What's good for the Catholic... - Macleans.ca

What’s good for the Catholic…


Here’s a question  for you: imagine that a Muslim school in, say, the north end of Montreal won a favourable court decision to peddle a Muslim-flavoured take on moral and religious education. You know, the usual: homosexuals are evil, women should be modest, pre-marital sex is sinful, and only men can have the privilege to teach the ways of god to the flock. What do you think the reaction would be here in Quebec?

I’ll answer that for you. The province, the same one that became apoplectic when a cabane à sucre deigned to serve pork-free baked beans to a Muslim group, would go absolutely nuclear. “In Quebec, we have laws that protect the rights of the child,” the spittle-inflected Richard Martineau would probably write. (Actually, he did.) “The United Nations convention on the rights of the child, for example, affirms that children ‘must be able to express their opinions on all questions that interest and concern them…’

“But as soon as the question is religion, pffffffft, our lovely laws and nice principles go by the wayside.”

The opposition PQ would denounce the government’s inaction in the face of a nefarious, ever-creeping tide of religious theocracy within Quebec’s educational system. The ADQ would be doubly aggressive in its denunciations, linking the increased religiosity of Quebec to higher immigration rates and a loss of ‘Quebec culture’ and the decline of the French language. The Liberals, stunned as usual, would probably call some sort of commission and, hopefully, push the whole thing off till after the next election.

Here’s the funny part about the above story: it’s all true! Well, except for one little detail. Replace ‘Muslim’ with ‘Catholic’ and you have exactly what happened at Montreal’s Loyola High School.

Loyola recently won the right to exempt itself from the province’s ethics and religious course, instead relying on a course with a significant “Catholic perspective”. I have no clue what that exactly means, but this much is for sure: it will teach that homosexuals are evil, women should be modest, pre-marital sex is sinful, and only men can have the privilege to teach the ways of god to the flock.

And the reaction? Remarkably subdued. The PQ disagreed with the court ruling, but couldn’t even bother with a press release. The Liberals quietly said they would appeal the court’s decision. The ADQ, meanwhile, agreed with the judgement, and said Jean Charest’s government was being “intransigent” toward Catholics. The chattering types, meanwhile, have been surprisingly quiet on Loyola’s imposition of religiosity on its charges.

So, it’s okay to flout the province’s much-ballyhooed secularism, as long as it’s the Catholic types who are doing the flouting.

Lesson learned.

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What’s good for the Catholic…

  1. The crucifix remains in the Quebec legislature does it not?

    • The crucifix does, indeed remain in the legistature because, apparently, it's all about our history.

      Which is bullshit. I find it sickening that as long as it's about catholicism it's ok.

      If that's the case, than they should all shut the hell up about Quebec being a secular society. If we're to have a secular society in Quebec, Catholicism should be on the same foot as Islam, Judaism or any other religion. None of it in the public sphere, period.

    • Yes, it does. Very good thing. Oh, darn, Mr Patriquin will soon complain about the lack of other religious synbols.

  2. Two corrections.

    1) The Church doesn't teach that anyone is evil, but that certain behavior is sinful.
    2) Women can certainly teach and preach and do everything that a protestant minister can do. They just cannot be invested with apostolic authority or administer the sacraments.

    Now you can certainly criticize those two positions, but you certainly can't criticize properly if you don't understand what your are criticizing.

    • The pope has stated that atheism and feminism are evil, and that in fact atheism is the root of all evil.

      • Are you referring to this?

        "The atheism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is—in its origins and aims—a type of moralism: a protest against the injustices of the world and of world history. A world marked by so much injustice, innocent suffering, and cynicism of power cannot be the work of a good God. A God with responsibility for such a world would not be a just God, much less a good God. It is for the sake of morality that this God has to be contested. Since there is no God to create justice, it seems man himself is now called to establish justice. If in the face of this world's suffering, protest against God is understandable, the claim that humanity can and must do what no God actually does or is able to do is both presumptuous and intrinsically false. It is no accident that this idea has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice; rather, it is grounded in the intrinsic falsity of the claim. A world which has to create its own justice is a world without hope. No one and nothing can answer for centuries of suffering. No one and nothing can guarantee that the cynicism of power—whatever beguiling ideological mask it adopts—will cease to dominate the world."

        • No.

          • Do you just enjoy flinging around unsubstantiated allegations then?

          • I don't intend to get into an argument about atheism vs belief. The remarks are easily available on the web…or do you not pay attention to what the pope says?

            I will repeat what I wrote downthread: You either have a secular society or you don't.

            Quebec apparently can't make up it's mind as to what it is.

          • "I don't intend to get into an argument about atheism vs belief."
            No one asked you to get into an argument about this, but only to substantiate what your specific statements about the specific claims of a specific man. No real "argument" is necessary. Just citation. (Otherwise, your position would "faith-based", literally.)

            "The remarks are easily available on the web"
            A lot is easily available on the web, and most of it amounts to independent evidence of very little.

            "or do you not pay attention to what the pope says?"
            So you "don't intend to get into an argument", just ad hominem insults or insinuations. Your credibility is rising with each post.

            "You either have a secular society or you don't."
            Nonsense. Germany, Britain, the United States, Canada, France: all have different model of secularism at the legal, political and social levels. You may think that only one of these systems is any good, or that perhaps none of them are and the only the one that exists in your mind's eye is any good, but the simple variety of such systems makes a blanket statement like yours untenable. Various people defend various forms of secularism. Your preference for some version or other does not suffice to make that version definitive.

          • Quebec is very proud of being a secular society, and that means no one religion is allowed to make the laws for everyone in that society. It's the separation of church and state.

            That means no loopholes for catholicism.

          • "Quebec is very proud of being a secular society"
            This doesn't address the fact that forms of secularism vary tremendously, but in any case, you say…

            "that means no one religion is allowed to make the laws for everyone in that society"
            That has nothing to do with the case at hand. You are not talking here about "one religion" setting the public school curricula, for instance. So this just beside the point.

            "It's the separation of church and state."
            Again, the nature and extent of separation of church and state is too variable across various "secular" countries for these sorts of statements to be very helpful. They just amount to a kind of mantra – or "dogma", if you will.

          • You are evidently an extremely uneducated individual. No term can be simply defined just by looking up some dictionary website, let alone when the term is as complex as "secularism" – a subject about which whole books have been written. This point is actually proven simply by consulting the link which you have provided, in which two different definitions of secularism are given, which are distinct from, and not necessarily compatible with, one another – and note that the first claims that secularism involves "reject[ing] all forms of religious faith and worship" – hardly a self-evident proposition. Thus, the very source which you cite to define secularism proves that it cannot be defined so easily. In any case, even if you mean for the second definition to be taken as definitive ("the view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element"), it is obviously not definitive since, apart from the fact that it is distinct from the first definition, it simply contradicts the practices of many jurisdictions which claim to be, and are accepted by others, as secular. That does not prove that they are right, but it does show the need for a broader understanding of these subjects than citing a link to an internet dictionary. To put this point a bit differently: if you are a product of "secular" education, evidently not much is being learned in that system.

          • Well if you consider that dictionaries are wrong, I would say it's you that is uneducated, seeing as it's the basis of the language you are speaking.

            Spin it however you want, but you are either a secular society or you are not.

            Quebec, by producing this loophole, is not.

          • "If you consider that dictionaries are wrong…"
            You are entirely missing the point. In the first, a random internet dictionary is not especially authoritative even for the world of dictionaries. In the second place, the fact that the internet site ("dictionary") you linked to does not settle the issue is obvious simply from taking it on its own terms (i.e., by accepting it as authoritative): that is, as I pointed out above, it provides two *logically distinct* definitions of secularism, which are potentially at odds with one another. So it cannot provide a single definition of secularism even on its own terms. In the third place, those definitions still do not account for the practices of many jurisdictions across the country and the world, many of which are widely regarded as or claim to be "secular". Thus, simply claiming "you are either a secular society or you are not" will never settle the questions, because so many different forms of, and claims to, "secularism" manifestly exist.

          • Use any dictionary you like. The meaning is the same.

            Now kindly stop spinning, you'll make yourself dizzy.

          • "Use any dictionary you like. The meaning is the same."
            Now you're just making things up. This is so easy to disprove it's ludicrous. Just look at the links from the online Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster and you'll find definitions which vary from those at that the site you posted, as well as from each other:

            More fundamentally, you still haven't grasped that very source you cited to define secularism contains two definitions which are logically distinct, and potentially in conflict which one another, and thus even within the one single source that you've cited, the meaning is not the same. Once you've grasped the meaning of the one source that you've cited, you can move on to others, and once you've understood those, move on to learning about the variety of forms of, and claims to, secularism around the world.

          • Emily, I don't think that you are understanding the point Ziggy is trying to make. Is secularism important? Yes. Is there only one way in which it can be carried out? No. There are significant differences in the ways that secularism is accomplished in various states.

            Contrast the USA and France, for example:

            France has taken a stance against ostentatious religious displays in all public forums (which means banning the burka in public). This is a form of secularism in which elevates public secularization above the rights of the individual.

            The US, on the other hand, limits its secularism to the government sphere. This means that, outside of state funded activities, religiosity is perfectly fine.

            The difference between the two, of course, is that in the US a religious school would be perfectly able to teach whatever it wanted (so long as it did not receive state funding), while in France, no such school would be permitted. Both are secular states, but there is a significant difference in the method and the outcome.

          • I seem to have difficulty, finding those remarks, which is odd because I actually follow the Pope quite closely, so I would have thought I would have remembered these comments.

            Could you help direct poor ignorant me to the relevant online text?

          • Oh! So the quotation I gave you was correct! The articles in question are both referring to the paragraph I posted.

            Your single reply of "no" is therefore incorrect.

          • No, I gave you two urls to articles you'd understand at your level….there are many more, but then I'm sure you'd accuse me of trying to convert you. LOL

            You just want me to make your argument for you, and you haven't one.

            Nor am I interested in your fantasies about having one.

            Eventually, I'm sure, you'll get back to the actual topic here.

          • HA HA HA HA HA!

            This is awesome! Wow.

