Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Hanoski case is only a symptom of a greater ill.

Nailing a protest to the door of the Church. Let the Reformation begin.
I have been doing a lot of thinking and that may be risky. For months I have been writing in this blog about the Hanoski case. This particular example is close to me as a Holy Rosary Parish member here in Belleville, Ontario.  I worked alongside Father Paul Hamilton before his fall instructing people who wanted to join the Catholic Church. I quit that work with his removal and became a Reformist Catholic at that moment.  
I also knew Joe Hanoski quite well and I had no idea that anything was happening as he alleges in his civil court action.  I have experienced a betrayal that has placed me on an unpleasant but necessary track to dig out the truth specifically in the Hanoski case but generally to begin the process of opening up the Church to explore the origins of what has become a very deep malaise that affects the credibility of its clerics. 
When the alleged sexual peccadilloes of the priesthood come to light in your parish and the chronic silence of the Church’s diocese hierarchy goes on for nine years, something has to break on the truth and hopefully reconciliation front if the principles of Christ are to be upheld and made useful to people’s lives. This top down male dominated system appears to have  no idea about how they are going to solve this crisis. They are scratching at air and frozen by tradition. Their only answer is silence. Perhaps their embarrassment is so deep that they cannot respond adequately anymore?
All we get this stale status quo response that really doesn’t come close to providing the kind of leadership that is needed to make a difference on this file throughout the Catholic Church.  Nothing changes. The status quo is maintained even when evidence that it is not working piles up. It is like a club with closed doors. Priests and their bishops cannot it seems open up their institution to any change to make a difference. It’s a closed shop to the laity and it is without merit. 
In my experience, priests often find it very difficult to lead sexless lives. Many of them need to be married and or be allowed closeness with other humans and to be able to do so without guilt. Celibacy is a nutty idea with mediaeval origins that are simply passé. It certainly has no merit if the outcome is even a few strange twisted men playing out adolescent sexual fantasies with vulnerable people in their charge. It is equally twisted if it turns these men inwards.
Of course there is a lot of denial that celibacy has anything to do with this crisis. I hear this argument all the time from the church hierarchy combined with the other specious argument that “other churches with married clergy have the same problem.” Spreading the blame to other churches or the Boy Scouts, in recent memory, doesn’t face up to the question in a Catholic context and the male oriented them and us lifestyle forced on priests. 
I would say that the Catholic Church has the biggest problem concerning sexual abuse  because it is inherent in how the priesthood is structured. It is rife and the way to combat it is currently totally inadequate. It may be that this closed shop is now resistant to any useful change because the ingrained forms remains more important than the substance of Christianity. 

How good is the screening of priest candidates who enter the seminary? The argument that they must be celibate or cannot be homosexual by Vatican decree, falls flat in practice. The questions, the inner turmoils of balancing a call by God with your sexual orientation is an automatic conflict for a number of candidates if you dig deep enough. 
Imagine a system where you are trying to attract candidates who say they have a call to the priesthood and God's service and then they are told  that they have to reconcile that call with a future sexuality that cannot be expressed to get into the seminary. They put their sexuality on hold or drop away knowing they can't measure up. Or they consider it a private matter that they must work out and simply go through the process and perhaps at considerable angst all while doing the tough job it is in a parish while also counseling others with their problems. 
Or they think privately that they can work it out at some point. Or they suppress their sexuality squeezing it into a box called celibacy that is surrounded by an ethos of holiness so it doesn’t jump out of the box. This system does not work for some priests. They crack under the pressures and when that happens they are sent off to Church operated rehabilitation centres and always placed on “administrative leave”.  A few descend into pederasty and all the hell that creates for the victim.
In addition, in Western Europe and North America the priest population is aging. That means replacement for priests who retire is not happening. So the second problem the church has is keeping churches and services open for the faithful. The management of this problem combined with the poor optics of the sexual scandals equals fewer and fewer men are willing to commit to the celibate life of the Catholic priesthood or to countless hours of work in clustered parishes. 
The Church is now undergoing another somewhat quiet Reformation. For a long time this action has been in the context of the status quo, as Catholics try hard to make their Church work in contemporary times. In my view the Reformation stage we are now entering is first much more democratic than the present male oriented top down hierarchies would like to see. That change will be resisted by the existing system.
Finally, if the Vatican Church hierarchies do not democratize and open up the discussion of the current no discussion topics the Reformation will develop into fragments which is much in keeping with the current socio-technology aspects of contemporary life. Large structures fragment under the stresses of a high technology knowledge-based culture. These fragments will be seen initially as Protestants and perhaps they will be condemned heretics and  excommunicated by the old order of the Church. That is the sociology of top down organizations and dictatorships.
The new catholic fragments will allow priests to marry. They will begin the process of bringing women into a fuller role probably first as deacons. Some fragments will see no difference between men and women an will ordain both sexes. Marriage and the priesthood will be a clear option. Some will fast track deacons to the priesthood. These fragments will take over vacant church buildings now downsized by the current church after the shortage of male priests forced more and more “clusterings” to maintain the status quo. It will be hard on everyone but the direction will be following the basic Love message of Christ and that is what is most important. 
One final point: The fragmenting of hierarchies does not automatically mean a descent into anarchy although if you are used to the power of a hierarchy or like to be always told how to think there may be moments of high anxiety. Try prayer. The Holy Spirit is an action-oriented doer of deeds.
© Copyright 2012, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Hanoski case: waffling and silence continues.

