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Members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association march in the WorldPride parade in Toronto on Sunday, June 29, 2014.

TORONTO, April 22, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — The president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) told educators at the union’s Annual General Meeting last month that while he expected confrontation at a meeting of Ontario’s bishops over the decision to march in the WorldPride parade last June, OECTA was instead patted on the back and congratulated for its “valuable” work.

“The tone of the meeting was warm and welcoming,” wrote OECTA’s James Ryan in his president’s report of an October 6 meeting between OECTA and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario during the bishops’ fall plenary.

Continued Ryan: “After the ‘disagreement’ last spring over OECTA’s participation in the June WorldPride Parade, which attracted considerable media and public attention, we expected perhaps a confrontational or acerbic meeting. Instead, many of the bishops seemed particularly interested in finding out what OECTA actually does, our service to members, our role in various organizations and our defense of Catholic education.”

Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that the fact that OECTA expected to be chastised by the bishops for marching in the parade celebrating homosexuality “means they knew they were doing wrong.”

The Catholic teachers’ association, representing the province’s 45,000 Catholic teachers, decided to march in the June 2014 parade in spite of strong criticisms from Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, various Ontario bishops, and the Knights of Columbus.

“They knew they were acting as a counter-witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Fonseca said. “They knew they were undermining the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, and fully expected reprisal from the Bishops, but they did it anyway. And guess what? They got away with it. Instead of punishment from the Bishops, they received a warm greeting and praise for their accomplishments, if we are to believe OECTA's report,” he said.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Cardinal Collins, who heads the ACBO’s Executive Committee, for a response to Ryan’s report, but did not receive a response by press time. LifeSiteNews also reached out to Bishop Ronald Fabbro of London, who is also on the ACBO’s Executive Committee, for comment but did not receive any response.

Ryan called the meeting with the bishops a “very productive effort in building a relationship with the bishops,” mentioning that one bishop “went so far as to say that we all agree on the ‘what’ that needs to be done, just not always on the ‘way.’” He noted how a few days after the meeting, the ACBO’s general secretary Roger Lawler sent a “gracious thank you letter,” writing: “The bishops are grateful for OECTA’s valuable support of Catholic education in Ontario, and look forward to strengthening our relationship with you over the coming months and years.”

Fonseca said that by “letting OECTA get away with marching in the parade, the Bishops have only succeeded in emboldening the union to be even more aggressive in its dismantling of authentic Catholicity in separate schools.”

“What's more disturbing by far is the pathetic response of the General Secretary on behalf of the bishops. Why on earth should the bishops be 'grateful' to OECTA? For attacking Catholic moral teaching, is that why? For confusing children, teachers and parents about what the Catholic Church actually teaches about human sexuality, perhaps that is why? For turning students and teachers against Church doctrine, through its counter-witness and mixed messages, might that be the reason?”

“And what 'support of Catholic education' is there for the Bishops' representative to speak of? One would be more accurate, and more honest, to speak of OECTA's 'support of anti-Catholic, secular ideologies in Ontario's Catholic schools.” And that's nothing to be grateful for,” Fonseca said.

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ACBO General Secretary Roger Lawler makes no efforts to hide that he is a partisan Liberal who publicly supports the Wynne government’s controversial sex-ed program while at the same time strongly criticizing those who are outspoken against it.

Ryan went as far as boasting in his report about OECTA’s involvement in the Pride parade, saying it was part of the organization's commitment to be “very active on the social justice front.”

“Many in the LGBTQ community were moved to tears when close to 100 OECTA members marched in the WorldPride Parade in June 2014, as a show of solidarity with the community,” he wrote.

Ryan also told educators how the homosexual news service Xtra! praised the Catholic teachers for marching, calling them “heroes.” Ryan quoted a portion of Xtra’s report that called the decision to march an “act of faith so loving and non-judgmental that you’d be forgiven for thinking individuals other than those within the Catholic school board did it.”

Fonseca told LifeSiteNews that it’s “high time the Bishops of Ontario stripped OECTA of all responsibility for providing religious formation to teachers.”

“Take back religious education courses for teachers from the union, and have them run directly by the Church, using faithful instructors hand-picked by the Bishops for their known fidelity to Catholic doctrine. The bishops have the legal authority to do this,” he said.

Ryan also mentioned LifeSiteNews in his report, falsely suggesting that the life-and-family news service is part of a coalition whose goal is to “attack” the Ottawa Catholic School Board. He intimated that a possible lawsuit is in the works.

“In the fall, an attack blog appeared for the purposes of going after the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s policies and actions on LGBTQ issues. The ‘group’ (it may only be one person) that claims responsibility for the blog calls itself the ‘Catholic Intelligence Association’ (CIA). The purpose of the website appears to be to bully and intimidate and many Ottawa teachers have called us complaining about the website. The website can be found at: https://catholicintelligenceblog.wordpress.com/. The ‘group’ appears to be tied in with LifeSiteNews, Jonah in the Heart of Nineveh, and Catholic Insight. OECTA is having legal counsel look at the site,” he wrote.

Ryan ended his report with an extensive detailed strategy to “defeat Harper” in the forthcoming federal election.   

Fonseca noticed the irony that while life and family leaders across the country are working to ensure that the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is defeated, “OECTA’s working on electing him… with the help of Catholic votes.”

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ACBO Executive Committee:

His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins (President)
Archbishop of Toronto
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto ON.  M4T 1W2
Phone:  416-934-0606  Fax:  416-934-3452
[email protected]

Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, c.s.b. (Vice-President)
Bishop of  London
1070 Waterloo Street
London, ON.  N6A 3Y2
Phone: 519-433-0658  Fax: 519-433-0011
Email contact form

Most Rev. Gerard Bergie (Councillor)
Bishop of St. Catharines
Catholic Centre – Diocese of St. Catharines
P.O. Box 875
St. Catharines, ON  L2R 6Z4
Phone: 905-684-0154  Fax: 905-684-7551
[email protected]

Most Rev. Marcel Damphousse (Councillor)
Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall
220 Montreal Road
Cornwall, ON  K6H 1B4
Phone: 613-933-1138  Fax: 613-937-4931
[email protected]

All dioceses and bishops in Ontario
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