            Accusing me of being off topic when you were the one who pushed it off topic in the first place. Not realizing that the news articles are referring to the paragraph of the text of an encyclical I posted upthread. Then accusing me of ignorance and not having an argument.

            Pure comedy.

          • No, the topic is secularism in Quebec. It has always been about secularism in Quebec.

            So far you've been running a sermon on the wonders of catholicism itself.

            The only comedy here is that you can't google, and expect me to do it for you.

            Maybe you could pray about it?

          • In none of the links provided will you find the pope even using the word "evil" – in fact, the links consist mainly of others commenting on his words. And evidently these are the same passages that TTE previously quoted, so your original answer of "no" was indeed false.

          • Again….learn to google.

            Your ignorance on one topic doesn't excuse your ignorance on others.

          • This is really quite simple: if you claim that (a) the pope calls X evil and then (b) provide a source purporting to document claim (a) in which the word "evil" never even occurs in his own words, then it seems likely that you're simply making things up. Telling people to "learn to google" is of course no answer: I came to this site by googling, but that's because this site actually exists. The statements which you refer to cannot be simply googled because they do not exist. Moreover, precisely if I didn't know how to google anything, it would behoove you to do so in order to prove your point. Which you've tried to do and failed miserably at.

          • Yes, it's as simple as you are.

            Here's your own encyclical again, since you're so fond of it.

            I suggest you read it this time.

            'The Pope urged Christians to put their hope for a better future in God.
            "We have all witnessed the way in which progress, in the wrong hands, can become and has indeed become a terrifying progress in evil. If technical progress is not matched by corresponding progress in man's ethical formation, in man's inner growth, then it is not progress at all, but a threat for man and for the world," he said.'

          • Again, you're plainly making things up. In the first place, I've never professed to be "fond" of any particular encyclical. In the second place, although you've managed to find a quotation with the word "evil" in it, you still haven't managed to find one that says what you have claimed above – so you might as well have quoted something saying that hedgehogs are evil, say. It simply doesn't say what you claimed it say, as is plain to anyone who looks at it.

          • Maybe you should just link to the encyclical every article you posted is talking about (which can be found with Google!).

            The only time he refers to atheism in a negative light is the paragraph I posted upthread. Remember, living in the age of the internet means never having to rely on secondary sources for contemporary events.

          • Dear ziggy and TedTylerEzro,

            As an agnostic, your intervenions in this thread have been thoughtful and excellent. I just wish you had a higher quality poster to dual with. Emily is what the internets label a troll. They are easy to identify by the absolutist stances and ad hominim attacks.

      • Again, Emily, even if that were true, it does not contradict what TedTylerEzro said : doctrine can be evil, sin also, but not people they are only sinners who can always repent and be saved.

  3. So Patriquin thinks private Catholic high schools should be forced to teach "ethics and religious culture" courses that are dictated to them by the province? What's the point of having a private Catholic school in the first place, then?

    • Not his point at all. Seems to me he's just pointing out the double standard of the politicians and the journalists (and clearly also the blogging community) without taking a position on it himself, as far as I can see.

      • I think he can point out the double standard without throwing verbal feces at a group that he hates.

        • I completely agree.

        • What makes you think he hates Catholics?

          Regardless, the point is clearly that Quebec touts being a secularist culture… except when it comes to the Roman Catholic Church. So in effect, it is secularism for everyone else. So in effect, a state sanctioned/accepted protection of one religion. That is the point of this post.

          • So in effect, a state sanctioned/accepted protection of one religion.

            Loyola won a court case against the ERC curriculum. If other religious schools want to challenge the curriculum in court, they can. It's definitely not an example of state-sanctioned protection of one religion.

          • I'm not really taking a position on this, but that seems to be the point of the post – i.e. that because it is the Roman Catholics, not one of the pro-secularist parties or journalists are saying boo about the decision, including the government that brought in the rule. In other words, the post is about the reaction of the parties closest to this and their relative non-reaction to this result.

            But had it been any other religion that objected and won the court case, most especially if it had been a Muslim school, all of those parties would be up in arms about the encroachment of religion on the secular state.

            I have a very hard time believing he's wrong in that observation.

          • I agree with you about the point Patriquin was trying to make. Too bad he shot himself in the foot with his "homos are evil" misrepresentation of the Catholic high school's ethics course, which makes him sound like a snarky, clueless teenager.

            Do Quebec's hypersecular politicians and journalists have a double standard against Muslims? Probably, but there's nothing new there. The political scene in Quebec is full of double standards, contradictions, and rank hypocrisy.

          • Well, I suppose you could say he was a bit hyperbolic there, but the fact of the matter is that the Roman Catholic Church does in fact teach that homosexuality is a sin, not natural and strongly opposes same sex marriage to the point in Quebec of at least one Bishop calling on voters to vote against parties that support same sex marriage.

            Now I definitely don't want to get pulled into a debate about the Roman Catholic Church and its doctrines and I most certainly recognize that, while the current Pope has been very clearly and very strongly opposed to homosexuality, he has also preached repeatedly for tolerance and understanding (i.e. treat gays the way you would any other sinner). But to me, equating that view of homosexuality with calling homosexuality evil is a bit like saying 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.

          • He was more than a "bit hyperbolic" there. It was an ignorant, offensive distortion of what Loyola actually teaches.

            But to me, equating that view of homosexuality with calling homosexuality evil is a bit like saying 1 1 1 = 3.

            Read Gaunilon's comments if you want to understand why Patriquin's claim that "it will teach that homosexuals are evil" is pure crap.

            (The "women should be modest" thing is also crap – as if the course teaches that women should be modest, but men shouldn't.)

          • Well now, whether or not the Church deems homosexuality evil is one thing. The Catechism is clear. But it doesn't necessarily follow that the classroom would emphasis the narrow line between the condition and the behaviour.

          • I think it's safe to say that pretty much every Catholic high school in Canada makes this distinction crystal clear. The line isn't as narrow as you make it out to be.

          • No it isn't but to blur that line in a blog post trying to make a different point is not exactly a sign of "ignorant and offensive distortion". More a typical blurring of the lines a layperson might easily make in passing. And certainly not a sign he "hates" the Catholic Church and is throwing "verbal feces".

            But I guess we are only allowed to comment on the RC Church, let alone criticize it, if we are RC scholars. (Last comment not directed at you CR.)

          • You should probably be as informed as someone who deems to comment about sports is informed about sports. In other words, you should at least refer the rulebook if you want to comment about a rule.

          • I beg to differ… In my experience, French Catholic schools (outside of Québec) tend to be WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY more lenient, tolerant and touchy feely than English Catholic schools.

          • Here is what he wrote: "homosexuals are evil, women should be modest, pre-marital sex is sinful, and only men can have the privilege to teach the ways of god to the flock."

            That is inaccurate but not "pure" crap as there is some truth.

            – The RC Church teaches that homosexuality is evil (i.e. the act of), not homosexuals per se.
            – The RC Church only permits men to become priests and determine on the ways of god, teaching is not limited to men.
            – The RC Church does indeed teach modesty for women (for men too presumably) and that pre-marital sex is sinful.

            The difference between what he wrote and was actually get taught (as I gather from what I read here) seems to me to be in the realm of hyperbolic inaccuracy to make a point. But as I said, that's just my view.

            As I also said, seems to me that, in the eagerness to defend Catholicism and religion, his primary point has suffered an ignorant maybe offensive distortion of what he was actually teaching us.

          • My understanding is that homosexual sex is no better or worse than premarital sex in the eyes of the RC Church. But acts are considered sinful. The notion that Catholic high schools teach kids that homosexuals are "evil" is simply wrong. Do you think that kids in Catholic schools are taught that people who have sex outside of marriage are "evil"?

          • Not sure what you are getting at. I made it pretty clear I agree the Church doesn't call gays evil but does call the act evil.

            I am no Catholic let alone a Catholic scholar so I am not the one to pronounce on the intricacies of canon. Certainly, RC laypeople, priests and bishops have called either gays “evil”. I've heard that myself. Maybe they were just being sloppy with doctrine.

            And while the current Pope has certainly called for compassion toward homosexuals and their “condition” and “inclinations”, Ratzinger when he was in charge of doctrine made it clear that homosexuals are not evil per se but the act of homosexuality was an “intrinsic moral evil”. (He is quoted somewhere here, but the thread is too long for me to find it now.)

            My point is that to claim that Patriquin is making an ignorant and offensive distortion – and not merely hyperbolic and imprecise – for not making the distinction in a blog post trying to make another point is at least as, if not more, hyperbolic.

          • Just to be clear, I don't think it was a deliberate distortion, or that Patriquin was trying to be offensive. So I'll back off a bit from my earlier comment. As a general rule, it's best not to make snarky, imprecise, hyperbolic claims about what religious schools teach kids – people are bound to get irate.

            I'll be generous and chalk it up to bad writing. Patriquin was just using a hackneyed rhetorical device – the ol' bait and switch.

          • Probably closer to the mark and closer to agreement with my view. I still don't think, for its purposes, it was all that far off even.

            But again, it was the lead it and he was writing it that way to draw the parallel to the views on muslims being allowed to teach whatever they want. And the double standard is not limited to Quebec by any stretch.

          • Name the Canadian priests and bishops who have said so in the last 50 years. Who did you hear? You know their names if you presumably heard them speak. Maybe the parish? Cause we can get them into trouble if you'd like.

            As for laypeople, they say all sorts of things.

            As for whether homosexuality is an "intrinsic moral evil", so is gluttony even though people might be compulsive eaters. So is extra-marital sex, even if some are nymphomaniacs. So are any number of behaviors that we consider harmful. Pornography is considered to be an intrinsic moral evil, but we don't call pornographers evil either.

          • I get that you want to defend the RC Church, Ezro. I get that you don't think anyone is allowed to comment on the RC Church unless they are a doctored RC scholar or they agree with you. OK?

            We get that. But don't let that blind you either. OK?

          • I get that you want to show that people in the RC church are bigots, who like to say that homosexuals are evil.

            We get that. But don't let that blind you either. OK?

          • Of course there are bigots in the RC church. Are you actually suggesting there are not? You are not seriously suggesting that an organization plus its members, totalling 1.13 BILLION, has no bigots, are you? That's taking blindness to a whole new level.

