Ontario Human Rights Commission to rule on Catholic liturgy; Assumes the title of Supreme Religious Authority

Peterborough Bishop Nicola De Angelis and 12 parishioners at St. Michael’s parish in Cobourg, Ont., face an Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint that could cost the parishioners $20,000 each and the diocese of Peterborough $25,000 plus legal fees. Jim Corcoran brought the complaint after he was asked to give up his position as an altar server at Sunday Masses. Corcoran was dismissed from all duties on the altar after 12 parishioners wrote a letter to De Angelis questioning the presence of a gay man serving at the altar of St. Michael’s.“There are laws in Ontario,” Corcoran told The Catholic Register.  “Those laws say that it is unlawful to discriminate against people for a number of reasons, one of which is sexual orientation.”

“There’s no evidence at all to suggest that we were trying to be discriminatory or that we have some sort of distaste for people of same-sex orientation, or any of this,” said Gerry Lawless, one of the 12 who complained to De Angelis about Corcoran’s presence on the altar.

De Angelis has forwarded a copy of the complaint and the parishioners’ letter to his lawyer.

De Angelis and the 12 parishioners have until July 28 to respond to Corcoran’s complaint. Both sides have opted for mediation. Sixty-five to 70 per cent of Ontario Human Rights Commission complaints are resolved through mediation, avoiding the tribunal process. Only if mediation is unsuccessful will the complaint go on to a tribunal hearing. Corcoran claims the 12 parishioners have misinterpreted entries on his blog (http://steannes.blogspot.com/) to draw false conclusions about him.“I’m a chaste homosexual and practise my faith,” he said.

While Corcoran does live with another gay man, they are devout Catholics who refrain from sexual activity in accordance with church teaching, he said.

“Unless I’m actively flaunting my sexual preference in the Catholic Church to recruit other homosexuals or to promote homosexuality — I can see how people might take offence to that and how that might fly in the face of what the Pope is trying to do in terms of the priesthood — but just serving on the altar as a man?” said Corcoran.

By complaining to De Angelis about Corcoran the 12 parishioners had intended to express their unhappiness with St. Michael’s pastor Fr. Allan Hood, said Reg Ward, one of the authors of the letter to De Angelis. They blamed Hood for inviting Corcoran and his roommate to become altar servers.

“It was just one more way of Fr. Hood saying he’s boss and to hell with everybody else, like what the church is saying and everybody else,” said Ward.

Hood refused to speak with The Catholic Register on the record, citing diocesan policy against priests speaking to the media.

Ward and Lawless have written a series of letters to De Angelis complaining about Hood since he was appointed to St. Michael’s in July 2008. Ward claims the dissatisfaction with Hood runs deeper than just 12 parishioners in one of the Peterborough diocese’s larger parishes.

“Dorothy (Ward’s wife) and I know personally 25 or 30 who have left the church, are going to church elsewhere,” Ward said. “We know some of them who aren’t going to church at all.”

For Corcoran, his time as head altar server prior to Easter was spiritually enriching.

“For me spiritually, in terms of my spiritual development, I was just full of joy come Easter Sunday. Holy Thursday, I’ve never been so moved,” he said.

While Corcoran did have a brief conversation with De Angelis about the decision to remove him from the altar, he has not spoken to any of the 12 who complained about his presence.

The 12 parishioners did not consider speaking directly with Corcoran before complaining to De Angelis, said Lawless.

“We were simply responding to the situation. We didn’t know exactly what was the policy, or anything. We weren’t in a position to talk to him,” he said.

Corcoran said De Angelis urged him to take his dismissal from the altar in the spirit of Paul’s advice to the Romans on the issue of meat sacrificed to idols (Romans 14:13-23) — refraining from scandal. Instead the bishop should have confronted the 12 parishioners and their prejudice, as well as their attempts to get rid of their pastor, Corcoran said.

“This is a man (De Angelis) who needs some help in understanding how to deal with confrontation in his diocese. The Human Rights Commission helps people do that,” he said.

The monetary penalties aren’t the major issue, according to Corcoran, who employs 150 people as owner of St. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ont.

“I’m not in it for the money, but I think that if there weren’t some penalties then these people wouldn’t take it seriously,” he said. “I just think that the bishop has to make things right in this diocese. He has to stand up for his priests, and he has to stand up for all his parishioners.”

“We have not discriminated. We have simply asked the bishop to act on a situation which we had been informed on very good authority was in violation of church policy,” said Lawless.

The 12 will seek a dismissal of the complaint, he said.


So the Ontario Human Rights Commission is going to drag this thing through their kangaroo kourt and cost the diocese and the 12 parishioners in Peterborough hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and fines, while the complainant doesn’t pay a dime.  That’s a sweet deal.

