Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto chastised members of the local Catholic school board for refusing to allow passage of the Catechism of the Catholic Church about ministry to people with same-sex attraction to read at a recent meeting.
“For a Catholic to be criticized and effectively prevented by Catholic administrators from reading the Catholic catechism at a meeting of a Catholic school board is reprehensible,” Cardinal Collins wrote in a Nov. 17 letter to board president Joseph Martino.
“The Catholic faith must guide all who are engaged in Catholic education – including students, teachers, administrators and administrators – or education ceases to be Catholic.”
Jose Luis Dizon, a parishioner at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Scarborough, had called the council meeting to express his support for the statements of several council members, noting that the council members in question had spoken in support of the Church teaching regarding people with same-sex attraction.
Dizon began quoting paragraph 2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which describes homosexual acts as “inherently disordered”. The next paragraph of the Catechism goes on to state that people experiencing same-sex attraction “should be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.
Administrator Norm Di Pasquale interrupted Dizon as he quoted the passage, saying Dizon’s comments were “walking in dangerous waters” and “repressing a marginalized and vulnerable community.”
Martino agreed, adding that “I must warn the delegate that some of the language I think is not appropriate.”
The special session of the school board has been called to consider whether to censure Michael Del Grande, an administrator who last year objected to the board’s decision to add the terms gender identity, gender expression, status family and marital status to its code of conduct as protected categories.
At a November 2019 board meeting, Del Grande criticized the board’s decision to add the protected categories by proposing, facetiously, that the board also add behaviors such as pedophilia and bestiality in as protected categories.
The Catholic School Board, after hearing testimony for and against Del Grande’s censorship, ultimately decided to censor him for “disrespectful behavior towards the [LGBT] community as a whole and the [school board]community.”
The board also voted to ask Del Grande to publicly apologize, complete an “equity training program,” and not be allowed to perform any duties on the school board’s behalf for three months.
Cardinal Collins, in his letter, reminded the trustees of the board that they had taken an oath to be faithful to the teachings of the Church, and asked how the members of the Catholic school board could fulfill their mission if they had ” adhered to the fundamentally anti-Catholic narrative that misrepresents the Catholic faith as lacking in compassion.
“The world in which we live is dominated by a superficial secular view of the human person and the purpose of life, a view that is contrary to divine revelation, to reason and to the deep heritage of the Christian faith. It is disappointing that Catholic administrators allow this secular vision to replace the fullness of faith articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We are called to be guided by the Holy Spirit, not by the deceiving spirit of the times,” Cardinal Collins wrote.
He said that as he listened to the school board’s full debate, it became clear to him that the board seems to have prioritized a desire not to offend those who hear the gospel message, over loyalty. to the Gospel itself and its “challenge calling us to holiness.”
“If Jesus himself were attending a meeting of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, I wonder if he would be interrupted, if he started to say, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand,’ or other things he says in the Gospel, because those words might not be soothing enough, and might offend.