            Do I think Catholics are any more bigotted than any other religious group? On the contrary, I think you could make the case that when it came to race and homosexuality that Catholics are no less nor no more bigotted than Protestants or Muslims.

            As for whether the Church or its doctrine is bigotted, I think that the Pope's pronouncement when he was in charge of doctrine that homosexuality is evil, that homosexuality is a "condition" but that Catholics should show love and compassion and tolerance for homosexuals (like they would for an addict perhaps) is certainly far less bigotted than, say, a fundamentalist Baptist or Muslim. But it is still bigotted.

          • You want to say that there are more bigots in the RC church than outside of it. That the church promotes bigotry and hate, more than your secular values do. You have to to understand why I'm going to take that personally.

            As for Catholics, we are told to show love and compassion and tolerance for all sinners (like they would an addict perhaps) which is every damn person in the entire world.

          • Honestly, how do you read something like "Catholics are no less nor no more bigotted than Protestants or Muslims" and process that in your brain to mean "You want to say that there are more bigots in the RC church than outside of it"??? Seriously pisses me off when people read the opposite meaning into what I actually write because they don't like me or my position.

            And then you get all sensitive and insulted by your own fabrication. Un–believable.

          • If you had said "Catholics are no more or less bigoted than people like me", it would have gone over better.

          • How could I make a statement like that? It would have been false on its face or extremely conceited.

            There are RCs (just like there are Protestants and Muslims) who are more bigotted than me and there are RCs (just like there are Protestants and Muslims) who are less bigotted than me.

            The only difference is that, when it comes to homosexuality, such RCs are less bigotted despite what their Church says about the act of homosexuality and acting on who they are and not thinking of homosexuality as a "condition" that can be fixed or even needs to be fixed.

            (Since you are no doubt going to construe that statement as a statement of hatred instead of fact, I'd add that, when it comes to the RC Church, in many ways they are far less bigotted on such things as race and class and ethnicity than probably most (but certainly not all) other mainstream global churches/denominations.)

          • Fine, I can't dissuade you that there is no possibility in being disapproving of homosexuality, while being capable of loving and treating the homosexual person with respect. I'll disagree with you on that, but I guess in your opinion I'm too bigoted to know I'm a bigot.

          • You can be capable of that – it's just incredibly condescending.

          • BTW, I think your understanding that "homosexual sex is no better or worse than premarital sex in the eyes of the RC Church" is not accurate. Certainly, the language to describe homosexuality is a lot stronger, the act a lot more depraved and wrong. Homosexuality is considered a condition, a mere inclination which in itself is offensive. So certainly, on a personal level, there is a more visceral antagonism to homosexuality.

            Whether, as a "sin", homosexuality is on par with pre-marital sex, I have no idea. The "rules" and "tiers" of sins is not something dwelt on very much by someone who does not even believe in the very idea of "sin" itself.

          • Sorry Ted, but I honestly don't think that you know enough about the RC Church to be able to make those judgments. I actually went to a Catholic high school, and that's exactly how they taught it to me. Most of my teachers were extremely liberal and tolerant. It was a far cry from how these things get caricatured in the media.

          • What "judgment" am I not allowed to make just because I'm not a Catholic? How have you established that I "don't know enough" just because I'm not a Catholic? Dangerous grounds there, CR.

            I've actually been quite careful in that last comment to use only language that I have read summarizing or actually written by Roman Catholics in anticipation of such a nausious comment.

            The Pope himself calls homosexuality a "condition" so that is hardly a "caricature". And I am complete free to form an opinion how it seems to me quite obvious that, on a personal level, there is a far greater intolerance for homosexuality and a far greater tolerance for pre-marital sex that they are not considered equivalent by many many practitioners and leaders and priests.

          • You can make any judgment about Catholic doctrine or dogma or teaching that you want to make. I'm just saying that I'm not sure it would be an informed judgment. I have no idea why you think those are dangerous grounds, or why you described my comment as "nausious" (that word takes an 'e', by the way). I meant absolutely no offence.

            In these enlightened times, I think that most Catholic high schools in Canada (and there are a lot of them) are actually surprisingly progressive with regards to homosexuality in their curriculum. It would be interesting to check out some of the textbooks that are used.

          • And certainly no offense was taken. I'm referring more to the tone and tendency of many RCers (like Ezro here or the likes of Michael Coren) to take the position that if you are not Catholic you have no business commenting on Catholicism. That I think is a dangerous viewpoint. It leads to a lot of wrongdoing within the Church and outside it.

            I actually consider myself to be much more informed about Catholicism than the average Catholic from my interest in religion generally and my graduate work in Canadian cultural/religious history in particular. I stand by everything I've written today. But, as always, am open to a correction if you can point to one rather than make the blanket statement that I "don't know enough".

            I know for a fact that many RC curricula are very enlightened and, despite my opinion of religion in general, I have no automatic rejection of religious teachings and even, to an extent and in certain corners, a certain respect and admiration of it. Certainly, compared to the non-religious public school system.

          • Comment on Catholicism, but accept correction when you are wrong.

            Don't claim that you understand my beliefs better than I do.

          • Show me where I'm wrong first, before asking me to accept a correction. I'm not sure I have said anything wrong nor that you have even attempted to point out any incorrectness.

            I don't claim to understand your personal beliefs better than you do. Please show me where I have made any such claim.

            You on the other hand seem to think you know what I'm saying even when my words say something quite different. I think you have been spending too much time today running around automatically attacking anyone who in any way challenges anything you say about the Roman Catholic Church or the original post or any comments made since. That ain't healthy.

          • Certainly you have made a claim to understand my beliefs better than I do. I point out what we believe, from an authoritative source, and then you say that it doesn't matter what we say, it what we truly believe is the vile crap that Martin Patriquin said we believe. That's what will taught in Catholic schools.

            As for my unhealthy ranting… Sometimes you need to vent when simply interacting with the wider society means that you are subjected daily to the opinion that you are stain on human progress, an enemy of reason, an abuser of your children for raising them in your family's faith, and a bigot.

          • Again, where did I make any such statement? Where do I say you are even wrong? Please show me. Where do I say Patriquin isn't wrong? Please show me. He was wrong and I say so, so I would be quite surprised if you found otherwise.

            And where the f**k did I say you or RCs are stains on human progress, an enemy of reason, an abuser of children for raising them in your faith or all bigotted??? In fact, where did or has anyone said that?

            This is what pisses me off with the overly devout like you – and I really very very rarely make personal insults so feel honoured – you are so bent out of shape about your "thing" – be it religion, party, ideology, hockey team – that every time you anyone else even mentions your "thing" you project all of the pent up anger over criticisms/attacks you have ever heard about onto the discussion, regardless of what the discussion is or what anyone has said.

            It is so stupid of me to even try to have a conversation with you when you want to keep inventing things I've said. G'night.

          • " Where do I say Patriquin isn't wrong? Please show me. He was wrong and I say so, so I would be quite surprised if you found otherwise."

            "And, while there is certainly some issue with his choice of words (eg. Catholics don't think homosexuals are evil, just the act of homosexuality is evil), I don't think he is too far wrong in suggesting what Catholics are now allowed to teach, and will teach, in their classes."

          • Thank you for finding a quote in which I note that he is wrong.

            Now please find one in which I say he wasn't wrong as you claim.

          • As for my venting against you… I pulled every vile insult that I mentioned from this very comment board to this story. You won't have look very hard.

            I hear it every god damn day. Certainly a lot more than the mild disapproval gay people hear from me and other Catholics on mainstream news and opinion forums.

            When you called me a bigot, you're just another person piling on the crap.

          • Actually, you lie again as I've not called you a bigot. You live in a weird fantasy world, Ezro.

            But I do happen to believe that a person is not doing anything wrong by loving a person of the same sex and that it is wrong – morally and ethically wrong in fact – to believe that homosexuality is a condition and wrong/evil. Even more so in practice when they run youth shelters but will turn out gay teenagers who have been abused and/or kicked out of home for their homosexuality unless the kid promises not to actually be who they are, i.e. gay.

            So yup, I do have a problem with the RC Church for that particular doctrine.

            Having said that, as I have also carefully pointed out, the RC Church does teach tolerance for homosexuals in official doctrine, even while "it" tolerates a lot of intolerance toward gays, unlike a heck of a lot of Muslim and fundamentalist Protestant denominations. So there is that.

            And if you want to feel play the persecuted victim because that than go right ahead. I don't like that whoa is me type of whiner on the left or right, devout or atheist.

          • I think they would be well within their rights to turn out someone that is having sex on the premises, or making sexual advances to other people in the shelter, whether they were gay or straight.

            If they were simply denied aid because they were gay, then they aren't following Church doctrine. What you are looking at is not so much an example of the Church tolerating intolerance, but a failure to enforce discipline about what it teaches. There has been a lot of that in that last few decades.

            As for you calling me a bigot, you said an opinion I hold is a bigoted opinion. Hence you called me a bigot. You can say it is a mistaken opinion. You can say it is a incorrect opinion. There are other ways to say what you said. But you called me a bigot instead.

          • Also, these statements are contradictory.

            "And, while there is certainly some issue with his choice of words (eg. Catholics don't think homosexuals are evil, just the act of homosexuality is evil), I don't think he is too far wrong in suggesting what Catholics are now allowed to teach, and will teach, in their classes."

            "I know for a fact that many RC curricula are very enlightened and, despite my opinion of religion in general, I have no automatic rejection of religious teachings and even, to an extent and in certain corners, a certain respect and admiration of it."

          • " but the fact of the matter is that the Roman Catholic Church does in fact teach that homosexuality is a sin, not natural and strongly opposes same sex marriage to the point in Quebec of at least one Bishop calling on voters to vote against parties that support same sex marriage.

            What's wrong with that position? Why must everyone agree with the Gay agenda?

          • One other point, I think one of the issues raised by the post which is a really good point and deeper than simply saying Quebec has a double standard, is to actually raise the question of just how "hypersecular" Quebec is. At least when it comes to the Roman Catholic Church.

