The Comment

Meanings of Life and Purposes of Organizations

TORONTO – We are a lay newspaper, reporting on human behaviour, analyzing motivations, explaining contexts and evaluating “values” – if any – generated by those dynamics. Leaders and organizations, formal and informal, typically assume (or are given) the privilege of codifying the philosophies and ideologies that define the criteria for membership in their organizations and confer dignity on the journey of Life. One can follow other philosophies or seek to implement other ideals, but, then one cannot claim membership in that (RC) organization.

Two images in today’s edition underscore the extremities in the cycle of life: birth and the journey that leads to… Somewhere in between is the search for “freedom, dignity and the pursuit of happiness”. All that we can do is try to hold ourselves accountable to the interpretations of “purpose” the “leaders” – spokespersons for the principles embodied in the institutions to which we adhere and attempt to enforce. It is a relationship conditioned by a “uniquely reciprocal arrangement between Creator and Created” – as defined by a word of Latin origin, religion (religio: I promise this in return for…).

Those values are intertwined, sometimes interdependent. In this last week, the Leader of the largest formal “religious” group encompassing Judeo-Christian culture (Roman Catholicism – RC – in particular) pronounced the official position of that group/organization on three aspects of “prohibited” actions for those who aspire to membership. These are very controversial topics. Briefly, they reflect on war (justified or not), the generating of life itself and [the blurring of] sex and gender. His choice of vocabulary was “straightforward”, likening them with gangrene, defining them as lamentable, deplorable, exploitative towards women and extremely perilous for society.

That other religio[ns] may have other, or different perspectives, on these ideals, is of incidental or peripheral significance to the code Roman Catholics and other formal Christian institutions “live by”. It may be fashionable in today’s society to express oneself derisively, contemptuously towards people of RC persuasion, arguably as a modified form of hate, but, in Canada (and Ontario), Catholics have protected Rights in the Constitution, the Charter, the Human Rights Code, the Education Act and the Attorney General’s memorandum that precedes all legislation tabled in the Provincial Legislature.

The edicts of their magisterium – the Vatican and its local representatives, bishops – are the guide that permit administrators and school board trustees to exercise their custodial authorities, not the alleged “public funding”. Ontario’s Premier acknowledges that.

Some Catholic District School Boards seem confused. They rush to appear in synch with perceived woke agenda emanating from funding institutions. In so doing, they are abandoning their trust obligations to parents of Catholic children who have a legal/constitutional right to education pursuant to the values of their religion.

Catholic parents are beginning to demand that administrators, teachers and trustees abide by their fiduciary (legal) obligations to the Catholic community. No would suffer as a result: there is another completely publicly funded option for them.

Bishops also take note.

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