By John-Henry Westen

TORONTO, March 14, 2006 ( – The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) has distinguished itself for many years as being anything but Catholic.ÂThe organization’s annual general meeting which took place over the weekend, ending yesterday, was no exception to the anti-Catholic trend.

In previous years the organization has proposed a resolution backing homosexual ‘marriage’ ( ), and even proposed to intervene on behalf of a male high school student who was suing his Catholic school to be permitted to bring his homosexual ‘boyfriend’ to the school prom ( ).

At the opening of the OECTA AGM on Friday, attendees heard a keynote address from well-known anti-Catholic activist Joanna Manning. Manning, who supports Catholics for a Free Choice and penned the book ‘Is the Pope Catholic’, has specialized in attacking the Catholic Church particularly in areas of sexual morality.Â

Manning didn’t disappoint her fans in her OECTA address. She went so far as to associate Christianity with radical Islam saying: “Religious fundamentalism in both Islam and Christianity threatens to plunge the world into a new age of war.”

In a speech devoted mainly to praising the controversial book, the Da Vinci Code, Manning included her usual rant against all things orthodox.“But the Christian religious right, Catholic papal fundamentalists, who believe in a rigidly hierarchical structure of the church and unquestioning obedience to the Pope and Protestant biblical fundamentalists, who extrapolate certain passages from the Bible and interpret them literally without any consideration of their context, are drawing closer to each other,” she warned.“The Protestant and Catholic Right in the US have forged a new alliance because they discovered common ground over issues like gay rights, abstinence only sex education, women’s equality, Christian exclusivism, individual family values, free market capitalism and contempt for creation-centered environmental values.”

She concluded the point saying, “But all that this Religious Right stand for is diametrically opposed to the way that I have seen and experienced Christianity and where I see it must develop today is to be true to the message of Jesus Christ.” (the full address is available here: )

Neil MacCarthy, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of Toronto, disagreed.“The true message of Jesus Christ is alive in faith filled Catholics across the Archdiocese of Toronto and beyond who humbly and quietly are following in the footsteps of Christ,” McCarthy told “These women and men are examples of faith in action – those who serve the church in ministry, through charitable acts, prayer and evangelization are the pulse of our faith.” He added: “Ours is not an alliance of groups belonging to the ‘Religious Right’ but rather a coalition of believers following Christ’s example to love and serve faithfully.”

Commenting on Manning and her being highlighted at the OECTA meeting McCarthy said, “The comments made by Joanna Manning represent her personal opinions. We have seen in the past that her views have clearly differed from those of the church. You would have to ask OECTA about their own thought process in inviting her to speak and the context in which it was presented to its members.”

Beyond Manning’s rhetoric, the same OECTA Human Rights Committee which proposed backing homosexual ‘marriage’ in 2004, is still pushing the homosexual agenda in Catholic schools. The committee proposed a resolution reading “That the Association work to provide an inclusive learning and working environment for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered and two-spirited students and teachers.”

  OECTA has been allowed toÂretain its Catholic name despite decades of very active opposition to the Church on many doctrinal matters and the wealthy and powerful union’sÂagressive promotion of its views to teachers and the province’s Catholic students. Despite all this, the province’s Catholic bishops have not threatened toÂremove the “Catholic” designation, which is theirs to grant or withdraw, and have had very little influence on their teachers’ association. The Catholic New Times, a strongly dissident newspaper supported by OECTA and distributed in many Catholic schools and parishes,Âis also still allowed to retain its “Catholic” name and isÂallowed by the bishops to be distributed in all but one Ontario diocese.

To express concerns:
  OECTA President Donna Marie Kennedy:
[email protected]

Ontario Conference of Catholic BishopsÂ
10 St. Mary St., Suite 800
  Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1P9
  Phone: (416) 923-1423Fax: (416) 923-1509

General Secretary
Thomas J. Reilly
  Email: [email protected]

Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association
P.O. Box 2064,
  Suite 1804, 20 Eglinton Avenue West,
  Toronto, ON
  M4R 1K8
Tel: 416-932-9460
  Fax: 416-932-9459
Email: [email protected]

See also: Ontario Catholic Teachers’ Union Website Promotes Bizarre Guelph Sexuality Conference

Analysis Finds Canadian ‘Catholic New Times’ Newspaper Anything But ‘Catholic’