After the scandal the main defence remains silence.

The Hanoski case remains in legal limbo. The interest in this story remains high as my blog readers search for new information and a resolution. How should the Archdiocese of Kingston respond to this case?
by Tom Thorne
I was checking my reader statistics today for the stories featured on this blog. Surprisingly, stories I wrote about the Hanoski case months ago are still getting hits each day. One story has had a total of over 354 readers at last count. Other coverage I have written on this topic average 15 readers per week. Readers seem to be monitoring this blog to see if some new revelation is going to be reported. I can only report, at this time, that the silence is deafening from all the participants involved in this sad affair.
In  the 10 June 2012 clergy appointments for the Diocese of Kingston, Father Michael Reed, the priest who allegedly knew details about  Hanoski case and failed to report them, remains "on leave". Then when I checked the Kingston diocese web site I find that Father Rene Labelle who was recently arraigned in Kingston civil court for another alleged indiscretion at a Kingston high school, is now at the Diocese Centre. Father Paul Hamilton, the central figure in the Hanoski case is still on the Diocese books. He remains simply without any job and in a limbo now approaching nine years. His notation on the website doesn’t even have him "on leave" anymore.  
So where does that leave us? The Hanoski case may have settled for all I know. If it was settled recently and Father Michael Reed is still on leave that means that the settlement made no difference to his current status. I suspect that the legal negotiations continue and each day they go on they cost more and more.
First is the cost to the reputations of all concerned. That is an incalculable cost exasperated by the time this is all taking. Second is the very real dollar cost of all this legal work for  plaintiff Joe Hanoski and also for the Diocese of Kingston. If the diocese adequately defends itself, that costs money that  comes out of general revenue. That money needs to be accounted for so parishes know the costs associated with legal fees, and keeping priests on administrative leave without performing their normal duties.
Where do those dollars come from? Some may come from practice insurance taken out by the diocese. More likely the insurance is the kind for settling with plaintiffs launching actions against priests.  After this situation is resolved that cost will almost certainly rise to prepare for any future charges against priests.  
Also the money to pay for insurance initially comes from the parish revenue we all contribute through the collection plate. The money for these diocese legal defences does not fall from heaven.  If there is no insurance then the diocese is clearly liable for any and all settlements along with the priests themselves. Since priests rarely have their own money the diocese carries the can. Archbishop Brendan O'Brien needs to transparently report these expenses to the diocese in a financial statement specifically concerning this issue.
The moral turpitude of this type of story ultimately destroys the authority of the church no matter how good the intentions of Archbishops are to stem it with administrative leaves if a priest is accused or charged. It places the clergy on a constant political correct alert about how the priests work with parishioners and their families. The atmosphere of how the faithful feel betrayed  certainly alters the way in which the church works with the Catholic and general communities. Young people, already falling way from the church, now have a reason to justify what they already think is irrelevant to their lives. 
The optics of this situation, as it drags on for months and years, seems to sit in a state of inertia and staleness. There is no real active management response by the diocese, the Archbishop or the Vatican that can stem the poor public and media relations brought about by these scandals. It seems that the only defence the diocese can offer is a stoney silence or to say that offending priests will be charged and then placed on administrative leave. The other reason is often given that any disclosures may breach privacy concerns.
Stoney silences don't work. Prissy notions of dealing with sex scandals also don’t work. There needs to be an active approach to these human failings that does not respond always with catechism or Papal certainties. Obviously views held by the church in regards to human sexuality need to be rethought not only by clerics but also by Catholic lay people whose views should be taken much more seriously. 
The top down view and traditions of celibacy need a complete airing where the start point is not only what is in the history and Catechism of the Catholic Church and Papal and Vatican pronouncements, but how that all works in the real lives of Catholics including the priesthood. Any change of this kind will require a major rethink and revision to remain relevant to contemporary lives whether they are lay or in Holy Orders.
Contemporary Catholics are surrounded by techniques of science that cannot be easily fitted into dogmatic Vatican arguments or pronouncements. Nor can these technical developments be passed over with top down answers or status quo responses. Adult Catholics are certainly capable of a debate that I believe would strengthen the Church.
The truth is the institutional church is dying. Christ, however, is not dying. His principles stand no matter how the foibles of humans play out. The top down institutional Catholic Church is in turmoil. Pyramid structures of control are fragmented by pressures from the layers below. Insular practices of the priesthood and their disciplined top down management control systems are not working. In fact the truth is probably that the pyramidal structure of the church with its Vatican team of know it all managers is irrelevant to the needs each day of many parishes throughout the world.
If the Pope cannot maintain moral persuasion or he is not taken seriously, then the centralized nature of the rules of the church, the catechism, begins to falter. If the authority from this bureaucratic pyramid organizational structure cannot stop priests from sexually molesting their charges then that system doesn't work.  Again history teaches that these stresses have always played a part in how the Vatican responds to change. This is not a new phenomenon but in a world of constant change techniques and communications stresses are much more intense than ever before and they will alter the Church despite itself.
© Copyright 2012, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Family history: The Duke of Argyll's 1779 Census of his properties provides insight into 18th Century Argyllshire and my family's origins.

