousands of children are entering the TCDSB in Kindergarten as baptized Catholics, and exiting the other end in Grade 12 as atheists or agnostics? This type of anti-Catholic leadership is the reason why.
Similarly, Baklinski said:
Trustee Markus de Domenico has proved by his voting record that he does not care in the least that the Toronto Catholic District School Board promotes total fidelity to the faith and moral teachings of the Catholic Church. For instance, he has voted in favor of having Catholic schools celebrate and proclaim June as gay ‘pride month’ and to fly the homosexual ‘pride’ flag. Based on his voting record, he would not be in favor of Catholic students going to an event where they would be empowered to live authentic Catholic lives.
Baklinski also confirmed that, despite de Domenico’s objection, CLC remains “a proud partner of this event.”
“As a pro-life and pro-family organization, we’re happy to support an event that forms young people to be the change our world so desperately needs.”
LifeSiteNews has reached out to de Domenico and the Archdiocese of Toronto for comment but has yet to receive a reply.