Outspoken defender of Catholic education, Bishop Roman Danylak, dies
TORONTO, October 11, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Most Reverend Bishop Roman Danylak of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto passed away on Sunday, October 7, 2012.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops notes that Bishop Danylak was born on December 29, 1930, in Toronto, Ontario, and ordained to the priesthood in Saint Josaphat’s Seminary Chapel in Rome by Archbishop Maxim Hermaniuk, C.Ss.R., on October 13, 1957. Bishop Danylak was ordained to the episcopate in St. Michael’s Cathedral, Toronto, on March 25, 1993.
Bishop Danylak was a true hero of the pro-life movement in Canada and an outspoken promoter of the restoration of Catholic teaching in the Canadian Catholic School system.
Bishop Danylak saw the problems developing in Catholic education many years ago and warned that, despite dedicated teachers and expensive programs, children were not adequately instructed in moral issues, and recognized that much of the blame was due to “gravely flawed” instructional material.
One program the bishop criticized severely is the Ontario Fully Alive “family life” series which Bishop Danylak said “is woefully deficient in its treatment of moral principles.”
“The Fully Alive program is not a program for formation in Christian virtue but a program of imparting sexual knowledge to children,” he said.
The bishop recommended that the program be scrapped in all schools, noting, “The proper authority in the area of family life education should be with the parents.”
Regarding AIDS education, which was mandated in all schools by the Ontario government in 1986, the Bishop commented on both the program current at the time, “Education About Intimacy, Education About AIDS,” and the proposed course entitled “AIDS: A Catholic Educational Approach to HIV.”
Bishop Danylak rejected the current program with its questionable treatment of homosexuality and said that “proper AIDS education does not ignore the frightful nature of HIV in its ultimate origin in illicit sexual intercourse and contact.”
The bishop’s prescient warning almost 15 years ago that “the new AIDS course recommends that PFLAG, a homosexual advocacy group, be invited into the classrooms to talk to our children,” and condemnation of it as “an abomination,” has proven true with the recent mandate forced on Catholic schools to establish “gay-straight alliances” by the Ontario government.
“The best possible AIDS program is to promote chastity and its guardian modesty. To follow the Church’s teaching on chastity would be to eliminate AIDS from the face of the earth,” Bishop Danylak said.
Jim Hughes of Campaign Life Coalition said Bishop Danylak’s commitment to improving education, especially Catholic education, was a core issue that the bishop fought for throughout his life.
“Certainly in terms of the pro-life movement,” Hughes said to LifeSiteNews.com, “Bishop Danylak believed that faith was the centre piece for everything, and that once a strong faith foundation was established, one could reach out from there to work to once again restore the culture of life in Canada.”
“Bishop Danylak was a man who sought the truth,” Hughes observed. “He said that today, though it may be very difficult to find the truth, if we are not seeking the truth we won’t find it, and we have to work very diligently to find and recognize what is the truth.”
“He was a wonderful man and I thank God for the contributions he made over the years,” Hughes concluded.
Bishop Danylak’s funeral took place today at St. Josaphat Cathedral, Toronto.