And why? Because a homosexual thinks he can dictate how the Catholic Church should conduct its liturgy?  Perhaps, the homosexualists would like to sue the Catholic Church for not permitting homosexuals into the priesthood too?  Isn’t that the next step?

What do you suppose this does to the idea of freedom of association? What business is it of the State to tell a religious association who it can and cannot use in its religious functions?

The State has no business in telling a Catholic Bishop who can or cannot participate at the altar. We have a right as Catholics to associate with like-minded Catholics. We would not accept a priest living with a woman and claiming that it was purely platonic. That’s scandalous and we are permitted to act against anyone who is causing scandal.

Giving one individual the right to dictate to a whole group what they must accept involuntarily is the very definition of tyranny.

Still, there might be a silver lining in this dark cloud.  It could very well wake up complacent Catholics to vote for Tim Hudac in the next election who has promised to scrap these fraudulent star chambers. If the OHRC cares about its own skin, it will turn this complaint down in a hurry.  It won’t be too smart to drag a Catholic bishop through their Kangaroo Kourt.  You are not dealing with just one bishop but ALL bishops in Ontario (and even in Canada). If they all start squawking, it could be a very messy situation for McGuinty in the next election.

Can you imagine the optics of it?  A Catholic bishop standing to answer questions about Catholic liturgy in front of some Kangaroo “judge” who is going to lecture a Catholic bishop about who it can use for its religious functions?  I guess feminists will be suing next for not being able to be priests. Why the hell not?  You can’t discriminate on the basis of gender, can you? 

One more thing….back in 2005 when I was planning the March for Marriage, I had a conference call with two bishops.  During that call, I told them that the fight over marriage was not about equality or marriage or human rights or anything like that. I told them that marriage was simply one hurdle in a string of hurdles towards the ultimate goal of desecrating the Eucharist.

An Austrian woman who identified herself as a Catholic bishop snatched the Blessed Sacrament from a ciborium after she was refused Communion at a Mass in Linz. Bishop Ludwig Schwarz had declined to administer the Eucharist to Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, who has been excommunicated because of her participation in a feminist “ordination” ceremony. (Source)

If the bishops of the Catholic Church do not fully assent and cling to Humanae Vitae and do not start to teach it vigorously, unashamedly, and without compromise, the Catholic Church in this country will be crushed and forced to move underground. 

If there is a bishop who is reading this, I beg you to have the foresight to understand what is going to happen, and to have the holy courage to act now to confront it.  This is a test of your fidelity to the Holy Gospel.  Please understand how grave this situation is.

FD discussion thread here.

p.s. As I explained a few years ago to Dalton McGuinty,  the sexual jihad is going to unjustly persecute people of Faith.  Nobody was listening then.  People need to understand that voting for politicians who are against the family and the Church has consequences.

14 thoughts on “Ontario Human Rights Commission to rule on Catholic liturgy; Assumes the title of Supreme Religious Authority

  1. Having never lived in a communist state, I have no idea what to do now. As the government starts taking control of the church leadership, how do we know when its time to go underground? Will there be an announcement from Rome? Will it still be okay to go to the official government-appointed churches if we can’t find an underground legit catholic church to go to?

    If anyone has a link for how this has been handled in eastern bloc states or China, please let me know.

  2. I’m afraid you’re missing the point. The Bishop of Peterborough is being bullied by a small group of parishioners over his decision to appoint Father Hood as Pastor of this parish. The complaint about who he could appoint or not appoint to serve on the altar was only one in a long list of complaints designed to undermine the authority of the Priest and ultimately of the Bishop. The group of parishioners tried to threaten the Bishop with a public scandal on this issue, knowing that a public scandal around this issue was most likely to get a reaction from the Bishop, which it did. Unfortunalely, instead of placating this group, they were emboldened and continued their campaign against Father Hood, causing further division in the parish and within the Catholic community, driving others away. If you really care about the survival of Catholicism in Canada, take the time to fully research the issues before you jump to a hasty conclusion. This is a good Bishop, a good priest, and a good acolyte who are being attacted. We need to stand up for all of them, just as Christ would have.

  3. My concern with this story is that no evidence was presented to prove that Mr. Corcoran is indeed sexually active with other men.

    If he is truly trying to live in chastity despite his homosexual inclinations, then he should be applauded and affirmed. In this age, that would be heroic virtue.

    The bishop may still choose to remove him as altar server because the optics don’t look good (technically called the appearance of formal cooperation with evil that could cause scandal).

    BUT, in order to remain consistent, he would also need to remove any heterosexual altar servers who have roommates of the opposite sex, even if there is no sexuality involved. I know several men who have had female roommates but they nevertheless lived in chastity. It can be done. For consistency’s sake, these folks should also be banned from serving at the altar. Otherwise, we could be treating a chaste homosexual unfairly.

