Peter Baklinski

‘Stop partnership scandals’, outraged parents tell Ottawa Catholic School Board in meeting

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski

OTTAWA, Ontario, 24 January, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A hundred or more parents packed the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) office Tuesday night to demand that the board stop approving student trips and events that partner with organizations that are hostile toward the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.

“In a nutshell, we were there to ask the School Board to strengthen existing policies related to school partnerships in light of the scandals that have befallen the school over the last four months,” said Andy Pocrnic, a concerned father who made a presentation at Tuesday night’s meeting, to LifeSiteNews.

Parents expressed their dismay to the board over a number of recent school trips, events, and activities that contained elements that conflicted with Catholic values.

The first incident brought to the board’s attention consisted of two high schools planning a civics trip to campaign for President Obama last October. Parents at the time expressed outrage over the idea of Catholic students campaigning for the “most pro-abortion president we’ve had.” The trip was subsequently canceled.

The second incident was the visit of Justin Trudeau to St. Clare Elementary school during an ‘anti-bullying’ week in November. Trudeau’s appearances at Catholic schools have been a source of controversy due to his positions on social issues. Trudeau, a well-known supporter of same-sex ‘marriage’ and abortion, has openly acknowledged that his views are contrary to Catholic teaching. In a 2009 interview with CBC he said that “as a politician” he has “political positions on gay marriage and on abortion that don’t at all resemble those of the Catholic Church.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

The third incident that parents brought to the board’s attention is an upcoming ‘social justice’ trip to El Salvador. Students from three different high schools will meet with groups that publicly advocate for legalized abortion, legalized prostitution, the promotion of contraception, and the right to adoption for lesbian couples.

The fourth incident brought forward by parents involves a co-op placement of a St. Paul's high school student with a homosexual activist organization called Jer's Vision. The organization promotes the normalization of homosexuality and partners with the pro-abortion group Canadians for Choice, as well as with pro-prostitution groups such as Maggie's Sex Work and Sexapalooza.

Parents as First Educators (PAFE), the organizers of the meeting, demanded during the meeting that the board make changes to its policy on board partners.

“We would like the policy to be explicit that board partners may not publicly undermine the goals of Catholic education,” PAFE told the board.

“The scandals mentioned have not all come from one teacher, or even one school,” PAFE said. “Rather each involved a different group of individuals and schools, illustrating the failure of existing board policies to prevent these occurrences from happening.”

“Each scandal has contributed in its own way to the public perception of a weakening of our board’s Catholic identity, sowed confusion in the minds of our students and demoralized parents.”

Brian Lilley of SunTV attended the meeting and criticized the board for being unwilling to admit negligence regarding its approval of the civics trip to assist Obama's campaign in Ohio. Lilley presented evidence that the board was well aware of the purpose of the trip, despite its repeated denials that it had anything to do with supporting Obama.

Lilley pointed out during his presentation that the board’s actions have lessened parental confidence in the board's accountability and have called into question its transparency with information.

At the end of the meeting, board trustees offered no comments and had no questions for the presenters.

“They sat in silence and listened,” wrote Suzanne Fortin, a mother and pro-life activist from Ottawa who attend the meeting, in an email to LifeSiteNews. “I think they might have been a bit afraid to spark conflict.”

Despite the Board’s silence, Fortin hopes that the meeting accomplishes “something useful”.

“The question is: will trustees respond positively,” she said.


Contact info:

Julian Hanlon
Director of Education and Secretary Treasurer, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Phone: 613-224-4455 ext 2272
Fax: 613-228-4158
Email: [email protected]

Mark D. Mullan
Chairman, Ottawa Catholic School Board of Trustees
Phone: 613-841-4836
Fax: 613-841-8693
Email: [email protected]

FREE pro-life news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:


Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

,

Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
Image
Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

Advertisement
Featured Image
Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

, ,

Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

The Editors
By

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, ,

Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook