Patrick Craine


Ontario Catholic school survey says being ‘against homosexuality’ is ‘extremely homophobic’

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine

LONDON, Ontario, May 1, 2013 ( – A Catholic high school in London is under fire after distributing a survey to students that says being “against homosexuality” is “extremely homophobic.” obtained a copy of the “attitudes” survey, which was handed out last week at Regina Mundi Catholic College, from a parent who was outraged that such a survey would be given to her child at a Catholic school and without her permission.

“Not only were my parental rights, religious beliefs and moral values infringed upon, this ‘Attitude Survey’ was inappropriate for the students,” said the mother, who wished to remain anonymous. “It was not ethical to provide a survey to all staff and students without first thoroughly checking for suitability through all channels.”

A copy of the survey can be downloaded here.

A representative of the London District Catholic School Board says the survey was spearheaded by a student-led group that formed in response to Bill 13, the Ontario Liberals’ controversial “anti-bullying” legislation.

The mother says she was given the survey by her child, who is in grade 12 at the school but who believes it was distributed to classes throughout the school after hearing grade 10 students discussing it in the hallway.

The survey presents students with a series of leading statements on homosexuality that appear designed to prompt students to question Catholic sexual teaching. Students are asked to check off whether they “agree” or “disagree” with the statements. 

Examples of the statements include: I think homosexuality is abnormal (i.e. against the laws of nature); I think homosexual people should have the same civil rights as heterosexual people (i.e. spousal benefits); I think homosexual couples can be good parents; People who are extremely homophobic (against homosexuality) are insecure of their own sexual orientation; Love between people is what matters, not whether you are gay or 'straight'; I believe that homosexual people deserve the same respect and love that all humans do."

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The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and the inclination to homosexuality is “objectively disordered,” even though it is not sinful until acted upon. The Catechism also urges that people who are same-sex attracted be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” and condemns unjust discrimination against them.

News of the survey comes amidst heightened concern among faithful Catholics that Ontario’s Catholic school system is opening its doors to homosexual activism. After last year’s passage of Bill 13, the Liberals’ controversial “anti-bullying” bill, Catholic school boards across the province have launched gay-straight alliance clubs under the guise of a “safe school” agenda.

Tamara Nugent, a superintendent acting as spokeswoman for the school board, said the survey was vetted by the principal, but not the school board, and came as a result of Bill 13 and the bill’s provision mandating that schools allow student-led homosexual clubs.

“This survey was actually an extension of that by a student-led group,” she said. “It was in response to some of the issues that were surfacing in the schools relative to how students were engaging one another, and the type of language they were using, just the very fact that they were not respectful interactions.”

She said the schools conduct frequent climate surveys, and this one was part of that initiative. “Really we’re looking at the sociology of what is actually happening, and then the next step will then be to deal with the morality, which is what ought to be happening,” she explained. “We are at all times guided by our faith. I mean this is really about the fundamental Catholic social teaching, which is rooted in the respect and dignity for all people. So it’s in order to create safe, welcoming, inclusive school environments.”

“That’s really what this is in response to, and connected to a larger initiative in our board which is about the theme of belonging,” she added.

The survey was intended to help the student-led group, working with teachers, to “better understand what are the attitudes and beliefs in our school communities so that they could more carefully structure their awareness activities and response in our school community,” said Nugent.

When LifeSiteNews questioned Nugent on the labeling of Catholic teaching as “extremely homophobic,” she said it was only “an initial survey.”

Staff advisors have a high level of responsibility to ensure that our young people are educated in the Catechism and understand the Catechism,” she said. “I can appreciate what you’re saying about the wording of the survey. Is it ideal? Perhaps not.”

“We would never be doing something contrary to our Catholic teaching. Our work with our students at all times is rooted in the Gospel and Church teaching,” she said.

However, she admitted in response to a question about the seemingly leading nature of the questions on the survey that, “ideally … the survey may have been worded differently,” but again affirmed its intent to gather information on student opinion.

Nugent indicated there was no plan to inform students about the problems with the survey, but said students are taught in the school curriculum about Catholic doctrine on the immorality of homosexuality. She also suggested there would be clarity about the Church’s moral teaching within the student-led group, but was not specific about how that would occur.

The mother said the survey had nothing to do with bullying or the safety of schools. Instead, she said, it “contained homosexualist propaganda wording intended to influence the student's personally-held beliefs and attitudes while labelling any religious beliefs or moral opposition to homosexuality as homophobic.”

“After reading and answering the questions, one would be easily led to believe there was only one right answer for each question,” she said.

She also offered a warning to other Catholic parents. “This ‘Attitude Survey’ could be distributed at your child's Catholic school without your knowledge or permission, despite the age and grade level of your children,” she said. contacted the Diocese of London but did not hear back by press time.


Most Rev. Ronald Peter Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London 
Tel: (519) 433-0658 #224
Fax: (519) 266-4353
E-mail: [email protected]

Find contact information for London Catholic District School Board trustees here.

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Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

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By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

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By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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