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Non-Catholics Trying to Lie Their Way into Teaching at Ontario Catholic Schools

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

TORONTO, May 10, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Despite the fact that persons must prove themselves to be practicing Catholics to be considered for a teaching position within the Catholic school boards of Ontario, several media reports have surfaced saying that some individuals are lying to not only board officials but even to Catholic priests about heir adherence to the faith, in order to land a job.

A Toronto-area woman, who did not want to be identified, told the Canadian Press that she and other teachers who are non-religious are attending Mass every Sunday in hopes of getting a pastoral letter of reference which is a requirement for being hired by a Catholic school board.

"I don't particularly like going (to Mass) every Sunday, but if this is what I have to do, then I'll do it," said the woman. "I just really want to be in a career. I just want it so badly."

She also admitted to having gone to confession and lying to the priest after having read about the sacrament in a catechism book.

Acknowledging a sense of guilt about the deception, the woman nevertheless stated that, "I know what I believe in. I support abortion. I support gay marriage. I'm going through what I have to go through to get a job. I know it sounds bad."

"You feel really helpless," said the teacher. "I thought, why not try this option. It was kind of out of desperation ... not that I think it will work for sure, but it's to have another option."

"I haven't gone for my, um, what do you call it, the bread thing yet…Communion. I'm nervous about it," she added.

Frank McIntyre, a researcher for the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), said the glut of teachers looking for fewer and fewer jobs has left teachers desperate to find work.

According to the OCT, there were 12,200 new teachers in the province in 2009, but only about 5,000 positions.

"What you can see, fairly quickly, is you have twice as many teachers as you do job opportunities and that has been going on for a number of years now," said McIntyre.

"We're getting a backlog of qualified teachers who are not able to get teaching jobs."

A 2009 report from the education advocacy organization People for Education revealed that up to 335 Ontario schools face closure in the next three years because of declining enrolment, which stems from the province's low birth rate.

Plummeting birth rates have already resulted in the closure of over 400 schools in Ontario this decade, and the Ontario Ministry of Education revealed that this year total elementary and secondary school enrollment has dropped by nearly 100,000 students from 2002 numbers.

Statistics Canada has predicted that student enrolment in elementary and secondary schools will drop by 500,000 in the next 10 years.

Tyler Charlebois, a spokesman for the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities told the Canadian Press that the ministry recognizes the problem of too many teachers and too few students, and will begin limiting enrollment in teachers' colleges starting on April 1, 2011.

"We are going to be reducing and limiting teacher-ed spaces by 1,000 spaces," said Charlebois.

John Del Grande, a trustee with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, told the Toronto Star that the Catholic board is "just as strained for new jobs as the public one," but he wouldn’t be surprised to find that people were returning to the faith or converting for the jobs.

“If you look at the pool of teachers, I’m sure there are ones that are Catholics in name only. At the end of the day I hope they are there to teach the kids and live on with the values that the Catholic Church stands behind,” he said.

Angela Kennedy, chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board said she “hasn’t run across” anyone who has converted to Catholicism for the sole purpose of getting a job.

“I haven’t met anybody who is even contemplating doing that,” she told the Star. “In my position, would people tell me that? I’m not exactly the person people would tell.”

Kennedy said converting to Catholicism is a very long process, and elementary teachers must attend all liturgies and be Catholic role models for the students.

"We have an expectation that anyone we're interviewing is Catholic and we're also looking for the pastoral letter," said Gary Poole, the superintendent of human resources for the Toronto board, adding that the interview process carefully and critically examines each applicant.

The right of Catholic school boards to insist that teachers and others who work directly with the children in the separate school system be practicing Catholics, is protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code, a subsection of which states that this right is guaranteed by the Constitution Act of 1867.

This right of Catholic schools to hire Catholic teachers was challenged last September when the Wellington Catholic District School Board had a human rights complaint filed against it because of their policy of only hiring teachers who are active Catholics.

The complaint was filed with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal by Mr. Jesse Lloyd, 36, an out-of-work, non-Catholic teacher, whose application to the board was unsuccessful. Lloyd graduated with a teaching degree in 2006 and had worked short-term contract positions with public boards in Hamilton and Guelph.

When he applied to the Wellington Catholic board in 2006 and was not given an interview he filed his complaint contending that the board's hiring policy was discriminatory.

The Wellington Catholic District School Board's Director of Education Donald Drone responded to the complaint by insisting that the board has a legal right to focus their hiring on active Catholics, and that this is essential to the very purpose of the Catholic school.

"It is the constitutional mandate of Catholic schools to provide Catholic education to Catholic students," Drone stated. "It is critical that teachers who deliver this educational program to its students be Catholic."

Catholic school boards, he said, have the "preferential right to hire Catholic teachers who can fulfill the responsibilities of a teacher in a Catholic school and who are knowledgeable about and committed to the values, goals and obligations of the Catholic school system."


See related LSN articles:

Massive School Closures in Ontario Imminent Due to Low Birth Rate
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09111011.html

300 Schools to Close in Ontario because of Birth Rate Crash
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08042404.html

Catholic School Board Faces Human Rights Complaint for Limiting Teachers to Catholics
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09091113.html

Ontario Catholic School Board Defends Its Right to Focus Hiring on Catholics
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09091604.html

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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