  4. I think its important to be fair to homosexuals who practice the faith, and not to discriminate against them.

    But I think its even more important that the state should not decide who can and cannot take on roles in the liturgy. The Church must decide who can be on the altar, not the state. If this is the role of the state, they will force the church to allow women to be priests, and then we will have to go underground.

    This is so much more serious than about whether one altar server was mistreated or not. To take this case to the civil authorities is to betray the faith, very simply put.

  5. Neil, I fully agree. This should not be put in front of a pagan kangaroo kourt that has a history of anti-Christian rulings. The precedent that is created will only increase their power and boldness to interfere further in Church matters.

  6. Catholic men and women living together, no matter how “chastely” gives scandalous example to the community. How can we tell young people to “save sex for marriage” when we are living with someone from the opposite sex? Co-habitation gives confusion as to the nature of the relationship and is the perfect breeding ground for lust and fornication. Period.

    I admire Mr. Corcoran for living chastely, but to live with another gay man is just as scandalous and imprudent. He shouldn’t be surprised that it is inviting criticism.

    Catholics have been so blinded by the sexual revolution most see nothing wrong with co-habitation. A pastor should ensure that anyone serving at the Altar or distributing Holy Communion has a lifestyle that leaves no-room for this type of scandal, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

  7. Jim,

    I’m not sure if you are the complainant in this case since, remarkably, your names are the same. But let me assume that you are, for it does not make any difference to me on how I will respond…

    Whether your allegations of other disputes are accurate or not is beside the point. The question at hand is the human rights complaint. That’s all I care about. Don’t divert the issue. I am unconcerned with other intermural squabbles of a parish. In any case, at this point, since you are openly attacking the bishop and the Church, I tend not to believe your side of this story. Nevertheless, let me give you my opinion:

    #1 – If you are really concerned about Catholicism in Canada and Bishop De Angelis is a “good bishop”, why are you bringing public scandal by attacking your own spiritual father when he has made a decision against you? And why are you providing a precedent for enemies of the Church to bankrupt it and drive it underground? Is this what you do to your friends, let alone brothers in Christ? Where were you taught about Christianity, Jim?

    #2 – Why are you bringing in a secular authority to make a decision regarding the Church? Have you not read what St. Paul says about this kind of thing? Read 1 Cor. 6:1-11.

    #3 – From Redemptionis Sacramentum: [46.] “The lay Christian faithful called to give assistance at liturgical celebrations should be well instructed and must be those whose Christian life, morals and fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium recommend them. It is fitting that such a one should have received a liturgical formation in accordance with his or her age, condition, state of life, and religious culture. No one should be selected whose designation could cause consternation for the faithful.”

    We must guard against not only ACTUAL scandal, but actions and behaviours that may be interpreted as such. This is the real problem here. Not that you may, in fact, be living a chaste life, but that your current situation with another man compromises the community’s peace. Can you imagine this thing being repeated as a rule? I want you to think about this very carefully. “Yes, I am a priest, but that woman I living with? Pay no attention. We’re just “close friends”. Wink, wink.” I am sure you can see the problem with this scenario.

    #4 – There is no RIGHT to be an altar server. There is no RIGHT to be a priest. There is no strict RIGHT to the Eucharist. There is no strict RIGHT to marriage. These are privileges that the Church grants to her children on certain conditions. You need to get off of this idea of entitlement. If you do not accept the authority of the bishop, you are free to leave. But, please, don’t presume to knuckle your way into forcing the Catholic community to accept your scandalous behaviour at the hands of a “Human Rights” Thug from the government.

    Besides Jim, it can’t be good PR for the gay community or your spa. Nobody likes a bully. Think about it and drop your complaint.

  8. When Mr. Corcoran says that he is living chastely, what does he mean? that he is not engaging in sexual relations with anyone other than his wife (which he doesn’t have) or that he is sexually involved with the man who lives with him and he is faithful to him only.
    Yes, his living situation does provide scandal period. But I sense that Mr. Corcoran might actually believe that he can be a practising homosexual, as long as he keeps his relationship monogamous.
    Either way, this man needs to be told some very basic facts about the Catholic faith.

  9. What a pathetic display by Mr. Corcoran. The fact alone that he submitted a “Human Rights” complaint shows his contempt for the Church. The Church is a voluntary organisation and the state has no place whatsoever in telling the Church how to conduct the liturgy. No one has the right not to have their feelings hurt or not to be offended. I feel offended that Dr. Morgentaler received the Order of Canada award (which is, in my eyes, now worthless) and that there are no laws in Canada governing abortion. That’s right, no laws. It is perfectly legal in Canada for a doctor, with the mother’s consent, to “terminate the pregnancy” if the baby still has one foot, or even a toe, in the birth canal. This goes beyond feeling hurt, it’s revolting. I wonder how far my “Human Rights” complaint will get. May God have mercy on Mr. Corcoran’s soul, because I believe that he is attempting to subvert the Church Militant here on earth into doing the work of the devil. “Saint Micheal the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits that wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”

  10. Even if what you say is true, Jim, what business does the State have in these matters?

    The State has no business in the religious decisions of a bishop over his flock, period. Even if the bishop is wrong, it’s none of the State’s business.

