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Cardinal Thomas Collins, archbishop of Toronto, speaks on Parliament Hill at the 2013 National March for Life. Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews
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Toronto cardinal must prevent LGBT agenda infiltrating Catholic schools: Petition

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TORONTO, October 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Campaign Life Coalition of Canada is calling on parents to sign a petition to Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto to urge the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) trustees to oppose adding “Gender Identity” and “Gender Expression” to the board's Code of Conduct.

According to Campaign Life Coalition, the leading Canadian pro-life organization, TCDSB trustees are being pressured to abandon the doctrine of the Catholic faith and biblical teachings and vote for including transgender ideology into the board’s Code of Conduct at an upcoming board meeting. The petition implores Cardinal Collins to make a public statement rejecting any motion by TCDSB to add transgender concepts to the schools’ Code of Conduct.

The petition reminds Cardinal Collins: “These ideological theories are incompatible with Christian anthropology of the human person and can never be accepted by Catholics, much less by an official arm of the Catholic Church like the TCDSB.” According to the Campaign, “[g]ender theory teaches a total rejection of our human nature as male and female, and proposes that gender is fluid, it can change.” It goes on to say: “Transsexualism and transgenderism are immoral lifestyles and behaviors. They represent a rebellion against God, and a rejection of the bodies our Creator gave us as a pure gift. The theories of gender identity and gender expression are totally against Catholic teaching, and these lifestyles cannot be affirmed under any circumstances.”

Nearly 1,000 parents have signed the petition.

The deliberation over including transgender concepts in Toronto’s Catholic school system comes despite the clearly stated teachings found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and papal statements. For example, Pope Francis has condemned gender philosophy as “demonic” and “terrible.” In 2015, for example, the pope said, “Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion[.] ... So the family is under attack.” He also said that year, "This is ideological colonization ... the dictators of the last century did the same. They came with their own doctrine. Think of ... the Hitler Youth."

Catholic schools in Canada are publicly -funded, and Toronto’s Catholic school district is the largest publicly funded Catholic system in the world. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has called on the Catholic schools to abandon Catholic doctrine and bow to transgender demands.

Paulo De Buono, a teacher at TCDSB, called on the district to update its policies to put them in line with the Ontario Human Rights Code. Since March, TCDSB has deliberated on whether to include gender identity, gender expression, marital status, and family status as protected classes in its non-discrimination policies. According to The Globe and Mail, De Buono said that the LGBT terms in the law should be mirrored in TCDSB policy. De Buono said, “As a Catholic teacher, my religious and professional response is to choose inclusion and not exclusion.”

At a board meeting in May, TCDSB chairperson Maria Rizzo said that the district should follow provincial policy and include the LGBT terms in its code, adding that the board is a law-abiding organization that will abide by the law. According to The Globe and Mail, she said, “It’s the law. We are an inclusive organization and it should be included and I don’t have any empathy or sympathy for those who think they are holier than the Pope.”

Many LGBT campaigners and some Catholics have seized upon ambiguous statements made by Pope Francis with regard to homosexuality. His statement during a press conference onboard the papal jet in 2013, “Who am I to judge?,” when asked for his response about homosexual priests, was largely understood in the sense that he would not judge them for their sexual orientation. He later tried to walk back those remarks, stating that he was paraphrasing the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its teachings about God’s mercy.

Adding the terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Catholic schools’ Code of Conduct, for example, would mean that students and parents, teachers and staff, and volunteers “must respect” LGBT ideology. Campaign Life Coalition issued a statement that this could mean that Catholic schools would be required to employ transvestite teachers and staff or allow crossdressing students. In a statement, the group declared that “no genuine Catholic institution could permit such a scandal to exist.” The application of the proposed code would allow boys to wear dresses and female cosmetics, teachers who have had surgery to make themselves look like members of the opposite sex, and the use of the multiplicity of transgender pronouns. Parents, students, and faculty who object to transgenderism could thus be found in violation of the Code. According to a statement from Campaign Life Coalition, “[t]hese perversions are — and must continue to be — an impossibility within the walls of Catholic schools if the TCDSB is to remain fully Christian.”

Transsexualism and transgenderism are immoral lifestyles and behaviors. They represent a rebellion against God, and a rejection of the bodies our Creator gave us as a pure gift. The theories of gender identity and gender expression are totally against Catholic teaching, and these lifestyles cannot be affirmed under any circumstances. These unscientific theories directly attack the image of God in creation. (Gen 1:27)

Campaign Life Coalition is hoping  Cardinal Collins will speak out and oppose LGBT demands for the Toronto school district. Apart from the age-old teachings of the Church about sexuality and the value of human life, the organization is trusting that the government of Ontario and the OHRC have no power under Canadian law to actually force the TCDSB to abandon the Catholic identity of its schools. According to the group, Section 93 of The Constitution Act of 1867 guarantees that Catholic schools have absolute power to reject any law, regulation, or government directive that adversely affects the content of faith and morals taught in those schools. In addition, it cited Section 29 of the Charter of Rights & Freedoms and two decisions by Canada’s Supreme Court guaranteeing the immunity of the rights of Catholic schools from a Charter challenge.

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