          • But isn't one reason that Patriquin's post doesn't really address that issue is that he is probably just reflecting that "hypersecular" mindset? It may be that for certain sectors of Quebec society (and not only Quebec society), saying "I have no clue what that exactly means" and nonetheless issuing blanket statements about "that" is simply par for the course when it comes to certain religious issues. Not an edifying sight in discussions of education of any sort.

          • Well, first of all, it is a blog post.

            Second of all, I take the main if not his only intended point to be the double standard.

            It is hard to hold him up to very close scrutiny on the strength of a position when it is (a) a blog post and (b) only a point implied to him.

            That being said, I took his "what that exactly means" as applied to the non-self-definitional "Catholic perspective" to mean "what that means in total and precise terms but here is what it surely means at the very least in this context". So they are not blanket statements but very precise statements about what is at least part of a "Catholic perspective". I could be wrong, but that is how I read it.

            And, while there is certainly some issue with his choice of words (eg. Catholics don't think homosexuals are evil, just the act of homosexuality is evil), I don't think he is too far wrong in suggesting what Catholics are now allowed to teach, and will teach, in their classes.

          • You would be mistaken. If I had access to a Catholic School, and my child's teacher was making a demon out any person, I'd be irate.

          • Groan. Well, good think he's not teaching in a Catholic School then, isn't it!!

            I said I don't think, in the context of what he is writing, that he is too far wrong, meaning, by definition, he is somewhat wrong. Given what he was writing, I really don't think there is that big a deal that is oh so offensive to wrongly write that they will teach homosexuals are evil instead of homosexuality is evil. I can tell you for a fact, that homosexual Catholics don't feel this huge difference you are making when they've been told what they want, who they are, how they live is "evil".

          • There are many actions I do and want that would be considered evil or sinful. If I persisted in trying to claim that this should supersede what the church has forbidden, I would find myself outside the church.

            We don't disapprove of homosexuality because we don't understand it, or because we don't understand that you can't change who you are or what you want. There is pretty much something that anyone who can find something that the Church disapproves of that they aren't willing or able to give up.

            Frankly, I'm sure there are impulses and behavior that you have, even as someone who doesn't believe in "sin", that you wish you didn't do.

    • The problem is that they are only semi-private. These schools are still heavily subsidized by the provincial government. It stands to reason that the government should have a say in the curriculum. If the schools disagree, they can go completely private.

      • The governement has a HUGE say in the curriculum : all of the compulsoty curriculum in fact for only 50 % of the tuition fee (there are other fees for sport, theatre, etc.) in the case of Loyola.

        That's a HUGE saving for the state for a huge say.

        In fact, Loyola will still teach the ERC program but will not have to say that there is no truth, or that there are not some values preferable to other ones (what happens in public school with the ERC course ), which I believe is countrary to good education. Whatever your values.

        Personally, I believe public schools should disappear and parents be far less taxed and thus stop all state imposition and monopoly on the curriculum (even schools receiving no subsidies in Quebec get their curriculum imposed!) and even the teaching methods (skill-based socio-constructivism).

  4. "…instead relying on a course with a significant “Catholic perspective”. I have no clue what that exactly means, but this much is for sure: it will teach that homos are evil, women should be modest, pre-marital sex is sinful, and only men can have the privilege to teach the ways of god to the flock." [Emphasis mine]

    Yes, Patriquin. You are right that you have no clue what that means. Therefore you should not spout off about what exactly it means. I challenge you to find, anywhere in Catholic doctrine, the statement that homosexual men and women are evil. If you can't find it, you should retract your statement. And no, statements to the effect that certain actions are evil does not count as a substitute.

    I also challenge you to find any statement in official Catholic doctrine to the effect that "only men can have the privilege to teach the ways of god to the flock." By the way, that's "God" with a capital G. Proper name.

    You may not know or respect the religion you're writing about, but that doesn't excuse the poor quality of what you've written.

    • Ah, cute little semantics to justify ugly ugly beliefs.

      Colour us here in the 21st century singularly unimpressed.

      • I'll make one attempt at benefit of the doubt here. Do you honestly not see the difference between "this action is evil" and "this person is evil"? For example, do you equate the statement "lying is evil" with the statement "everyone who has ever lied is evil"?

        Or do you recognize the distinction, but feel like calling it "semantics" in order to tar the opinion with which you disagree an "ugly belief"?

        • When that kind of thing is applied to an innate personal characteristic it becomes hateful.

          For instance 'we love jews,we just hate judaism" is hating jews.

          • Actually, claiming that Judaism is an "innate personal characteristic" is a trope of 19th-century, pseudo-scientific European anti-semitism. Judaism is a faith, not a race. Indeed, homosexuality is far more "innate" that Judaism: but that statement is neither an endorsement of homosexuality nor a criticism of Judaism. It's simply an acknowledgment of the nature of two distinct phenomena.

          • I'm thinking more of the Supreme Court's line of reasoning in equality rights cases.

          • This statement is too vague to make much of, one way or the other.

          • I challenge you to find, anywhere in Catholic doctrine, the statement that some innate personal characteristic is "evil". Actions are not "innate personal characteristics".

          • I am not interested in your sophistry. The refusal to accept homosexuality as an integral part of a person, in order to demonize it as a mere "action" and therefore objectionable, doesn't make it justifiable.

            The religious beliefs and doctrine of catholics, while containing much that is laudable, contain an ugly amount of gay hate, and the foolish canards used to justify them are risible.

          • Nowhere in Catholic doctrine will you find a refusal to accept homosexuality as an integral part of a person. Nor will you find it characterized as an action. Nor will you find anyone characterized as "evil".

            You do not have the first clue what you're talking about, and you are more interested in venting your hatred for a religion you do not understand than in learning what it teaches. Fine. I will not bother to give you the benefit of the doubt in future.

          • So you admit your church has absolutely no justification for its ugly opposition to homosexuality. Fine.

          • Gaunilon, you lost me on this one.

            You say that the catholic church believes homosexuality to be an integral part of the individual? Then how do you square that with the whole "hate the sin, not the sinner" if the sin and sinner are one and the same?

          • Because being homosexual is not a sin, from my understanding of Catholic doctrine.

            Also, I didn't say that the Church believes homosexuality to be an integral part of the individual. – I said that the Church does not claim the contrary. I think the Church does not know the answer to that question and prefers to leave it up to science.

          • "Because being homosexual is not a sin, from my understanding of Catholic doctrine."

            Uh…yes it most certainly is.

            "I think the Church does not know the answer to that question and prefers to leave it up to science. "

            Ok then you are the one who doesn't know what he's talking about. The Church will leave it up to science to decide?!? I don't think so.

          • I am pretty sure he's going to say that it is the homosexual act which is the sin, and being homosexual is OK as long as you disavow it to the extent you never ever do the thing that makes you homosexual.

            Which is pretty much saying its OK to be gay as long as you hate yourself and don't do the things that heterosexuals get to do.

          • Which is pretty hateful, IMHO.

          • Never mind then. Clearly I'm talking to an expert, and what the hell do I know about Catholicism, after all?

          • I'm no expert but it doesn't take one to know this. Would a text sourced from the Vatican do?

            This is basic knowledge. Fornication and homosexuality are both considered sins by the Catholic Church.

          • I call your attention to this statement in that letter: "… the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin…." [emphasis mine]

            Fornication is an action, and yes, considered a sin by the Catholic Church. Homosexuality is not.

          • Gaunilon, please read the entire text. You took that one line out of context. The author couldn't be more clear on this issue.

          • I've read the entire text. Many times over many years.
            What I'm saying is correct and in context as I understand it.

            We're done here.

          • "We're done here."

            Of course you are. I'll leave you alone… with that pretzel-like position you've twisted yourself into.

          • Game set match to Poljunkie.

            Can't you guys just come out and say "Look, our religion says that being gay is wrong, that pretty much means we hate gays?" Cut it with the equivocations.

          • We don't approve of pre-marital sex or adulterers either. Does that mean we hate people who, by no choice of their own, have become nymphomaniacs?

          • Do you honestly believe that religious people hate everybody who's ever done something their religion considers wrong? Catholics have confessional for a reason.

          • In terms of gays, I have zero problem believing it at all, and think its ridiculous when they try to hide behinds words like they're doing here.

          • So your baseless assumptions about something you have no knowledge about trumps the logical arguments of those are more knowledgeable than yourself? Gotcha. Then there's really no reason to take anything you say here seriously, is there?

          • That the pope says that gay marriage lies with "some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good." allows me to believe that catholicism does indeed hate gays.

          • Well, it is undermining the traditional family, and undermining Catholic marriage and its proper understanding of what it entails.

            But then gay marriage is but one of the things that we see as a threat to the common good. Not involving God in the marriage, and getting a divorce, are also insidious and dangerous threats to the comming good.

          • comming = common. Oops.

          • threats to the common good – according to the Catholic church. But really tell me, a loving family with two men or two women at the helm, law abiding, fostering a healthy and nuturing atmosphere for possible children. Could this not be considered an aid to common good?

            But I'm glad you didn't refute my claim that catholicism does hate gays.

          • Certainly it is better than a broken home. However, we think a child deserves both a mother and a father. Preferably, their own mother and father. So if there is a relationship where a mother is cut out of the family, we believe it leaves a hole in the child's life. People can disagree, but that is why we disapprove of gay marriage.

            But don't get too upset. You don't want a Catholic marriage anyway, because we have a different understanding of marriage than the secular sphere. In the secular sphere it is about sharing assets, sharing benefits, and being exclusive sex partners until one or both doesn't want to anymore. This is the marriage you want.

            In a Catholic marriage, it is a sacrament to create a "wife" and a "husband", who in term accept the roles of "mother" and "father" if they are blessed with children. These roles have certain expectations, and are as dissoluble as blood relations. You can no more get a new wife than you can get a new mother or cease to be related to your sister.

            Now, you want my conception of marriage to match yours. But then it wouldn't be a Catholic marriage anymore would it?

          • There are a whole bunch of impediments that would void many marriages today. You're description of marriage is only the beginning in the plethora of rules that don't hold up anymore or simply can't be proven.

            What makes you think that marriage for me wouldn't be any more sacred than marriage for you? Its the exclusivity of the Catholic church that is its problem. This assumptions that if I want to be married it's only because I want to romp the same guy till I choose not to anymore is insulting.