The pastoral life of the Scottish Highlands was about to change.

Family History: Digging deeper into primary sources and the indexes of primary sources.

by Tom Thorne

When I first discovered that The Census of the Inhabitants of the Duke of Argyll's Lands in 1779 existed I became very excited. This discovery meant that I could push back in time to discover my Highland Scottish origins into the 18th Century and with some confidence further back into the 17th Century. 

I was not disappointed. I found that this important primary document lists all the people living on the lands of the Duke of Argyll during 1779-80 and literally freezes in time the people related to me in 18th Century Argyllshire. 
The 1779 Duke if Argyll Census was very important to trace my family back at least a generation or two before the wedding of John and Mary Munro in 1789, an event that leads clearly to me. They are the progenitors of my Scottish family and provide the link from the18th through to the 20th Century. John and Mary came from the Tullich and Drimfern farms owned by the Duke of Argyll. Both of them were listed with their families in this important document. 
The first child of their 1789 marriage was my great-great-great-great grandfather Duncan Munro born in Argyllshire, Inveraray-Glenaray parish in 1790. Duncan  died in Bonhill, Dunbartonshire, at almost 92, in 1882. I found him in the 1881 Census first and then in the 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871 Censuses.  Each of these documents revealed new insights into his life and family.
Duncan was my fortunate link back into the Highland origins of my Scottish family and so the discovery of the 1779 Census conducted by the Duke of Argyll was in research terms a breakthrough. Much of what we find here can be checked easily using the excellent indexes found on Family Search at this web address: https://www.familysearch.org/ 
The Family Search site enables the researcher to do a first check for births of the children listed in the Duke of Argyll’s 1779 Census and very often to connect family relationships. It also enables the researcher to discover useful things like the fact that surnames change. An example is the surname Mcilvoile which is also McMillan and then became Bell. Knowing that Scots clan names change over time enables the marriage of Archibald Monro and Isabel Bell to be confirmed as the same wife who in other documents  is called Isabel Mcilvoile. 
Family Search also provides information that shows that Duncan Munro and his wife Christian Fletcher  were married on 18 April 1765 not in Glenaray but in the very neighbouring parish of Lochgoilhead and Kilmorich and that also links them to Malcolm Monro, 88, in the 1779 Census who originally comes from the same parish. This free on-line service, provided by the Church of Latter Day Saints, enables a lot of basic fact checking and provides clues to examine other records.
Some of the Munros in the 1779 Duke of Argyll Census were quite old and as a result we are able to project further back in time to the middle to late, 17th Century with help from Family Search web site . In particular, there is my ancestor John Munro born in 1699 and Malcolm Munro, mentioned above, born in 1691. These men provide vital links that take us back as far as 1650. John (1699) is Mary Munro's grandfather who is the most likely candidate for the 1789 marriage that gives us Duncan Munro (1790-1882). My Duncan is named after his grandfather. A common Scottish practice.
It would be a large struggle to piece together this period in history without documents of this calibre and usefulness. The 1779 Census provides a complete list of husbands, wives with their maiden names and all of the children of these marriages along with their ages. The Census very often lists their position on the farm such as "senior tenant". Below is an example of such a snapshot that freezes time. Here is the listings for Drimfern and Tullich farms in 1779, where my ancestors lived at that time. The comments after their names have been checked with other sources. 

