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TORONTO, March 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Police are investigating a Catholic father over allegations that he committed a “hate” crime for asking a Catholic school board not to recognize “Pride month” or fly the rainbow flag at Catholic schools.
Jody Maillet, a part-time university instructor, told the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s (TCDSB) March 4 meeting that he was “concerned” about a proposal to “recognize or celebrate gay pride month and fly the gay pride flag over our Toronto schools.”
“I oppose this, and I ask that you do as well,” said Maillet at the regular meeting of the “Student Achievement and Well-Being Catholic Education Human Resources” committee where Garry Tanuan is Chair and Teresa Lubinski is Vice-Chair.
“The reason why is simple: Because gay pride is not compatible with the Catholic faith. You have a spiritual and moral duty to ensure a compassionate, caring, and loving Catholic environment at our schools,” the father, who has two children attending a TCDSB school, said.
Maillet went on to quote what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses this with three simple paragraphs. Paragraph 2358 says that we must accept the person with ‘respect, compassion, and sensitivity,’” he said.
PETITION UPDATE (3/22/2021)
Pastor James Coates has been freed!
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the legal counsel which has been representing Pastor Coates, just issued a statement saying that Alberta's Crown Prosecutors have decided to drop all but one charge against Pastor Coates, paving the way for him to be released soon.
This is a great victory, God be praised!
Please READ LifeSiteNews' latest article on this latest and unexpected turn of events for Pastor Coates.
While Pastor Coates will still have to stand trial for the one remaining charge in May, he will at least be free to prepare for the hearings, and to celebrate Easter with his family and congregation.
Thank you for taking part in this campaign advocating for Pastor Coates' release!
Of course, with a trial still pending, he's not out of the woods, yet. But, this is a gigantic step in the right direction.
During his trial, we will keep you updated as to his status and we will continue to support Pastor Coates.
We will also keep fighting to ensure that Canadian people of faith like him are never persecuted for exercising their right to worship freely.
Until the trial finishes, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition in solidarity with Pastor Coates. Thank you!
PETITION UPDATE (2/24/2021) -
There have been two important, recent updates to the ongoing imprisonment of Pastor James Coates in Alberta, Canada.
First, Alberta's Premier, Jason Kenney has spoken out about Pastor Coates' incarceration.
Please READ LifeSiteNews' article about Premier Kenney's intervention, here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/alberta-premier-who-jailed-christian-pastor-claims-he-is-protecting-fundamental-freedoms-of-religion
And second, Pastor Coates' wife addressed a crowd of supporters at the jail in which her husband is being held, saying in part:
"People keep asking us what can you do for us? Open your churches. Open your churches! Take a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ and take a stand for the people! Love them, open the doors, that’s what we need to do right now."
To read about Mrs. Coates visit to see her husband at the Edmonton Remand Center and her full remarks, please CLICK on the following news article from LifeSiteNews: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/wife-of-jailed-candadian-pastor-tells-supporters-the-best-way-to-protest-is-to-open-your-churches
Then, please SIGN and SHARE this important petition. Thank you!
Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church in Alberta, Canada has been ARRESTED for refusing to comply with extreme and likely unconstitutional government Covid regulations that ban people from gathering to worship in their church of choice.
You read that right: Even churches aren’t exempt from Trudeau Liberals’ all-out attack on peoples' freedoms in the wake of this pandemic.
But, Pastor Coates needs to be released immediately, and MPs must take steps to rein-in the extreme Covid regulations which provincial governments are using as an excuse to trample on essential freedoms.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition and STAND WITH PASTOR COATES.
Send a strong message to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Justice Minister Lametti, as well as to all Members of Parliament and to Canadian Provincial Premiers, that this CANNOT stand.
Some government officials are hoping to make examples out of faith leaders like Pastor Coates, who refuse to comply with unreasonable government demands to close-off places of worship to their own congregations.
That's why he remains in custody to this day.
But, no Canadian should ever face jail time for exercising their God-given, Charter-guaranteed rights, and action MUST be taken.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition.
NB: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE FROM CANADA TO SIGN THIS PETITION.