          • Exactly. You want the Church to performing Catholic marriages. You don't want the Catholic Church to perform gay marriages.

          • You want the Church to stop performing Catholic marriages. You don't want the Catholic Church to perform gay marriages.

            Sorry, dropping the "stop" completely changed what I was trying to say.

          • The church is already performing non-catholic marriages.

          • Well sure but you can't crack down on everything.

            Unless you mean Catholic in terms of universal. Which is fair enough, we have a particularly narrow view of what marriage entails.

          • The doctrine itself is splitting hairs (and not the least bit homophobic), but Gaunilon does appear to be correct in his assertions.

            Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

            According to the source, the state of being homosexual is not a sin, but engaging in homosexual acts is.

            That the Church would prefer homosexuals to submit to a lifetime of voluntary celibacy isn't surprising considering that they have made that same decision for themselves.

            It follows, as well, the theory of inherent human sinfulness. You can't punish a person for being the way their deity made them. You can, however, definately punish them for acting on their impulses if those impulses are contrary to the will of said deity.

          • I would say it's intrinsically homophobic.

          • It is indeed disapproving of homosexuality, but I fail to see how it is fearful of it.

          • It is indeed disapproving of homosexuality


            Finally, you admit it.

            What was the point of dozens of pointless comments trying to draw false conclusions. The catholic church doesn't like gays. There.

          • I've never denied it the church disapproves of homosexuality.

            I just denied that we think Gays are evil.

            The church disapproves of pornography too. Does that make pornographers are evil?

          • "It is indeed disapproving of homosexuality"

            Oh look Ted! We agree on something!

          • "It follows, as well, the theory of inherent human sinfulness. You can't punish a person for being the way their deity made them."

            Except that the Church doesn't believe that God made some men and women gay. More importantly, if the deity made them gay, how can the Church possibly condemn them for acting out their nature?

            Hence why Gaunilon is sitting in a pretzel position.

          • We indeed do not believe that God made certain men and women gay.

            Some believe that they were born gay. I personally (thanks to current scientific evidence) do not believe that people are born gay, but they don't choose their homosexual nature. Certainly people aren't tabula rasa, but their innate personality evolves, grows and changes over time, just as their sexuality does.

          • "Some believe that they were born gay. I personally (thanks to current scientific evidence) do not believe that people are born gay"

            But you believe that homosexuality is genetic? Reconcile the two, please.

          • Genetics isn't a binary switch that gets switched on no matter what. Certain genes are expressed due to a variety of factors. The heritability of homosexual behavior is extremely low. Certainly much lower than say, alcoholism.

          • Come now. It is very clear that Catholicism believes in inherent sinfulness. This is the entire point of confession: Man will commit sin so he must be given a path to forgiveness.

            Its the same deal for lying, cheating, etc.

          • True but the Church, bizarrely enough, seems to treat sexual sins differently.

          • Certainly they are more strongly publicized. I don't know that that means that they are treated differently.

            It may just as well be the media saying, "Oh my! Look at what those crazy Catholics are up to now!"

          • I'm not talking about what is said in the press. I'm referring to their doctrines. There seems to be a greater emphasis on sexual sins.

          • To be fair, only two of the ten most deadly relate to sex. Although, interestingly enough, lust is lumped in with adultery.

            Seeing as how lust is basically the desire itself, one could conclude that the Catechism regarding homosexuality directly contradicts the spirit of Matthew 5:28.

          • That's not us. That's the media.

            The pope and the Church say a lot of things that don't involve sex, but you will never hear it in the MSM.

          • Well of course. But not everyone is born with the temprements that predispose them to the same sin. The pattern of sinful behavior is also something that develops. A man with an aggressive personality will be more overbearing, but how that aggressive nature expresses itself will be different from man to man.

            Likewise, homosexuality has a myriad of causes, of which genetics is a part. But the genes which express themselves as homosexual behavior might not be the same genes. As well, people can have the exact same genetic make up, but not be gay. That is why identical twins are not both gay 100% of the time.

          • "According to the source, the state of being homosexual is not a sin, but engaging in homosexual acts is."

            Which makes no sense to homosexuals because their sexuality is more than just the act, it is who they are as people.

            My heterosexuality forms the basis for who I date, fall in love with, want to spend the rest of my life with and have children with. It also is a large component of my identity.

            According to the Church, you can be a homosexual as long as they agree to give up all of the above because all of the above is a sin.

            C'mon now…

          • I don't disagree with the inherent hypocrisy of the doctrine.

          • It's not just hypocritical, it makes no sense. It is clearly an attempt to reconcile church doctrines with what they know to be discrimination.

            "Now now , there there, we don't hate you, we just hate what you do. Your sexuality doesn't define you. Just give it all up and you can be a good catholic."

          • Regardless of whether it makes sense to us, it is consistent with prior teachings. Which, ultimately, is the goal.

          • The Church's consistency was never in question, at least not with me.

          • Yeah I don't think it was consistency, so much as people trying to say that catholism isn't anti-gay.

          • There there, your extra-marital sexual behavior doesn't define you. Just give it all up and you can be a good Catholic.

            There there, your kleptomania doesn't define you, we just hate what you do. Just give it all up, and you can be a good Catholic.

            There there, your gluttony and overeating doesn't define you, we just hate what you do. Just give it all up and you can be a good Catholic.

            Luckily, we go easy on people who fail.

          • Why should being gay be like these things. It is inherently hateful to lump being gay in with these things.

            Why is it so hard to admit your church is homophobic. Why not just wear the hate proudly. Be not lukewarm and all.

          • Not it isn't. Every virtue and sin has a genetic component just like homosexuality does. Everything.
            You want to make gays into robots who get the "queer" switch clicked on, and then they become a new race.

            That is not how behavior works. That is not how genetics work. There are lots of actions that people have small amount of control over, that aren't necessarily harmful. There are behaviors we consider to be morally repugnant, even if we support their right or need to exist.

            Of course we don't approve of homosexuality. Of course we understand that personality, actions and behavior are difficult to control and have an innate component. We believe that homosexual actions and relationships are harmful to the practitioner, even if they cannot help but desire them.

            Who knows, maybe one day you'll convince us that homosexual acts are nothing but a good. But don't slander us by saying we don't understand innate impulses that we don't control, or that we are afraid of the wider implications of homosexuality.

            We've understood innate impulses that you cannot change for a long, long time. That's what Original Sin is about. The fact that no matter who you are, or what you do, you will have moral failings. You will do what you ought not.

          • We believe that homosexual actions and relationships are harmful to the practitioner, even if they cannot help but desire them.

            This is a bigoted belief. Used in bigoted ways to justify bigoted practices.

          • Explain how.

            I can understand being mistaken (though I disagree I'm mistaken), but I can't understand that there is malice in it.

          • you can't seem to explain how it is harmful to the practitioner…

          • Practicing homosexuality is a sin, not having undesired homosexual thoughts and inclinations.

            Think of it this way. Certain sects of Hinduism are against the eating of meat, even though we have obviously evolved as omnivores. That taboo doesn't get you angry, so why should this?

          • Uh, because the church uses it to justify gay hate?

          • Wait… did you just compare homosexuality to vegetarianism? I thought you said that you didn't believe homosexuality to be a choice?

          • We have deep seated genetic inclinations to consume meat.

          • Is vegetarianism a choice or not, Ted?

          • I imagine many people find vegetarianism easier to adopt than others. I imagine that some who start avoiding meat find it easier to practice vegetarianism the longer they practice it. It is also demonstrably easier to consume the necessary proteins for health if you eat animal products, and innate desires to consume meat reflect that.

            I also imagine that homosexuality is a behavior with many causes and many reasons. As many in fact, as the practice of heterosexual sex does. I do not, as you apparently do, think our sexuality is something that while having a genetic component, is something that has not been shaped by other factors.

          • Yeah… well… My question was about vegetarianism and whether you believe it to be a choice?

          • I believe that practicing vegetarianism is a choice. I believe that practicing homosexuality is a choice. You can after all, not climb into bed with someone of the same sex.

            Do I think having a desire to eat meat you desire, or having a desire to have sex with an object of your lust is a choice? No.

          • "I believe that practicing vegetarianism is a choice. I believe that practicing homosexuality is a choice. You can after all, not climb into bed with someone of the same sex."


            So Ted, if a gay man practices abstinence, does it mean that he's no longer gay?

          • No more so than a heterosexual man practicing abstinence would no longer be heterosexual.

          • Of course but let's hear what Ted has to say about that.

          • Exactly.

            But there are vegetarians who will never get rid of their desire to eat meat either.

          • The difference here is that the vegetarian must eat either way. Whether it's a meat diet or non-meat diet.

            The homosexual is told that he can't have it either way.

          • Practicing homosexuality is a sin, not having undesired homosexual thoughts and inclinations.

            Who cares how you feel on the inside, its what other people see that counts?

            I can't help but feel empathy for people who continue to live under such a callous attitude. Its too bad that the Old Testament was written when it was, and not during a period when homosexuality was more culturally accepted. If it had been, this archaic discrimination wouldn't be an issue.

          • RunningGag, I have many thoughts and inclinations that I do not act on. Every damn damn day. There are many that I do act on, to my sorrow.

          • No, I understand your point of view. I simply feel that it is amoral to deny the feelings of love and belonging (associated with a romantic relationship) to folks who happen to be homosexual. Especially when they aren't actually hurting anyone (except possibly themselves if you subscribe to that belief).

            It's easy to suggest declining these feelings when it isn't you who has to make that decision. And, this is especially poignant given that it is exactly these kinds of beliefs that cause a significant increase in the rates of in suicide young homosexuals.

            But I must thank you and Gaunilon for helping me understand an additional dimension of Pascal's Wager. It fleshes out the counterargument against the claim of going through the motions. If the behaviour is more highly regarded than the motivation (or the sincerity), then Pascal's Wager makes more sense (in terms of consistency).

          • Your knowledge of behavioral genetics is 30 years out of date.

            Homosexuality does indeed have about as much of a genetic component as lying does. Everything we do, think and feel has a genetic component and thus every virtue and sin. In terms of sexuality and other behavior, there is a lot more going on than just their genes, and nobody is "born gay". That is not to say that people "choose" to become a homosexual, but then nobody chooses to become a compulsive liar either.