Note: This list refuses to format properly when uploaded to the blog. Do your best. The first number is the age of the person in 1779. The second number is the year of their birth added by me. This enables checking for birth dates using the free Family Search website.
Drimfern Farm: 1779 Duke of Argyll Census
John Monro, tenant, 40 1739
Ann Sinclair, his wife 40 1739
Catherine Monro, child 17 1762
Mary Monro, child         15 1764  A possible for John Monro’s second wife in 1789
Betty Monro, child         13 1766
Jean Monro, child         11 1768
Peggy Monro, child           9 1770
Ann Monro, child             5 1774
Christian Monro, child     3 1776
Janet Monro, child             1 1778
Archibald Monro, sen. tenant 67 1712
Isabel Bell, his wife         56 1723   In some documents she is known as Isabel Mcilvoile
John Monro, son         26 1752   This is John Monro who marries a Mary Monro in 1789
Finlay Monro         12 1767    A late son of Archibald and Isabel when she was 44
Catherine McBean         22 1757   The first wife of John Monro age 26 above.
Christian Monro   1 1778   The first of four children of John’s first marriage.
Malcolm Monro         88 1691   A Monro who takes us back to the late 17th Century. From Lochgoilhead and Kilmorich Parish.
Donald Monro         28 1751   Son of Archibald and Isabel
Flory Bell, his wife         28 1751
Archibald Monro, junr. tenant 31 1748   Son of Archibald and Isabel
Effy McIntyre, his wife 24 1755
John Monro, child           1 1778   Looks like twins
Donald Monro, child           1 1778
Angus Monro         23 1756  
Mary Bell                 56 1723  Perhaps a relative of Isabel
Donald Monro         28 1751  From another Monro family.
Effie McBean, his wife 24 1755
Tibby Monro, child           4 1775
Mary Monro, child           1 1778
Duncan Campbell, cottar         30 1749
Mary McBean, his wife 27 1752
Alexander Campbell, child   2 1777
Christian Campbell, child           1 1778
John Walker, weaver 60 1719
Mary Walker, his wife 60 1719
Total population Drimfern Farm: 12 Men, 11 Women, 18 Children for a total of 41.
Tullich Farm Monros: 1779 Duke of Argyll Census
Catherine Monro widow 63 1716
John Monro 80 1699
Mary Monro his wife 76 1703  Mary Monro is her maiden surname. Monros marrying Monros. 
Duncan Monro their son 40 1739  Alive on Tullich in the 1841 Census at “105”    
Christian Fletcher his wife 33 1746  Christian and Duncan: married in 1765  
Mary Monro child 13 1766  Likely second wife of John Monro (Drimfern) 1789
Angus Monro child 11 1768
Donald Monro         child   9 1770
Ann Monro child   7 1772
Martin Monro child   3 1776
Christine Monro child   1 1778
Catherine Monro widow 40 1739
Allen Bell         tenant 34 1739
Sarah Monro his wife 21 1758
Note: There are other families with other surnames and a few more Monros living on Tullich Farm that do not figure in the marriage of John and Mary Monro in 1789.
Now project these people forward to 1789 when John Munro and Mary Munro married in Inveraray-Glenaray Parish. These people are certainly my ancestors because they are the parents of my g-g-g-grandfather Duncan Munro (1790-1882).  The Tullich Mary, 13 in 1779 is 23 in 1789. Is she the right Mary to be the mother of my Duncan Munro? It is relatively easy to eliminate other Mary Munros on other Argyll farms such as Achnagoul, Stronmaghan, Auchindrain. Any Mary Monros on these farms are far too young for a 1789 Marriage.
The other Mary found living at Drimfern could also be the the future wife of John Monro in 1789 when she would be 25 in 1789. There is some uncertainty whether the 13 year old living at Tullich maybe the the Mary in the 1789 marriage. One thing is certain. The Mary in question came from the Glenaray farms listed here. Also the Mary Munro in the 1789 marriage was the second wife of a much older John Munro who was 26 in 1779 and 36 in 1789. Just what happened to his first wife Catherine McBean and their children is not fully known at this time. Her death record cannot be found and that may be because she is sometimes a McBain, a McBean and even a Bane.

