TORONTO – How odd. Thanks to the nonsensical, even inane musings (but they are done with passion) of trustees in Catholic school boards, the real Human drama of life is taking place within the Catholic Church. It’s the stuff of movies.
The moral and legal authority of Canada’s premier prelate, the one eligible to be Pope or vote for the next one, is being publicly challenged.
I am talking about the authority our Canadian Constitution, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario’s Education Act, Memoranda of Understanding by Ontario’s Attorney General and, yes, even the Human Rights Code confer onto him as spokesperson for what is Catholic. Maybe the stress is too much for him.
Several trustees at Toronto’s Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) have decided to “relieve him” of his burden of the duties he owes to Catholic parents in the school system. They mock him in the process.
Behind the scenes lurk the Bishop of Hamilton Douglas Crosby, who is reputed to have his eyes on the Cardinal’s archbishopric and the Minister of Education Lecce.
Neither have made themselves available for comment when Corriere reached out. Minister Lecce has substantive issues with competence and financial calculations associated with funding province-wide education systems and schooling. He needs distractions. Some trustees at the TCDSB are happy to oblige him.
Bishop Douglas Crosby is arguably leading a Schism within the Church in Ontario. Not our concern. Education and the rights of Catholics to a religious, ethical educational environment for their children under the Law are. Those same trustees seem happy to provide him cover.
Minister Lecce, in violation of his authorities under the Education Act, fomented discord in the TCDSB. First, he insisted on the superimposition of the Human Rights Code (HRC) over the Catholic Ethic in Catholic Schools. Section 19 of the HRC specifically says nothing in the Code can apply to Catholic schools. Second, he caused the issue of the Pride flag and the predictable ensuing vituperations of homophobia and transphobia to be levelled at everything and everyone Catholic.
What irony. Those trustees – elected to safeguard and promote those same religious freedoms – are weaponizing [not so] thinly veiled, religiously discriminatory statements against their own colleagues and Catholic electors who adhere to the guidance of the Pope/magisterium. How are these people still in office? Our political cartoonist is having a field day satirizing their pretensions.
Catholics are openly calling on the Cardinal to defend the rights of believers and their children – even if the schools are closed, thanks in part to the inability of those trustees to provide medically healthy safe spaces for their children. When kids stop going to Catholic schools, how will the Catholic message be propagated?
Who speaks to its value? Catholic electors calling and writing into the Corriere Canadese, are unimpressed by the Cardinal’s silence. They wonder if the seven trustees will dictate what will be acceptable on the altar as well.
They ask, if he cannot defend education rights under Constitutional Law, how can he defend dogma under Canon Law?