            If I become a compulsive liar, I am to be treated with compassion and made allowances for, but I'm not to be encouraged or supported in that behavior. That's pretty much the Church's position in terms of homosexuality.

          • I remember a good friend of mine telling me that those who claim that one can "choose" to be gay are clueless. He said that given the discrimination that LGBTs have to deal with in today's society, no one in their right mind would "choose" this life.

            I don't know where I stand on this issue but I do know that I didn't "choose" to be heterosexual. How about you?

          • I specifically said that nobody chooses to be homosexual. Read it again please.

          • Ted, your comment above doesn't make sense.

            "Homosexuality does indeed have about as much of a genetic component as lying does."

            Aside from the fact that science has yet to be complete in the field of genetics, this comment clearly infers that homosexuality, like lying is a learned behavior and not an innate one. This has been the basis for the argument that one can "un-choose" to be homosexual through therapy of some sort.

            I honestly don't know if homosexuality is a learned behavior. My only point of reference is my own heterosexuality and I do not believe for one second that it is a learned behavior. Neither does the Catholic Church, by the way.

          • Like I said, every behavior that we have has a genetic component. Including all the spectrum of our myriad personalities, temperaments, and behavior.

            Our genetics, particularly in terms of our behavior and personality aren't blueprints or computer code that we follow mechanistically. Our environment, our culture, our upbringing, our education, and all other forms of "learning behavior" all have a role to play. But then so does our diet, our exposure to chemicals, prenatal influences, and other environmental concerns also influence our behavior and many other traits, including sexual preference and inclinations.

            Does that mean we choose our personality? Does that mean we choose to be schizophrenic? Does that mean we choose our fetishes? Does that mean we choose our temprement? No, other things besides strictly genetics are at play here.

          • Schizophrenia?

            Ted, you are mixing things that ought to be kept separate.

          • Schizophrenia is a behavioral disorder that has a genetic component, but isn't strictly caused by genetics. An argumentative personality is a behavioral trait that has a genetic component, but isn't strictly caused by genetics. Homosexuality is a sexual trait that has a genetic component, but isn't strictly caused by genetics.

          • Ted, the only true statement you said above is the one about schizophrenia. You made up the rest.

          • Oh. So an argumentative personality doesn't have a genetic component, or is an argumentative personality only caused by genetics? Taking the most non-controversial part of the argument of course.

          • Also, given that Judaism is a religion to analogous to Catholic Christianity, I'm glad you are admitting that you hate both Catholics and the Catholic Church. It makes debating easier knowing where everyone stands.

          • Now you are babbling.

          • "Ah, cute little semantics to justify ugly ugly beliefs. " = I think the beliefs of Catholicism are evil.

            'we love jews,we just hate judaism" is hating jews = we love Catholics, but just hate Catholicism is just hating Catholics.

          • Uh, no.

            Not to mention the fact that Judaism is not a race but a religion, and so it can be changed at will…

            The homosexual is not sinful in and of him/herself. The sin occurs when he/she acts on their desires. Yes, they are predisposed to those desires (and that's the way God made them) but the dogma is clear – look up Humanae Vitae and Theology of the Body. So yes, that's a sin, and we can hate the sin without hating the sinner who committed it. My uncle cheated on his wife and then packed up his entire life to make a new life with his mistress. I hate that he did that to his wife and I think he was totally wrong for doing it, but he's still my uncle, and I do love him, and I only want him to be happy. He's the one who has to justify his actions in the end, not me.

            Now, personally, as a Catholic, I have no problem with others loving who they love – heck, if I were listening to my fellow francophones, I should have never betrayed my heritage and married an anglo – but you love who you love. I genuinely believe that anything that comes out of love can't be wrong and that they will work it out with the Big Guy in the end.

      • Perhaps you can shoot us in the head and dump us in a ditch for being reactionaries to your progressive future for mankind.

        Or you can simply accept the fact that we're going to be around in the 21st century, and probably long after Canada itself ceases to exist as a sovereign political state and political identity.

      • You are terminally stupid since you stated a stupid idea. That's the cute semantic difference, Mike T. Yes, very basic.

    • Addendum:

      Maybe after you (Patriquin) have given up looking for any statement to the effect that "only men can have the privilege to teach the ways of [G]od to the flock", you can go and try telling that to the many female Catholic teachers (many of them nuns), marriage counselors, RCIA instructors (that's instruction in the faith for adults joining the Church, Patriquin), and missionaries you'd encounter if you had bothered to call up a Catholic parish about any of this.

      • Can women be priests? No.

        However the point here is that if you insist that you have a secular society, then it's secular.

        It can't ban some religions, but leave loopholes for one's favored religion.

        • Secularism shouldn't be about banning religions at all. Those who want to ban religions are generally people spoiling for a fight.

          • Nobody is talking about banning religions. We are talking about the separation of church and state.

            You can believe in pink unicorns if you like, but you can't force others to believe in them by using the machinery of the state.

          • Sure, but right back at you. You shouldn't use the state to prevent people from publicly living out their faith, organizing and creating institutions around their faith, and educating their children the values of their faith.

            Unless of course, they spook the horses.

          • Again, you are doing the strawman thing.

            The state doesn't ban anyone from practicing their religion.

            You can do so in your churches and homes 24/7…and on street corners for all I care.

            You may not insist that others practice your religion.

            Now back to the topic: If Quebec is secular, then it is not RC. If it is RC, then it is not secular.

          • Who is insisting that anyone practice Catholicism?

            If anything, this is about secularists bemoaning people practicing Islam.

          • The state has done so in the past. Contraception and many other practices used to be illegal, even though only RCs or evangelicals believed in them.

            No one has said anything about people practicing Islam either. I don't care if they do, as long as they don't insist I do so. Or try to use the mechanism of the state to impose the beliefs on others.

        • Also, what the hell do you care if women can't be priestesses in the Roman Catholic Church? If someone doesn't like the fact that women aren't priestesses in the Church, there are Anglicans, Episcopalians, Old Catholics, and independant Catholic Churches who all ordain women and much the same liturgy, but have jettisoned everything the left finds problematic about Catholicism.

          It isn't hard to leave the Church. I didn't go to a single mass between the ages of 11-20, and the parish priest when I was 11 was the one who sided with me about my right to do so against my parents. So largely if it is a voluntary association, why does it matter if women can't become priestesses? Where is the oppression?

          • The precise reason for secularism.

            If one chooses not to be RC, then their taxes shouldn't go to supporting RC schools or beliefs.

            Education should be the same for everyone, whether in public or private schools. If you wish to teach religion, do it in your church.

          • Get your fundamentalist ideology out of my school system please.

            As for whether the RC school should be supported by taxes, I can agree with that. However, I think there should be an ability for taxpayers to choose which school system their taxes earmarked for education should support. Why should we be forced to subsidize an education system that will only portray us in a negative light, if at all?

          • Yes, teach your religion in church. Keep it out of the school system.

            Finally, we agree.

          • Good, when you are brought to power, I expect the defunding of Catholic schools, and the ability for Catholics to opt out of taxes earmarked for education.

            Peace in our time.

          • Nonsense. I don't have kids, and don't intend to. I consider it a public duty to pay taxes that go to education. It raises all boats.

            Do Catholics believe in a common good?

          • Catholic schools….and any other religious schools….should all be defunded.

            One public school for everybody.

            Teach religion on your own time.

          • Why in the hell should my kids have to listen you Emily? Or someone like you? Do your proselytizing on your own time, and on your own dime.

          • Agreed. So long as it goes both ways.

          • I disagree…

            While I am on board with one public school for everybody, if anything, I think there should be a generic world religions class that would foster and understanding between all instead of what seems to be such a hard-on against religion.

          • As far as I know, your taxes DON'T go to supporting RC schools.

            In Ontario, at least, by default they go to English public, you have to voluntarily change that affiliation, like I did… with me supporting French Separate and hubby supporting English Separate.

        • Can men carry a baby to term? No.

          Women cannot be priests, but they can be called to teach, serve and heal in other ways, as evidenced by the many religious orders. Even Catholic laypeople are called to vocations – my vocation was to be married and instead of joining a religious order.

          I think that just like we are given different biological capabilities, we were given different roles in terms of practicing and leading our faith.

          I also don't see it as a sign of discrimination or oppression, because women (like Mary, for example) are respected and revered for the role they play in this world. Is that an outdated notion? I would agree with that. Would I love to see more women in leadership roles influencing Church doctrine? Absolutely. But I definitely don't feel hard done by for not being able to pursue the priesthood.

  5. Actually, Martin, I think that if a journalist wrote about Islamic teachings in such derisive, proudly ignorant ("I have no idea what that means"), narrow, and vague terms, they would be quickly termed "Islamophobic", and brigades of p.c. police would be rushing out to tell us that really we're in no position to tell Muslims what to teach and, if anything, we have so much to learn from them, etc. There's a degree of sterotyping and ignorance which is permitted vis-a-vis Catholicism (and Christianity generally) precisely because it is "our" culture – so it's not like we actually have to *know* anything about it to talk about it. If you wrote about Islam you would be held to a higher standard.

  6. "I have no clue what that exactly means…"

    Patriquin, thanks for pointing out the obvious here. The ignorance of Quebecers on matters of faith and religion is quite sad.

    The only thing sadder is the imposition of the Province of Quebec on what is taught in its schools on matters of religion. The last country that tried that I think was the former Soviet Union.

    Quebec: wanting to be its own country, and can barely pull off being a small, provincial province.

  7. For the record, I would not approve of the teachings of either school, but grudgingly except that both should be allowed to exist.

    • Allowing freedom of religion and conscience, a fundamental right in any free and democratic society.

      Magnanimous, magnanimous indeed.

      • I does me best.

    • By "grudgingly except" to you mean you respect the Constitution of Canada?

      "93. In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education, subject and according to the following Provisions:—

      (1) Nothing in any such Law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union:

      (2) All the Powers, Privileges, and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec"

      • While that particular section was written over a 140 years ago, here is something more current from the Charter of Rights And Freedoms.