What we do know is in the next ten years from 1779-1789 John Munro had the following children with Catherine McBean or “Bane” or even “McVean” and all the children were born in the Glenaray-Inveraray Parish. Their first child Christina is listed in 1779 Census listings above. The others were born after 1779. The Family Search index provides the following children:
1. Christina, born  4 June 1778 and in the 1779 Census and 11 by 1789 “Bane”
2. Malcolm, born 26 January 1780 and 9 by 1789 “McVean”
3. Elizabeth, born  5 August 1781 and 8 by 1789 “Mcbane”
4. Sarah,  born 23 April 1784 and 5 by 1789 “McVean”
Then Catherine McBean, Bane or McVean died sometime after 1784 and John remarried in 1789. This was confirmed by the work of Douglas Beaton who also descends from John and Mary Munro’s youngest son Archibald who was born in 1798 the brother of my Duncan born in 1790. Here is the complete second family of John Munro all born in Glenaray-Inveraray Parish. The mother this time is Mary Munro. We don’t know whether the family is blended with children from John’s first wife. I am a direct decendant of Duncan Munro (1790-1882) the first entry on this list:
1.Duncan Munro born 1790 dies in Dumbarton in 1882. Married Janet McCunn in 1818
2. Grisell Munro born 1793 married Alexander Crawford in 1816 at the neighbouring Glassary Parish. The wedding is
    also registered in Glenaray Inveraray Parish.
3. Sarah Munro born 13 June 1791 

4. Isabella Munro born 1796

5. Archibald Munro born 1798 ( takes us to the Beaton connections)

Further evidence for the Glenaray origins of the family comes from the 1851 Census tract for Duncan Munro (1790-1882) the first born of this 1789 marriage. In that Census, Duncan told the census taker that he was born in the Glenaray. Here’s the transcript of that document. 

1851 British Census: Strathleven Place ( a large estate), Dumbarton - Dunbartonshire
Munro, Duncan, Head, married, m, 61, Formerly shepherd, born Argyllshire, Glenaray
Munro, Janet, Wife. married, f, 68, Dunbartonshire, Row
Munro, John, Son, unmarried, m, 30, flesher (butcher), Dunbartonshire, Dumbarton
Munro, Archibald, unmarried, m, 24, flesher, Dunbartonshire, Dumbarton
Mitchell, Helen, unmarried, f, 20, House Servant, born Lanarkshire, Glasgow
Note: Helen Mitchell became the wife of Archibald Munro in 1854 and is therefore my gggreat grandmother. Why she is living with her future husband and Duncan and Janet is not known. She comes from Barony, a parish of Glasgow where her father Walter Mitchell was a weaver.
We are now ready to examine other people and documents that take us from my 18th Century Argyllshire, Inveraray and Glenaray roots towards the present day. The next article will show what happened when Duncan Munro (1790-1882) moved south to the Dumbarton-Bonhill area in 1818 and married Janet McCunn (1783-1869) from the Row Parish. Although Duncan remained a shepherd all his life his family began to move into the 19th Century industrialization of Scotland cantred at the Glasgow and Clyde River region.
© Copyright Tom Thorne, 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The schools as social engineering. Some ideas about revising the Ontario Accepting Schools Act.

