TORONTO, June 9, 2014 ( – Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins had blunt words on Friday for Ontario’s English Catholic Teachers Association over its participation in the WorldPride parade later this month.

Noting that people with homosexual inclinations should be treated with respect “in harmony with the gospel,” the cardinal told the National Post that OECTA's participation in the event is “inappropriate.”

“I find it very troubling and strange that [OECTA] would choose this particular event as a way of expressing that, when it seems to be going completely against what we believe in many ways,” the cardinal told the National Post. “That’s the point at which I would say, ‘Really? What are you thinking?’”


Cardinal Collins said in April that OECTA's decision to participate showed an “inadequate and mistaken understanding of their faith.”

“OECTA, however, is not the Catholic teachers; it is a union,” he said. “Its competence is limited to collective bargaining, and the services any union provides to its members. When it goes beyond those areas, it can easily go wrong, as it has in the decision of the OECTA delegates to participate in this event.”

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Last week Bishop Fred Colli of Thunder Bay wrote a terse letter to OECTA president James Ryan criticizing not only Ryan’s leadership, but the entire union, for ratifying participation in the parade.

“I am disappointed in your leadership and the OECTA union as a whole. You have shown poor judgment as the president and have caused the degrading of OECTA and unfortunately, Catholic teachers as a whole,” the bishop wrote.

“Our Catholic school system and its fine reputation, is harmed by your actions,” his letter to Ryan concluded.

Bishop Colli also spoke with the National Post, reiterating his position. “Cardinal Collins expressed the sentiments of all the bishops of Ontario indicating that we didn’t think it was proper for the Catholic [teachers’] union to participate in the pride parade,” he said.


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