        "29. Nothing in this Charter abrogates or derogates from any rights or privileges guaranteed by or under the Constitution of Canada in respect of denominational, separate or dissentient schools." http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html#ancho

        • there is always the not-withstanding clause ….

          • The Notwithstanding Clause doesn't apply to section 29 of the Charter or the Constitution Act, 1867, but as I wrote below, section 93 was repealed with respect to Quebec in 1997

      • whoops i meant grudgingly accept!

      • Section 93 was repealed with respect to Quebec in 1997.

  8. With this enforced imposition of a state course on religion, Quebec shows itself to truly be a banana republic, or if you prefer,

    La Republique Banane du Quebec

    You can't have your own country if you pass legislation banning freedom of conscience and religion. At least not a free and democratic one.

    Seriously, what planet do Quebecers live on is what I want to know.

  9. Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358

    The number of men and women who have deep seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they encounter from their condition.

    So for the record Emily, Mike T, and Martin Patriquin… that is what will be taught in Loyola School if it is a truly Catholic institution. So if you want to spout off about how you know what our beliefs are, perhaps you should spend the $8 for the basic manual.

    • So the catholic church as adopted gay marriage? I applaud them.

      • No, called to chastity I'm afraid. But then so are unmarried men and women and the clergy themselves.

        • Given the numbers, it seems the church spends a lot more time yelling about gay sex than unwed sex.

          Almost as if they went out of their way to hate it, or sumthin…

          • Really? You must not be paying attention.

            I can tell you which one you get preached at more about in Church and Sunday School.

            Could it be that the newspapers don't cover statements when the church says "sex outside marriage is sinful, and leads to misery?" Certainly it can't be that.

            I'm also sure it isn't because the only conservative, practicing Catholics you know are on the internet.

          • Anything is possible, but given the inclination towards dishonesty, pseudodistinction and equivocation most religious types engage in during the homosexuality "debate", I doubt it. I think it's far more likely to be a transparent canard used to justify some pretty vile views.

          • Have I been dishonest Mike? How so?

            Also, you insulted us first.

          • Yes.

            You deserved it.

          • The how so would be relevant.

            As for the fact that I deserve it. Do you really think that I'm a blight upon this earth? That society and mankind would be better off without me? That the only way for mankind to progress is if people like me didn't exist?

          • But it would be wasted.

          • People wonder why the NDP after decades as a political party can't get a majority of people to vote for them in a representative democracy.

          • Is there a Godwin's Law for non sequiturs?

    • Also available for free online.

      Ezro, you are casting pearls. It's a waste of time.

      • It is for the uninformed, not the bigots themselves.

        Also, I must admit, a venal desire to rub the faces of those bigots who pride themselves on their knowledge in the mud of their own ignorance. Sinful behavior, I know.

        • Sophist, heal thyself.

    • Yes, sympathy for the 'victims' who must forever be chaste. What a trial God has inflicted on them…they are martyrs!

      Everyone is aware of catholic beliefs but catholics.

      Particularly the Vatican and priests apparently.

    • I suppose you should all pity me for my "condition"

      • Hell, yer a martyr! You could be beatfied one day!

        Put some thought into the way you want your statues to look.

        • Not a martyr. You have to be killed for practicing Catholicism to be a martyr.

          But a saint is always a possibility. In fact, according to us Catholics it should be the desire of everyone. Of course, we also admit that it is impossible because sin is innate to us as human beings (has a genetic component in modern parlance) and thus we will always be hypocrites. I can certainly tell you that I have many inclinations which I should avoid (some more harmful than others, though none illegal) that I would be glad to be rid of if only I could choose it.

          I am, because of those inclinations, a constant hypocrite. Hence the need for frequent confession, the endless seeking of grace, and the endless promise that this time I will try better.

          • Well I for one don't think that my homosexuality is an inclination.

          • This wiki quote from Ratzinger's "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons," 1986, as reported by National Catholic Reporter

            Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

            Having been brought up by nuns in a Catholic convent myself I thank these ladies for standing up to those awful men in the priesthood. Nothing against Catholicism, per se, just against its clergymen.

          • You can't distinguish the two. You hate one, you hate the other.

          • An interesting statement. So, because a person disagrees with the institution of Catholicism, it follows that they must then hate Catholicism itself? So, basically, Catholicism is the Church?

            Where do laymen Catholics fall in this definition of Catholicism? For that matter, where does the Trinity fall?

          • Pretty much, if you think that the Church should not exist as an institution, or that clergy are vile, evil people, then how can you be neutral or positive about Catholicism?

            Laymen after all, regard the church as having authority.

          • What's even funnier is that when it comes to gays, they hate the act but not the person. Double standard much?

          • "You can't distinguish the two. You hate one, you hate the other."

            Don't mean to be provocative here, but that is the very line of thinking that has resulted in a heck of a lot of child sexual abuse and, as worse and as significantly, the protection of the abusers by the Church.

          • You think laymen don't share in the guilt? In both the offense and the cover-up?

          • Hunh? What are you talking about? I've no doubt that many lay people share in the guilt both the offense and the cover-up.

            How does that strengthen your statement that if you hate the clergy/some clergy you hate the Church? If anything it weakens it.

          • The clergy and the laity aren't really separate parts of Catholicism. That's my point.

            If you hate one group, you hate the other, because they are going the same direction. Those that don't are called "ex-catholics".

          • I think I was trying to distinguish between individuals within the clergy – and certainly the power of the clergy and the "if you hate me then you hate the Church and God" has been a powerful tool for abusers (which is most certainly not limited to the RC Church).

            But in re-reading, I think the point being made above – which is entirely valid – is that you can have separate feelings for the institution, the organization, the choices made by the groups, and the doctrine of faith laid out by those groups.

            Maybe I have too much of a protestant in my background to think that an individual could have an individual relationship with God without a big global institution having a say.

          • Well, it is whenever two are gathered that Christ is present. We are much bigger on authority, consensus, and tradition. Individual revelation is much more unreliable, and rarely enlightening.

            As for the abusers, they used every tool they could get their hands on, including playing off mistrust for the institution, as well as exploiting their connections with it. The priest that grabbed the boys was more likely to be a dissenting progressive as a cold, orthodox ascetic. Someone open, and friendly, and who could garner access to time alone with the boys that he otherwise wouldn't have.

            After all, most abusers had to worm their way into the confidence of many families, distributing family aid, work in orphanages and residential schools, operate youth programs, offering to babysit, etc. Progressive spheres of influence within the Church. Progressives were also more likely to trust the psychologists at the time, and to offer forgiveness too easily.

          • Certainly a lot of people want to focus all the attention on the individual. But you are completely out of line and completely wrong to lay the blame on "progressives" within the RC Church. That is digustingly blind if I am reading you correctly. Apologies if I'm not. If you are saying that so-called progressive RCs were just as likely to abuse than I would agree with you.

            But here's the question I have for you – and I am genuinely interested in your thoughtful response and not in anyway trying to be antagonistic or provocative – since you claimed you can't separate the institution/clergy from the faith. If you were a kid abused in some small Newfoundland town and every single corner of the institution and every single clergy you knew of not only didn't help you but went out of the way to help and protect the abuser and even made accusations about you… to such a person, can you not see how they might still consider themselves good Catholics who are faithful and love the Church but hate the institution? Clearly, the institution in this case has abandoned a significant part of the faith and the doctrine.

          • No, there were definitely conservative abusers. As well, the progressives that were far left were generally pure as snow (the ones that made big waves). However, progressives had more opportunity because of the types of ministry they gravitated towards, and the fact that they didn't isolate themselves as much.

            As for the poor boy in Newfoundland, the laity knew. Even if a particular layperson didn't know, diocesan staff did. Public officials and politicians did. Police knew. Laypeople involved in the orphanage in other capacities knew. If the boy hates the clerical heirarchy alone, he isn't casting his net wide enough.

            Here's something else to curl your hair. Priests had jokes about them and reputations for sexual perversity, drunkeness, or physical violence before the bomb dropped in Boston or Newfoundland. That was simply when the cover-up fell in on them, and they were forced to acknowledge it. Sort of how teachers and their unions had to deal with it a decade or two earlier.

            Nuns also have a bit of a reputation for violence, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. They worked much more with children than priests did, are thought to have committed as much or more abuse than the priests did (as a matter of opportunity) and their cover-up hasn't fallen in on them yet. In the 10 years since the men have had to deal with the fallout, the women who oversee women's religious orders have been stonewalling victims, not cooperating with investigations, and generally following the same tactics that diocesan authorities did to evade responsibility. The other shoe however is going to drop, and it is going to be another big mess equal to the one we already have.

            The mistrust and hate of the institution stems from the fact that they are regarded as cold, authoritarian, judgmental old men with outdated conservative values. But it is quite clear that being more progressive, or having women in the hierarchy, was no defense against abuse and conspiracy.

            Of course, we already knew that from the experiences of the various protestant churches, and the public school system.

          • Thanks for the civil response – and there is nothing in there that I disagree with – but it completely ignores the question.

            Such a boy, in such an environment, is likely to hate the institution and maybe even the Church. But it is very possible – in fact, documented fact – that many such boys found a great solace in the teachings of the Church, the doctrine, the faith, despite hating the institution. It is a remarkable story of love to be able to see beyond the structures and powers and institutions to see the core… and yet despite the abuse of these boys by their abusers and then the Church in covering up and shaming them (and yes all the world around them), many of them hated the institution but loved the faith.

            So I'm trying to reconcile that with your statement that you can't distinguish the two, that if you hate one you hate the other.

          • Sure but we were talking about whether you can hate Catholicism but be neutral or positive about lay Catholics. That you can hate the institution, but not the people in it.

            I was saying that the institution and the people are one.

          • Actually, no, this whole sub-thread started in response to the statement "Nothing against Catholicism, per se, just against its clergymen" and you responding that you can't separate them and that if you hate one, you hate the other. As another commenter put it, Catholicism and the Church – the faith and the institution – are, in your view, one and the same.

            I not only don't agree, but just can't see how that could possibly be true, especially but not only in the example I give. And so I thought I'd ask you what you meant and you have tried not talking about it or answered a different question or changed the question.