Pastor Coates, who leads Grace Life Church in Edmonton, Alberta, originally suspended in-person services and church gatherings in good faith and out of concern for his congregants after Trudeau’s government first introduced Covid restrictions last spring.
However, the church reopened over the summer when it became clear that Trudeau’s shutdowns were here to stay, and that congregants would be indefinitely limited in their worship size or again banned from in-person worship altogether under their guidelines.
After Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, enacted new restrictions in November that cap all faith-based gatherings at 15% of building capacity (a major blow to churches that wish to resume worship for their members), Pastor Coates kept Grace Life’s doors open to anyone and everyone who wished to proceed with normal practice of their faith.
However, this simple exercising of congregants’ Charter rights was met not only with governmental resistance, but an unreasonably disproportionate legal response.
Pastor Coates was arrested and then quickly released on February 7th for practicing his faith alongside congregants, and arrested AGAIN on February 16th for the same reason.
Pastor Coates remains in custody today for refusing to allow Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his health officer Deena Hinshaw to infringe upon his congregants’ civil liberties any further.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which calls for the release of Pastor Coates, and asks Canada's MPs to take action to ensure that Canadian people of faith, like him, are NEVER persecuted for exercising their right to worship freely.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Alberta govt jails pastor for holding COVID-non-compliant worship services' -
“This is true of course. I’ve seen this section used by lobbyists without quoting its sister paragraphs, 2357 and 2359,” he added.
In paragraph 2357, the Catechism calls homosexual acts “intrinsically disordered,” adding that “under no circumstances can they be approved.”
Maillet told the board that groups who support such relationships have no place in Catholic schools.
“Groups that promote gay pride month and fly the gay pride flag by their nature support these relationships. Sending up gay pride flags and recognizing gay pride month are a sign that their message holds a place in our schools and that their message is not to be contradicted. Flags are flown by those who hold control. Sending signals that support gay pride messages is contrary to the teachings of the Church and have no place in our schools,” he said.
He went on to tell the board that paragraph 2359 of the Catechism “points the way” for how Catholic schools should care for students who experience same-sex attraction.
“Chastity, self-mastery, prayer, and sacramental grace – basically the Eucharist and going to confession,” Maillet said.
“What we don’t want to do is send a student to groups or organizations that lead away from the teachings of Christ and his Church. If something is against Church teaching, that means souls are at risk,” he added.
Maillet concluded his presentation by quoting Jesus’ warning in the Gospel of Matthew to adults who scandalize children, causing them to fall.
“The words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 18 verse 6 is a reminder for each one of us: ‘If anyone of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depths of the sea.’”
A day after the meeting, pro-LGBT YouTube channel Dignity Lighthouse clipped Maillet speech and posted it on the video sharing platform.
LGBT activists and allies immediately started an online campaign against Maillet, accusing him of “homophobia.” Social media messages on Twitter reveal that they reached out to the police and asked for an investigation.
Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu of the Toronto Police Service confirmed to LifeSiteNews that an investigation is underway.
“The Hate Crime Unit is working with the divisional investigator to determine whether or not the comments made during the meeting would constitute hate propaganda charges,” Sidhu said.
“This is currently an active investigation. The identity of the person who is alleged to have made comments has not been confirmed by TPS [Toronto Police Service], as [sic] this time,” she added.
Jack Fonseca, director of political operations at Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life and pro-family organization, said it was “absolutely outrageous that this faithful Catholic father is being investigated by police for quoting the words of Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible.”
“It's truly unbelievable,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Is it now considered illegal and ‘hate speech’ to say aloud the words of Jesus Christ, and to quote from the Bible? Of course it is not. The police who agreed to investigate Jody are the ones who need to be investigated, not only for lack of knowledge of the law, but potentially, for colluding with militant gay-activists in a harassment and hate campaign against a law-abiding citizen exercising his constitutional right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”
“We cannot stand for police acting as thugs to carry out the hateful agenda of a political-activist lobby group,” he added.
LGBT activists and allies also reached out to places where Maillet works to make them aware of what Maillet had said at the meeting.
