Teacher to trustees: Ontario equity strategy ‘rejects Catholic teaching on same-sex attractions’
TORONTO, Ontario, June 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Ontario government’s controversial equity and inclusive education strategy “adds nothing to Catholic teaching,” which upholds the dignity of all persons as made in the image and likeness of God, “except to reject [Catholic] teaching about same-sex attractions,” pronounced a retired Catholic teacher at last Thursday’s Toronto Catholic District School Board meeting. (see video)
Joining over 150 parents to urge that the board’s equity policy be faithful to Catholic teaching, Lou Iacobelli urged the board’s trustees to pass the eight amendments put before them.
Four of those amendments passed and the others have been delayed to August. The school board informed LifeSiteNews late Wednesday that the special board meeting this Thursday will not take up the amendments as expected.
“As Catholic trustees it is the very freedom to practice our faith in all matters that you must protect tonight,” said Iacobelli, who noted that he and his wife together have taught in the board for a total of 65 years. “You are accountable to Catholic parents who have entrusted you to protect the Catholic faith for the community and their sons and daughters.”
The board’s equity policy has sparked an unprecedented mobilization of parents who fear that it will give homosexual activists a foothold in order to further subvert already weak Catholic sexual teaching in the schools. Last month, parents submitted a petition signed by 2,418 Catholic stakeholders demanding the equity policy be rejected or amended. At the Thursday, June 16 meeting an additional petition signed by over 1,000 Chinese Catholic parishioners from the Toronto Chinese Catholic Task Force.
“Let’s be clear. The aim of the Equity Education Strategy is to make same-sex attractions normal, accepted, encouraged and celebrated,” Iacobelli insisted. “[It] is a way of normalizing the idea that human life and sexuality are merely human constructs, with the ultimate judge being those appointed to the [Ontario Human Rights Commission].”
“But the Catholic Church teaches that, like faith, life too is a gift from God and no amount of social engineering and re-labeling can change that,” he continued. “Catholics schools should not be forced to accept a policy that overrules the teaching of the Catechism on human sexuality and same-sex attractions.”
He emphasized that Canada’s constitution grants Ontario’s Catholic schools the right to impart authentic Catholic teaching, and so neither the provincial government nor school board administrators can force them to contradict Catholic teaching.
Noting that the trustees passed the equity policy last month, he said, “the question now is whether you are going to let a secular government completely remove from our schools the very faith and the reason for their existence.”
Iacobelli received an extended standing ovation from Catholic stakeholders at the end of his presentation. (see 4:50 to end of video)
** See the full text of Lou Iacobelli’s talk.**
To register for the Toronto Pro-Life Forum, which will discuss the homosexual equity policy being imposed on Ontario’s schools, click here.