Ontario amends and passes Bill 13: The Accepting Schools Act. These changes to an existing bill provide a stage for what?
by Tom Thorne  
Today I printed out and scrutinized the seven page amended Accepting Schools Act, the new Bill 13 that is now become a part of Ontario’s Education Act. Most of the bill is quite sensible when it comes to bullying issues.  However, then it attempts to set remedies  for correcting bullying and  especially the bullying associated with sexual preferences it falls short.  The Ontario government may have gone too far in using the schools for social engineering. 
A few decades ago the education ministries and school boards began to see that students have rights. Also a few decades ago Catholic Boards went to public funding for all years of their high schools. As all this happened, one of the rights that surfaced was to let everyone know the current state of your sexuality and what preference you had. When students attempted a more public expression of their sexual thoughts, emanating perhaps from Gay Pride ideas gaining momentum at the same time, educators, bureaucrats and politicians got on board. 
And so bullying was outlawed by the first incarnation of this Accepting Schools Act. Bullying was always outlawed by schools with sensitivity to the wiles of youth and growing up, but in the minds of bureaucratic administrators and Queen’s Park officials it now had to be codified into a set of Statute Law rules. Bullying entered the realm of social engineering political correctness. This year those rules were revised and the new amended law was called Bill 13: Accepting Schools Act, 2012. It's text is available on the Ontario Ministry web site.
What school in Ontario, or elsewhere in Canada for that matter, could ever be thought of as not accepting student differences? Even an examination of existing Catholic thought on this issue could only be seen as useful. The very existence of an Accepting Schools Act in this province implies that some schools were miscreant in their ability to accept all students and be equitable. Is the Catholic view of homosexuality being targeted by these amendments?  Surely in the past before this change, if students were nasty to each other then a good school put that right whether it was a Public or a Separate school?
This codification of what is normal was perhaps pushed by the diversity of all colours and creeds that now are in Ontario schools. However, to codify acceptance is a politically correct act. Of course all students in Ontario are acceptable and any school that doesn’t accept students or allows discrimination is out of touch to what happened in this province and the rest of Canada, and also they are out to lunch about the nature of educational enquiry and learning as demographic changes happened as Canada diversifying its human resource by bringing people from everywhere on this planet. 
The codification of teen issues and problems into an act designed to ensure acceptance is a testament not to equity but to the pressures of our me-generation society where the individual’s needs outstrip the common good of all. It is a state of mind that believes that a rule for everything will stop problems. This Act, before these 2012 amendments has been on the books for some time. If bullying in all its forms, sexual or for other reasons, is still happening and remains a problem, then these amendments won’t do much to stop it.
My point is basically that political correctness enables lazy school administrators to pillory people who break the rules that are codified in this document with more ease than having a discussion or using education to build respect, tolerance and equity for all. Now a student who feels they are being bullied or centred out for their views on sexual orientation can chapter and verse a remedy to  allegedly solve the problem.
I wish life was so simple. Read through the revised act. Section 1 provides three definitions for bullying. The only respite from this exhaustive list of causes of bullying is that the “bullying must be aggressive and typically repeated behavior” which might mean that a smart principal with leadership skills could still iron out a problem in their office. The scary part is that proof of alleged bullying can be “real or perceived”. 
The part of the act that enables students in a Separate school to form gay straight alliance clubs or activities seems to stand. Catholic teacher unions have endorsed this aspect of the bill. However, all Boards of Education do have to comply within the bounds of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That is always a double edged sword if the board has problems with its rights and freedoms being trumped by one person’s rights or a group with an agenda. This may become the basis for a court challenge by Separate School Boards but it is politically unlikely there will be any challenge because it opens a can of worms about contemporary separate school relevance in a highly diversified Ontario.
Surely whether a board is Catholic or Public it should always be equitable. On one level this revised act simply enshrines language that we already know from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  However that too is always a double edged sword. Catholic values are also protected and a complaint could come from religious people who do not wish a Gay Alliance club or activity in the school where their children attend. That challenge might not come from a Catholic but from Muslims and other religious people who send their children to Ontario schools (often Catholic schools) expecting equity and their rights to be observed as much as those with gay sympathies or orientations.
Finally, some commentators have made the point that these revisions to The Accepting Schools Act put a coffin nail into Catholic education funded by public dollars. The biggest coffin nails have already been driven when Catholics accepted public funding for their high schools. Gay-straight alliances are not a problem for thinking Catholics. Separate Boards already have years of experience with all kinds of Ontario diversity. Fully 50 percent of students in so called Catholic education are not Catholics.
So that begs the question why do these non-Catholic parents choose the Separate School Boards? Maybe they have expectations for their children that is not covered by legislated gay straight alliance thinking of the current Ontario Government. That’s probably why the Conservatives ever mindful of gaining votes voted against Bill 13. It’s much more complicated than whether kids get a straight-gay alliance club in their school. It’s iceberg politics where most of the agenda remains below the water.
© Copyright 2012, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved.