Patrick Craine

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Toronto Catholic school board superintendent under fire for comments on homosexuality

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine

TORONTO, Ontario, June 28, 2011 ( – The superintendent in charge of “equity and inclusion” at the Toronto Catholic school board, who has come under fire from Catholic parents and ratepayers after appearing to ridicule Catholic teaching on homosexuality, says his comments were “taken out of context.”

The school board did not respond to a direct question about whether superintendent Keyes agrees with the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are gravely depraved and the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered,” as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In an interview with Xtra, Canada’s top gay magazine, on June 22, Patrick Keyes appeared to ridicule an amendment that would have required the Catechism of the Catholic Church to be referenced whenever homosexuality is discussed.  “[The amendment] stated that every time a teacher spoke about homosexuality they had to also say to students, ‘By the way, you’re intrinsically disordered,’” he said.

“For some people, [homosexuality] represents some sort of hedonism, a terrible hedonistic view of life. That’s what the opposition is to this,” he said.

“Not all gay people are the same.  That’s like imagining Paris Hilton is the poster child for heterosexualism,” he added.  “There’s great diversity among all of us … I’m listening to some people and I’m thinking, ‘How can you believe God is love if that’s what they’re saying to other people?’ Some people really feel the souls of their children will be in danger.”

The Toronto Catholic District School Board turned down a request for an interview by, to clarify Keyes’ interview with Xtra.

In a statement, the school board told LifeSiteNews that Keyes’ comments were “taken out of context.”

They said the quote, “By the way, you’re intrinsically disordered,” was “a factious remark to the reporter suggesting that would not be how a teacher would respond.”

“Mr Keyes, detailed to the reporter that students are not singled out, but rather a compassionate, respectful and sensitive approach is undertaken,” they said.  “Mr Keyes also delineated the difference between an inclination and an action, and between a person and their conduct.”

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Xtra by press time.

Keyes’ comments, as quoted in Xtra, were criticized by Alan Yoshioka of Reclaim the Rainbow Toronto at a board meeting June 23, and then subsequently in a press release by the Ontario Catholic Parents’ Association.

Yoshioka called the quotes “doctrinally inaccurate” and “grossly callous,” and said they would “without a doubt … wound students who experience same-sex attraction.”

“The Catechism calls no person intrinsically disordered. Not one,” insisted Yoshioka.  “For young people struggling with deep shame, this may be hard to truly accept. But in our deepest essence, every one of us is created in the image and likeness of God, beloved by God.”

“It is a widespread and persistent misunderstanding on the part of the gay and lesbian communities, duly reflected by Xtra! this week, to imagine that the Church says to members of these communities, ‘You are intrinsically disordered,’” Yoshioka explained.  “The Catechism is quite precise. At paragraph 2357 it says, ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ An act is not a person. At paragraph 2358 it says the homosexual inclination ‘is objectively disordered.’ An inclination is not a person either.”

The Ontario Catholic Parents’ Association called for Keyes to apologize to parents, saying they were insulted at the implication that it is over the top to worry that the souls of their children will be in danger.

“I cannot envision any Catholic teacher ever saying what Keyes imagined,” said Teresa Pierre, spokesman for the OCPA.  “This is a caricature of what the Catechism teaches, and it is unacceptable to find it attributed to an administrative officer charged with handling the Church’s doctrines in a respectful manner.”

The OCPA called on Mr. Keyes and the TCDSB to issue a statement clarifying Keyes` support for the teaching of Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in the schools.

Contact Information:

Most Rev. Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto (ON) M4T 1W2
Tel: (416) 934-3400 #609
Fax: (416) 934-3452
E-mail: [email protected]

Most Rev. John A. Boissonneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
55 Shaver Avenue South
Etobicoke (ON) M9B 3T3
Tel: (416) 207-4983
Fax: (416) 207-4984
E-mail: [email protected]

Most Rev. William Terrence McGrattan, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto (ON) M4T 1W2
Tel: (416) 934-3400 #507
Fax: (416) 934-3445
E-mail: [email protected]

Most Rev. Vincent Nguyen, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto (ON) M4T 1W2
Tel: (416) 934-0606
Fax: (416) 934-3433
E-mail: [email protected]

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Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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