    What next, a human rights complaint to force the Church to ordain women?

  11. By the way, this will be thrown out because the OHRC has no jurisdiction outside of employment and housing related issues.

    If Mr. Corcoran was employed in a commercial transaction, that would be a different story. As it stands now, he needs to complain to the CHRC for their to be a kangaroo trial.

    Forgot to mention that important point.

  12. Mr. Corcoran can consider himself a leader in the assault on the Roman Catholic Church. He would do well to understand what love is. Love is not an emotion, love is a decision. It involves and act of the will. When one chooses to place the needs of others above their own needs, one shows true love, not the deformed Hollywood-style love incessantly belched out of the entertainment industry, only to fall on the faithful as moral and intellectual pollution, and corrode the consciences of all who make the mistake of believing that this is reality.

    To allow Mr. Corcoran to continue serving in the liturgy would definitely cause scandal among the faithful, despite his claim that the relationship that he maintains with the man he lives with is purely “platonic”. This is not acceptable. Can Mr. Corcoran not think of the good of the community of the faithful over his own hurt feelings? Are his own hurt feelings so important to himself that they justify trampling over the Church and all the faithful, by means of employing a taxpayer-funded, well-know-to-be-corrupt quasi-judicial body as his henchmen? Is this not a bit narcissistic? Mr. Corcoran should learn that pride is a sin.

    A former employee of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and who has since been heavily involved in their proceedings, Richard Warman, has called men who practice a homosexual lifestyle a “c—-r”. The head of the national body itself, Jennifer Lynch, is a l–r. Their employees have memberships in Canadian neo-Nazi groups and have regularly posted diatribes against men who practice the homosexual lifestyle, as well as against the Jewish people on internet websites run by neo-Nazis. “Human Rights” commissions across the country have been instruments for persecuting the Church: Fr. Alphonse de Valk and Rev. Stephen Boissoin are two burning examples. Are we about to now add the example of Mr. Corcoran?

    An apology from the Bishop is nonsense. What should the Bishop apologise for? Protecting his flock against scandal? Rubbish. If anyone is to apologise, it is Mr. Corcoran, for his attack on Christ’s sheep. Mr. Corcoran should take some time off the spa and do a careful examination of conscience and ask himself who he’s working for: satan or Christ? At the end of the day, we’re all working for one or the other. How do we show our love for Christ? Through holy obedience to Him and His Church. Rousing disobedience and pride are not fruits of the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

    I think that Mr. Corcoran should stop harassing the Bishop. I think that Mr. Corcoran should stop harassing the Church. I think that Mr. Corcoran would discover a happiness that the world cannot give him through material possessions if he were to show genuine humility, contrition and repentance, living and praying in the light of Christ, and not rebelling against it.

  13. Wow…..I was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church and stopped going numerous years ago in Port Hope with my family because the church received a priest that came in and decided to change everything and we were not happy so left. Through out my life i have not felt my beliefs were with the RC church and could not bring myself to go back. My grandmother was quite upset that I did not baptize my children…..but how could I if i didn’t believe in the RC church’ s ideas/ beliefs. What i don’t understand with this whole charade is how Mr Corcoran has taken a situation like this and twisted it and created the scandel himself when according to him the 12 parishiners threatened to do.
    He has turned this into something much bigger then it really is.
    THe parishiners have been complaining about FR. Hood for over a year now. Paishiners have left the church because of him just last night i talked to someone who stated that she had left St. Micheals because of him….I do not understand how the Bishop could ignore the people for this long about there concerns….My feelings are you need a priest to be good leader and my feelings are FR. Hood must not have….in Jim’s Blog it clearly states that he is only sueing these people because it wouldn’ be right for a Priest to do it!!!!! The people make the church if it weren’t for them there would be no church …..the saying goes if it aint broke don’t fix it…..FR Hood came into this church and decided it was his way or no way….and the people didn’t stand for it and were only trying to get their church back….I pray for all the parishners of St Michaels that they will get back what they want ….Their church….and for Jim and Fr. Hood if you feel that strongly about your believes go start your own church…..I believe women and men homosexual or straight should be priests and all that but Thats not what the RC church believes thats why i left and would never go back….Mr. Corcorans acusations and statements about these 12 on his blog comparing them to 9″11 terrorists is absolutly crazy….they are bunch of 70 year + devout catholics committed to their church who have gone there for over 30 years they are knights and ladies auxilary to the knights of columbus who have not left over 30 years so tell me this that there is not something not right going on at St. Michaels!!! One man has caused all this and that is Father Hood!!!!

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