If Pope is right, Ontario Catholic schools have opened the door to the ‘promotion of homosexuality’

Catholic pro-family activists have upheld the fact that there is a just discrimination based on sexual orientation. But this wasn't our idea.
Tue Mar 20, 2012 - 9:09 am EST

March 20, 2012 ( - Since at least January 2010, LifeSite, Campaign Life Coalition, and Catholic pro-family activists have been raising the alarm bells over Ontario’s equity and inclusive education strategy and its danger to the Catholic schools.

Though the strategy clearly involved normalization of homosexual activity – contrary to Catholic teaching – the Catholic schools and their supporters repeatedly clung to language in the government’s documents upholding Catholic schools’ denominational rights.

But the problem that we flagged from the beginning was that the strategy itself implicitly required Catholic schools to hand over their denominational rights.

By signing on, the schools were being made to assent to the Ontario Human Rights Code. The issue specifically was that they were required to oppose discrimination based on “sexual orientation,” one of the categories listed in the Code.

Our concern had nothing to do with disrespect or a dislike of homosexuals, let alone hatred or a desire to deny a person’s inherent dignity. Unjust discrimination against homosexuals – including taunting and name-calling, not to mention violence – is wrong, evil, deplorable.

But we’ve upheld the fact that there is such a thing as just discrimination when it comes to sexual orientation, and that sexual orientation cannot be compared with the Code’s other categories like race or ethnicity, because it is not an immutable characteristic.

This wasn’t our idea.

In fact, it comes from Pope Benedict himself, when, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he headed the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“‘Sexual orientation’ does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder and evokes moral concern,” wrote Cardinal Ratzinger in a crucial document in 1992.

Legally enshrining “sexual orientation” in this way, he continued, “can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights,” and “can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality.”

From the push for gay-straight alliances in the Catholic schools beginning in January 2011 to the lesbian mother in Peterborough currently pushing for the removal of Catholic teaching from a school pamphlet on “homophobia,” events in Ontario over the last two years have certainly proven the then-future Pope right.

Nevertheless, we’ve learned since getting into all of this two years ago that this is a rather controversial document within the Church, perhaps indicated by the fact that it only just appeared on the Vatican’s own website.

But the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger’s teaching remains in force was confirmed on March 9th when the Vatican objected to a push for outlawing discrimination based on “sexual orientation” in a document at the UN.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s envoy to the UN, says including sexual orientation among the categories for non-discrimination amounts to “special rights” for homosexuals. In fact, he warns that the language actually threatens the institution of marriage.

“The Holy See expresses grave concern that, under the guise of ‘protecting’ people from discrimination and violence on the basis of perceived sexual differences, this Council may be running the risk of demeaning the sacred and time-honoured legal institution of marriage between man and woman,” he wrote.

“The rights cited by the High Commissioner are rights that should and must be universally respected and enjoyed; thus efforts to particularize or to develop special rights for special groups of people could easily put at risk the universality of these rights,” he adds.

Every Catholic school board in the province of Ontario now has a policy on the books guaranteeing “special rights” for homosexually-inclined students, in the words of Archbishop Tomasi, thanks in large part to the Ontario bishops’ Institute for Catholic Education.

If Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Tomasi are right, then we can be sure these policies will more and more be used by dissident teachers and the Ontario government to demand - in the then-future Pope’s words – the “protection and promotion of homosexuality.”

Patrick Craine is Canadian Bureau Chief for  He lives with his wife and two children in Nova Scotia.

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