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Kids pulled out of Catholic school after teacher denied Resurrection in class

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By LifeSiteNews.com

NORTH BAY, Ontario, August 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The parents of a grade 12 student in an Ontario Catholic high school whose teacher denied the Resurrection of Christ in the classroom last year have decided to remove their children from the Catholic school board after the Catholic school denied anything inappropriate had occurred. The teacher in question has since quit the Catholic school and moved to the public school board.

Francesca Sinicrope, who has since graduated, told LifeSiteNews in June that her sociology teacher at L’École Secondaire Catholique Algonquin told her class that “people have taken the Bible too literally.”  “He began saying that it was like a metaphor that you follow … He said that Jesus never resurrected,” she explained. 

Francesca’s mother Pauline told LifeSiteNews that the difficult decision to pull her other children from the school came only after she and her husband had exhausted every avenue to obtain assurances that the problem would be resolved. She said the educational leaders and church hierarchy to whom she appealed had provided no response, and given them “no other choice.”

While the principal at the time had said an investigation cleared the teacher of wrongdoing, another classmate corroborated Sinicrope’s account.  “He began talking about how we as Catholics took the understanding of the Resurrection too far,” said Celine Giroux.  “The moral is right, it’s just the story is wrong,” the teacher said, according to Giroux.

The Sinicropes have enrolled their two younger daughters, Marina (going into grade 7) and Sabrina (going into grade 11), in the local public school board where the parents feel their children’s faith will be less at risk.  The move is expected to cost the Catholic board up to $80,000 based on government revenue allocation estimated at up to $10,000 per student, per year.

“The fact that my own Bishop did not respond to our concerns about heresy being taught openly in the classroom, was probably the final straw,” said Mrs. Sinicrope.  “It felt like a punch to the gut.”

The school board trustees also did not respond to her written complaints. After getting no response from these authorities, she wrote to the Papal Nuncio for Canada.

Mrs. Sinicrope said she recognizes that there are potential problems with the public school system, but that at least there her daughters know what to expect and will not have to contend with deciphering or second-guessing whether a religious teaching is faithfully Catholic or whether it is partly “heresy.” In addition, she and her husband feel they are obligated in principle to pull out their daughters as an act of protest and to avoid the risk of scandal.

“We felt that if we left our daughters in the Catholic system, just to save ourselves hassle, we might be sending a message to the Board that Catholic parents aren’t really bothered by the teaching of false doctrines in class ... and that the board can turn a blind eye the next time this sort of problem occurs,” she explained.

Mrs. Sinicrope said she was “disgusted” by the response of the school principal, Mr. Daniel Villeneuve, who has since left the position.

Villeneuve told them in May that their complaint was “thoroughly investigated” and that they found that the teacher’s “beliefs and program delivery are in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church that reviewed many beliefs and practices under Vatican II.”

Several weeks after the Sinicropes finalized their decision to move their daughters, they received a phone call from the high school’s new principal.  He pleaded with Mr. Sinicrope to not remove Marina and Sabrina, explaining that the resurrection-denying teacher had quit and decided to take a teaching job in the public system starting in September.

The Sinicropes say the offer was too little too late. “The new principal still did not admit that any wrong-doing ever occurred,” said Mrs. Sinicrope. “He didn’t tell us the teacher was fired for contradicting Catholic doctrine. That would’ve restored our confidence. Instead we’re told he suddenly quit and now everything’s supposed to be ok. Well, that doesn’t inspire confidence. It just confirms that something is still very wrong in the Catholic system.”

The Sinicropes’ decision comes as school boards across Ontario face a crisis of declining enrolment with large-scale school closures as a result.  Besides pulling their kids out of the Catholic school system, the Sinicropes also redirected their taxes to the public board.

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie or the school after multiple attempts.


Contact Information:

Ecole Secondaire Catholique Algonquin
555 Algonquin Avenue
North Bay, ON
Canada P1B 4W8
Phone: 705-472-8240
Email form: http://www.northbaychamber.com/index.php?module=rolodex&uop=message_member&id=459

Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie
Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe
30 Ste-Anne Road
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada P3C 5E1
Phone: 705-674-2727
Fax: 705-675-9889
Email: [email protected]

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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