Yukon Education Minister orders Catholic bishop to remove policy on same-sex attracted students
WHITEHORSE, Yukon, 13 March, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Yukon Catholic bishop has reportedly complied with a government order that his diocesan policy on ministry to students with same-sex attraction be deleted from a Catholic school’s website after one student complained that the document was demeaning. At the same time, the bishop said that the policy will remain in effect.
"If people are asking the Church to change its teaching, that's not going to happen,” said Whitehorse Bishop Gary Gordon.
Education minister Scott Kent told the CBC that he ordered the document to be immediately removed from Vanier Catholic Secondary School’s website since it did not meet his department's requirements.
But Bishop Gordon, who also serves as religious education director for all Catholic secondary schools in the diocese, told the CBC that the education department approved the policy last spring. “It was vetted by the Department of Education, the policy people,” he said.
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The policy, quoting The Catechism of the Catholic Church, states that “homosexual acts” are “acts of grave depravity” and that “tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’”
The policy continues quoting the Catechism: “They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
While condemning homosexual acts, the policy makes it clear the persons struggling with same-sex attraction must be treated with the same rights and given the same respect as everyone else.
“All persons, share the same rights and dignity and are called to live as God's children,” states the policy. “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard to others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.”
Kent met with Bishop Gordon on the issue last week. The minister said that they both agreed the policy should be deleted from the school’s website.
While Bishop Gordon agreed to remove the policy, he nevertheless stated that the policy will remain in effect for teachers at Vanier.
Repeating the Church’s teaching on the issue, the bishop said, “Homosexual activity is always morally wrong." He pointed out that Catholic schools should be allowed to teach Catholic teaching on the issue.
"Well, the teaching of the Church is always going to guide what goes on in a Catholic school," he said.
LifeSiteNews.com contacted both the education minister’s office and the Bishop’s office for comment but did not receive a response by press time.