THUNDER BAY, Ontario, June 4, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a strongly worded letter, Bishop Fred Colli of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has joined Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins in criticizing the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) for its decision to march in Toronto’s WorldPride parade this month.
“I am writing as a very concerned Catholic about the intention of OECTA members marching in the World Pride Parade in Toronto,” wrote Bishop Colli to OECTA president James Ryan, in a letter obtained by LifeSiteNews.
“I believe that this parade promotes a lifestyle that is contrary to the moral teachings of our Catholic Church, and your participation in this parade creates confusion, upset and in some cases much anger, among Catholic parents, teachers and others.”
Bishop Colli not only criticized Mr. Ryan’s leadership, but the entire union.
“I am disappointed in your leadership and the OECTA union as a whole. You have shown poor judgment as the president and have caused the degrading of OECTA and unfortunately, Catholic teachers as a whole.”
“Our Catholic school system and its fine reputation, is harmed by your actions,” the letter concluded.
Bishop Colli was not available for a comment to LifeSiteNews because he is away on a retreat.
OECTA, representing the province’s 45,000 teachers and playing a large role in their professional and spiritual formation, passed a motion in March to organize a delegation for the homosexual activist event.
They called the decision “a visible symbol of solidarity with one of the most marginalized groups in the Catholic community.” The Catholic teachers’ union has a long history as an advocate for the normalization of homosexuality within Catholic schools.
Catholic teaching holds that God created marriage exclusively between a man and woman to bring about a sacred union in which offspring are created and nurtured. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law.”
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An OECTA representative said that they would not be commenting to LifeSiteNews on Bishop Colli’s letter.
Cardinal Thomas Collins criticized OECTA’s decision in April, telling the Catholic Register that it shows the union’s “inadequate and mistaken understanding of their faith.”
York Catholic District School Board passed a motion last month to ask OECTA to change its mind and withdraw from the homosexual event.
The Ontario branch of the Knights of Columbus have also come out criticizing the union’s decision. The organization’s Ontario State Deputy Kevin Daudlin wrote in an email this month to Ontario councils that OECTA must be urged to change its policy.
“We can make the strongest impact and influence their policy with a bottom up approach. It seems the union executive has already decided how they feel. But if enough of the rank and file union members complain then perhaps the union leaders will have to reconsider,” wrote Daudlin in the email obtained by LifeSiteNews.
“This may take time to germinate but it could help for the future. We can contact our local school board and teachers and advise them that we are not in favour of them taking part in the World Pride Parade.”
Daudlin told LifeSiteNews that OECTA should not be supporting an event that includes “a lot of vulgarity” including “nudity.”
“There’s a lot of things going on during that parade that I don’t think most of us would want our families to be subjected to,” Daudlin said. “Why would we want our teacher’s marching in a parade like that?”