TORONTO, Ontario, March 15, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – To promote a controversial equity policy, the Toronto Catholic District School Board is bringing in a leading ‘equity’ trainer who advocates same-sex ‘marriage’ and surrogacy for homosexual families.
The board, which last month voted down amendments to the policy designed to protect Catholic teaching, is hosting a morning symposium March 26th at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School to promote “equity and inclusivity” in the schools. Trustees are expected to pass the policy, which comes as part of the Ontario government’s mandatory and controversial equity and inclusive education strategy, sometime in April.
The symposium is set to be led by Chris D’Souza, one of the government’s key “equity” trainers, who has made it a key point in his presentations to Catholics that “equity” involves accepting the homosexual lifestyle itself.
Trustee John Del Grande, who had proposed the pro-family amendments to the board’s equity policy, said he was concerned about how it would be implemented given the administration’s decision to use D’Souza as an equity trainer.
“If our senior staff … bring in these kinds of speakers who have a public record of being offside with direct Bishop and Catholic teachings, then obviously they must think it’s okay,” he told LifeSiteNews. “That then starts to worry me about principals and teachers throughout our school system.”
D’Souza is the former Equity and Diversity Officer of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board, and currently teaches in the Faculty of Education at York University. He leads the Equity Summit Group and served as a member of the government’s ad hoc committee for developing the equity strategy.
According to superintendent Patrick Keyes, at the symposium D’Souza will “help to contextualize the policy from a Catholic perspective and from the trends occurring across Catholic Schools Boards in the province.”
D’Souza has delivered over 1,400 workshops across Ontario in the last eight years, including presentations to over a dozen Catholic boards.
At a government conference in January, D’Souza told workshop attendees that he is proud gay men can get married in Canada, and that he believes in surrogacy so that homosexual couples can have families.
In a presentation to the Ottawa Catholic school board, he stated that “equity” involves the elimination of “heterosexism,” which he defined as “the assumption that everyone is or should be heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the only normal, natural sexual orientation.”
In the same presentation, D’Souza urged teachers to stay on top of the most current “politically correct” language. “As Educators, You have a moral obligation to engage in politically correct and inclusive language in EVERY conversation you are a part of,” he insists. In this vein, he explains the acronym LGBTQQIAA, listing and defining the appropriate word for each form of homosexuality or homosexualism.
In January, he told the Ottawa Citizen that the public should not confuse Catholic teaching with the mandate of the government-funded Catholic school system. “Just because we’re Catholic doesn’t mean we are anti-homosexual or against the eradication of homophobia,” he told the Citizen. “It’s the right-wing Christian groups and some of the other right-wing fundamentalists whose ideology bleeds over or taints Catholic education systems.”
At a February 15th meeting trustee John Del Grande introduced amendments to ensure equity and inclusion would be implemented “in a manner consistent with the Catholic faith and Catholic moral teaching.” But the board shot down the motion, with claims that the whole policy was already Catholic and that it already included clauses upholding Catholic teaching.
Of particular concern to pro-family groups is the fact that the policy, like all others in the province, recognizes “sexual orientation” as a grounds for non-discrimination. They say this amounts to granting special rights for homosexuals, and have warned that the government is using “equity” and “inclusivity” as Trojan horses to promote acceptance of homosexuality in the schools.
Recognizing “sexual orientation” in this way would also appear to violate a 1992 directive from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which warned that such a recognition “can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality.”
Catholic board administrators in Ontario have claimed the equity strategy upholds Catholic teachings on the basis that the Church promotes respect and dignity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church insists homosexuals be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” and condemns “unjust discrimination” towards them.
However, the Catechism also says homosexual inclinations are “objectively disordered,” calls those with such tendencies to chastity, and condemns homosexual acts as “acts of grave depravity” (2357-2359). Except the now-overturned equity policy from the Halton Catholic school board, no board policy acknowledges this key aspect of Catholic teaching.
Some have claimed that Catholic boards are obligated to implement the government’s equity strategy because the province made it mandatory. However, the Catechism states that citizens are “obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel” (2242).
The Toronto Catholic District School Board’s draft equity policy is available here.
(416) 512-3401 [email protected]
(416) 512-3402 [email protected]
Sal Piccininni (416) 512-3403 [email protected]
Patrizia Bottoni (416) 512-3404 [email protected]
(416) 512-3405 [email protected]
Frank D’Amico (416) 512-3406 [email protected]
John Del Grande (416) 512-3407 [email protected]
Tobias Enverga (416) 512-3408 [email protected]
Jo-Ann Davis (416) 512-3409 [email protected]
Barbara Poplawski (416) 512-3410 [email protected]
Angela Kennedy (416) 512=3411 [email protected]
Nancy Crawford (416) 512-3412 [email protected]
Natalie Rizzo (416) 512-3413 [email protected] (Student trustee)
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