TORONTO - We live in a time when knee-jerk reactions seem to rule the day - if we let them. We temper our reflections and reactions to what goes on around us by relying on the collective experiences of others as a guide – typically those of our family first and foremost. Then, we extend that trust network socially, culturally, intellectually and legally to a body of like-minded people who inform and re-enforce our values and give purpose to our lives ...maybe.
Living is not easy. Every day presents another test. Getting through those tests with the ones you love makes the struggle worthwhile. Continuity helps. Christians, Catholics, have developed a support system based on Family, Church and School to nurture them along the way. It is not a model always successful for everyone. People can leave at anytime. They do, for a variety of reasons. Free will plays a part.
This is not a treatise on either. It is a simple, personal reflection on the nattering and phoney self-righteousness of those who belittle, denigrate and work to tear down the ethos of that support system on which others rely. The Catholic is one that, warts and all, has withstood the test of time and has its values enshrined in the Constitution and laws of our country.
Over this last year, some radical activists have challenged the patience and resilience of the system, relentlessly, and, ironically, from within - at the expense of duties they should be discharging to our families and our children. They conduct themselves like “moral guerillas” with their baseless “drive-by smears” as they promote their brand of a new religion, one based solely on gender ideology.
Good for them; but not necessarily for anyone else. Catholics already have an ideology steeped in tolerance, inclusivity and purpose. They also have a Constitutional guarantee (1867) that recognizes their contribution and value to the country. In fact, laws that flow from it – like Ontario’s Education Act, revised 1990 – enshrine those guarantees. Some lawyers may resent Catholics’ hard won victories - that’s a discussion for another time - but the Education Act, Section 230.19(2), governing Denominational, linguistic and cultural issues, dictates that “the powers [of government under the Education Act] shall be exercised in a manner consistent with, (a) the denominational aspects of a Roman Catholic board. And for greater precision, under 230.19 (1) “nothing in this part authorizes the Minister to interfere with or control, (a) the denominational aspects of a Roman Catholic board”. Ministers cannot overstep their boundaries. Take note Minister Lecce.
What then of the proponents of the primacy of the Human Rights Code? The Corriere has argued that there is nothing in it that has not already been a part of the Catholic ethic. It appears the drafters of that legislation agree. In a chapter titled Separate school rights preserved, Section 19 (1) says “This Act shall not be construed to adversely affect any right or privilege respecting separate schools boards or their supporters under the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Education Act R.S.O. 1990, c. H. 19, s. 19 (1).
Who then certifies Catholic schools, their supporters, teachers, administrators and trustees? Who can remove them, essentially at will, from those rolls or duties?
That cabal of radical trustees at the TCDSB were reminded via the Cardinal’s letter, dated November 17, that the sole authority is vested in the diocese. The Cardinal too may be losing patience with the spoiled brats who specialize in tearing down, not building up.