McMaster University, where Maillet works part time as a co-instructor, released a statement on March 5 distancing themselves from Maillet.
“McMaster University Continuing Education has been made aware of a statement made by one of our instructors at a recent Toronto Catholic District School Board meeting. The views of this instructor do not align with our values and the inclusive environment we strive to provide for our students, staff, faculty and community inside and outside of the classroom,” the university stated on Twitter.
It remains unclear if McMaster has canceled any existing contracts with Maillet.
Toronto City Councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam accused Maillet on Twitter of calling for LGBT allies to be “killed.”
“Yesterday this person spoke against rainbow flags in @TCDSB schools during Pride. If that doesn't get you, he ends his deputation by saying #LGBTQ2S allies should be killed by drowning. This is right before the Trustees vote,” she wrote in a March 4 tweet.
Fonseca pointed out, however, that there's “absolutely nothing over the top nor inappropriate in Maillet’s comments.”
“His recitation of Christ's millstone warning for those who cause children to stumble was clearly a spiritual warning to the elected Catholic School Trustees to whom he was speaking, whose role is to pass on the Catholic faith to the next generation. Those words could easily have rolled off the lips of a Catholic priest, Bishop or catechist,” he said.
“To learn that dishonest gay activists and left-wing City Councillors are misrepresenting Maillet’s scriptural reference as a ‘death threat’ to homosexuals is more than ludicrous. It's shameful, disgraceful, a lie and total slander,” he added. “This faithful, soft-spoken father said nothing wrong.”
Fonseca said the dad deserves the praise of school trustees and the church hierarchy for “eloquently and accurately stating Church teaching in a very compassionate way.”
“Maillet is being persecuted for his Catholic religious beliefs. What has happened to him is anti-Christian bigotry and hate of the most vile form. The lies being told about him are very serious. He needs to lawyer up and start suing everybody. What the lying City Councillors accused him of has opened them and the City up to a libel suit in the category of Nick Sandeman vs. CNN. Jody needs to sue those Councillors and the City for millions of dollars for making up these vile and dangerous lies about him. He should also sue any other activist, trustee or group that repeats those lies,” he said.
A number of TCDSB trustees also revealed on Twitter their disdain for Maillet’s presentation.
“There are consequences for those who spread hatred & profess to be Catholic-you know who you are. Some feel holier than Pope and want to make us feel like lesser Catholics. I stand with Pope: God created us all in his image,” Trustee Maria Rizzo, Ward 5, tweeted March 6.
Rizzo tweeted hours later that “No one should use bible as a weapon to advance their fundamentalist views to spread hatred at 2SLGBTQ+ students and smilies [sic].”
Trustee Markus de Domenico also weighed in on Twitter on March 6, indirectly accusing Maillet of “hate and bigotry.”
“I take hope knowing the vast majority of Catholics are loving, accepting people who believe in the teachings of Christ. We do not support hate and bigotry. We do not use the bible as a vile weapon against others. I stand with the Pope: God created us all in His image,” he wrote.
Fonseca commented that the persecution Maillet is now facing for stating Catholic moral teaching reveals that a culture of “gay supremacy” has infiltrated many institutions.
“The ugly, vindictive, hate-filled actions of the gay lobby against this loving and respectful Catholic father demonstrates a serious problem that has become systemic throughout society. It is fashionable to speak of ‘systemic racism’ these days and whip up fears of white supremacy, as if there's more than a handful of guys in the whole country who truly fit that label. However, the real problem in society now which this situation drives home, is one of gay supremacy. The gay lobby has become so powerful that it is imposing a regime of gay supremacy on all our institutions,” he said.
“What do we hear about this gentle, respectful Catholic father? Fire him from his college contract! Don't allow him to earn a living! Sic the police on him to harass and persecute him! Incite the newspapers to vilify him publicly for his religious beliefs. The gay supremacy we're witnessing is dangerous to our civil liberties and constitutional freedoms. It threatens to ghettoize Christians, take away their right to work, their right to freedom of religion and their free speech. Enough is enough, and all people of good will, including gays of goodwill, must speak out against the new anti-Christian pogrom,” he added.