When a new equity policy kicks in next year, students of other religions will get areas to pray in local Catholic schools, but homosexual students hoping for a gay/straight alliance at their high school may have to wait.
School boards across the province will be required to have in place equity and inclusive education policies before the start of next school year. The policies are wide-ranging, affecting everything from religious accommodation to what the province says are discriminatory biases and systemic barriers to education.
One of the things it will mean is that if a student of any religion attends a Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board school, the board will have to provide that student with a place for prayer, said Supt. Maria Esposito, though she noted that in Northern Ontario boards religious accommodation is expected most often to apply to native spirituality.
In its guidelines on religious accommodation, the province uses as an example the Toronto Catholic District School Board, which has made its chapels available to Muslim students to pray.
The same could be expected at the H-SCDSB, said Esposito.
“We would be called to provide a space for them to pray, provided that they want to come into a Catholic school,” said Esposito.
“We promote the respect and inclusion of any student, no matter their race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, any disability or identity that makes them unique,” she said.
Trustees at the Algoma District School Board last month questioned that board’s policy, and the potential the religious accommodation guidelines have for returning prayer to public schools after years of absence.
What the new policy’s religious accommodation requirements won’t change is one “basic” requirement to which non-Catholic families at the HSCDSB are expected to adhere, said Esposito.
“If they choose to register their child in our schools, yes we will try to accommodate them, but by the same token, they will be respectful of our religion,” she said. “We don’t expect them to receive the sacrament, for example, but if there is a mass scheduled, they attend the mass, they are respectful of our faith.”
Esposito said the board has already made significant strides to include aboriginal spirituality, such as including smudging ceremonies in masses.
“Our bishops are very much on board,” she said.
Esposito said the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board’s administration is several months away from presenting a policy to trustees for approval. (Source)
I don’t doubt at all that the bishops are very much on board with accommodating other religions in Catholic schools. But then again Catholic schools aren’t really Catholic schools anymore, are they? They’re multi-cult, multi-religious institutions which will become predominately Muslim in the coming years, as is already starting to happen in some elementary schools. In fact, at least the schools will become real Muslim schools. It’s not like, after all, they will be replacing real Catholic schools. They will be replacing the “Happy Holidays” religion which fraudulently passes as “Catholic”. At least, there will be something to celebrate when that is gone. Praise be to God.
The current system exists as an excuse for the bishops not to provide authentic Catholic schools, as they are required to do under canon law. It’s so much easier to rely on the form of a farcical and dead system, rather than to strike out boldly and call out parents to substantive sacrifice without the State’s intrusions and saturations of an authentic Catholic education.
When I graduated from Catholic high school, I had to empty my head of the social justice drivel that largely occupied it, and actually learn the central tenets of the Faith. That was over 20 years ago. Things are a whole lot worse today.
Not that this take-over is such a bad thing because, at least then, Catholics will have to squarely face what they have become and where they have permitted themselves to be led. Don’t count on the bishops to actually take their responsibility seriously in maintaining the Catholic identity of our schools, either. I very much doubt that any of them have the slightest clue that something is terribly wrong with the Catholicity of our schools (or maybe they do but they don’t have the cahonays to do something about it).
I am sure that in addition to the religious accomodation offered to other religions, the belt-sized kilts worn by our high school tramps and their condom-totting jigilos will also continue indefinitely into the future. Along with marriage, modesty and piety have whole new definitions too.
And while we’re at it, why not give up a few hours during the week to every religion to conduct their services at the local Catholic parish or Cathedral? We wouldn’t want to make any kind of exclusivist and dogmatic claims about what we believe or be accused of being closed minded, would we?