            If you don't have an answer, that is fine. (I really am not one that expects everyone to know everything and actually have come to the firm opinion that religious leaders do themselves and their church more harm by trying to claim they have all the answers within their faith than simply admitting their limitations.)

          • But the faith and the institution are one in the same. How could we develop our philosophy without the universities that the institution built? How would we maintain the orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed and the teachings without the authority of our Bishops? How could we maintain the communion of our bishops without the authority of the Pope?

            Without the clergy you would not have the doctrine of the trinity or anything else. You wouldn't have anything resembling our artistic, philosophical, literary, musical or liturgical tradition without the institution that created it (and more importantly) maintains it. We would be as disparate, fragmented, and contradictory in belief as the protestant churches, or divided like the Anglican or Orthodox Churches.

            There is no doctrine, there is no trinity, there is no faith without somebody being invested with the authority to teach it. Without authority, everything crumbles into individual experiences of subjective spirituality. Even the bible can be interpreted any way you like, if you don't accept the authority of the Church and its traditions.

            Now you can hate the authority if you want. You can be aggrieved against that authority. You can hate particular clergymen. But to say that you mistrust and hate the institution of the episcopate is to essentially to hate the whole of Catholicism. There is little in Catholicism that doesn't owe its existence to the Church itself, that we believe Christ founded. Heck, even the words of Jesus himself in the bible are only known based on what the Church has affirmed as being compatible with the faith and tradition of the Church.

            You cannot remove the institution of the Church from Catholicism. It is impossible, because once you renounce that authority you renounce the doctrine that they teach in some way. Likewise, you cannot separate the laity from the authority that serves and leads them, or they are ex-Catholics.

          • Do we have to take your word that 'nuns also have a bit of a reputation for violence, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse'? Having spent my childhood in refectories and dormitories, etc. supervised by nuns, I have never witnessed anything near sexual abuse – emotional and violent abuse, yes, but rarely. If you have anything to support that nuns are known to have committed sexual abuse toward children, please reference.

          • Hate is too strong a word. Mistrust would be more like it.

          • But I would ask you… do you tend to believe that you merely have an "inclination" towards being attracted to women?

          • What do you mean merely? Without inclinations, you wouldn't do anything at all. You wouldn't eat, sleep, have sex, work, play, argue….

          • You're not answering the question. We have more than just "inclinations" to eat and sleep they are genuine needs to survive. I don't eat and sleep because, oh you know… I feel like it. The same goes for homosexuality, I don't merely take a liking to members of the same sex, its not the flavour of the week.

          • I was not using inclination to mean whim. I meant "a tendency to a particular aspect, state, character, or action." Such as "All men are inclined to seek what they perceive as the good".

            If you have another term for need/desire directed towards action, we'll use that so we can argue on the same page.

          • I guess what I find troubling about the word "inclination" is that it suggests that you can resist whatever is that you're "inclined to do."

            I've resisted my homosexuality long enough to know that suppressing it will not make it any less a part of who I am.

          • I have behaviors that I cannot shake too. I understand.

          • Thanks, now my homosexuality is a behaviour that I simply can't shake.

            I believe you to be a biggot.

          • How am I a bigot? Sexuality is behavior. How can you dispute that?

          • you've said enough on this forum from calling it a condition, to comparing it to kleptomania. Maybe I should just go get fixed right?

            You keep contradicting yourself saying its not something you choose but it's an inclination.

            I mean frankly Ted, you're out to lunch.

          • Inclination is being used in its proper way, not its colloquial way. I explained that, and you are simply being uncharitable in not providing a term I should use instead that would be more acceptable.

            If you don't like kleptomania, provide another behavior that is both innate, but not chosen, that is not approved of by the Church. I've come up with many.

            As for getting it fixed… I have no doubt that you cannot do anything about your homosexual inclinations, no matter what therapy you do. However, I don't think that everyone who has changed their sexual orientation is a liar. That is because there are many paths, and many reasons to be a homosexual, and not all homosexuality is the same. People can have the same genes and one can be straight, and the other can be gay. Some people can grow up in the same environment and one can be straight and the other can be gay.

            This does not mean that someone "chose their homosexuality" or "chose their heterosexuality". It does not mean that the homosexuality did not have a genetic component. It simply means that behavioral genetics has proven that we aren't pre-programmed machines without free will.

          • As for getting it fixed… I have no doubt that you cannot do anything about your homosexual inclinations, no matter what therapy you do

            I'm DOOMED!

          • Some people don't respond to therapy, and it is futile trying. That's another unfortunate fact about the world.

            Every behavior or personality has a genetic component. Usually several.

          • Well in that case I suppose I'm not welcome in the catholic realm.

          • Well you are… but do you want to be?

            I mean, there are probably a myriad number of reasons that you wouldn't want to be there that has nothing to do with your homosexuality. Even if you did become celibate, I doubt if you would be interested in following many of the other rules of faith and practice. Nor do I think you wish to explore our philosophical, musical, liturgical, or prayer traditions.

          • I'm a baptised RC Ted, did my communion, went to Sunday school, did my penance several times. But do you not see why I don't want to be RC? I'm being told :

            "Well you got dealt a shitty deck of cards, I guess you'll just have to live with that, even if it means you live a miserable, unhappy, unhealthy life"

          • I'm a baptised RC Ted, I've done my communion, been to Sunday school, did my penance several times. I tend to believe that the majority of the teachings are excellent moral bases for children, myself included. But do you not see why I don't want to be a part of the RC? I'm being told:

            "well you got dealt a crappy hand. Guess you'll just have to live with that. Even if it means you'll be miserable and unhealthy for the rest of your life"

            I think I can say that I'm a good person. I've done some reprehensible things and will do more I'm sure, but I feel guilt, and sorrow and I learn from my mistakes. I apologize and forgive. I try to treat people with compassion. But I'm not willing to let some old man wearing a robe and a golden hat tell me that the way I love is among the most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.

          • Beyond that, even if you're absolutely right about it being a behaviour, or an inclination, or a condition, there's nothing, absolutely NOTHING that proves that homosexual acts are dangerous, insidious, unhealthy, or against the common good. And the only basis for calling them as such is plain and simple homophobia.

            I remember reading a report released recently saying that children brought up in a household with two mothers (lesbian couple) had better chances at succeeding in many childhood markers versus children growing up in a traditional family.

          • Well of course. The children of two mothers are disproportionately girls.

          • you once again refuse to address what is wrong with homosexual acts besides that the church condemns it.

          • I did a couple times when you starting started asking.

          • at first an inclination now a behaviour!

            Where does it end? Next is it going to be a stain on my shirt?

          • Wait until you lose your sense of taste; you may change your mind about that eating comment. I certainly did when I had my Wisdom teeth removed. Losing my sense of taste made it difficult to motivate myself to eat.

      • It is very difficult to be Catholic and homosexual, yes.

        However, if you aren't interested in the discipline of abstaining from homosexual sex, then don't become a Catholic.

        Catholicism, I think we all can agree, is a choice.

        • No, it is not a choice. People are brainwashed into it. Programmed with it.

          As children.

          Which is why education is such an important matter.

          • Oh my God! I'm transmitting my culture and religion to my child.

            Thank goodness for residential schools.

          • You of course would prefer that other people don't teach their children to be anything but RC.

            Religion is not a culture. It's a belief.

          • Really. So despite being the underpinnings of my family's way of life for 1000 years, my religion has nothing to do with my culture?

            I suppose my culture begins and ends with my menu options.

        • I know several people that can practice their catholicism and be proud of their homosexuality simultaneously. It just requires a view of catholicism that doesn't date back to the stone ages.

          • What do the stone ages have to do with anything? Are you saying that all pre-civilized cultures were against homosexuality? The evidence doesn't suggest that.

            (Sorry, I like making fun of progressive understandings of history and its development.)

          • Ted, I'm not sure you read what I wrote. I'm fairly certain I wrote "a view of catholicism" and not "all pre-civilized cultures." If you can't your head around a little hyperbole, you might as well stop arguing with me.

          • I don't like people being slandered simply because they live in a different time period. I also think that the common left-wing philosophical ideas of the social development of mankind is incorrect.

            So I'm sensitive with people being given labels of being "primitive" simply because they happened to live before us.

            Just say that Catholicism is wrong, without bringing the stone ages, or the medieval period, or whatever into it. Speak to why it is wrong, rather than trying to slander both parties by associating one with the other.

          • The view of catholicism that says homosexuality is wrong, was hateful back then as it is now.

          • Fine, but say why if you wish to convince me.

            I genuinely hold the belief that you are not happier and healthier by embracing homosexuality. Convince me that I am wrong.

            Don't slander people in other time periods who might agree with you.

          • Unless you've ever had a conversation with buddies about good looking girls, knowing full well that you're not attracted to them… unless you've ever been called a "fag" or a "homo" with malice… unless you've ever tried to live up to your parents expectations of forming a family with a wonderful wife, knowing full well that this relationship would be a lie… unless you've lived through the majority of your life denouncing every aspect of your attraction towards the same sex… unless you've contemplated suicide because you feel like society wouldn't accept you for who you are or the way you feel…

            you wouldn't understand how much healthier and happier I am to embrace who I am.

          • You probably shouldn't have tried to be something you are not, and you are also perfectly entitled to be treated with respect. I am also glad that you are happier and healthier accepting yourself, even if I don't approve of your lifestyle.

            I suppose I should leave it there. But I am arguing, so I'm going to say some things in warning. As a gay man you will find many difficulties in your future relationships, as the joys of a long, stable, and monogamous relationship will be difficult (but not impossible). You are going to be a man, in a relationship with a man, and being faithful is more difficult when sex is not tied to procreation, with the responsibility of children related to you by blood. Despite not being attracted to women, men have an instinct to procreate with more than one partner, and there are two of you in the relationship who are men.

            I wish you the best of luck. Heterosexual relationships in our society are difficult enough, and homosexual relationships fail much more often than even the pathetic heterosexual success rate. I hope that even if you don't take my advice to be celibate, that you find a long and stable relationship to be happy in. Which I'll disapprove of, of course, but you gotta make the best of things.

          • Besides that being a very condescending comment, I just don't understand your position on this because it is entirely based on the inane, out-dated teachings of the church, which you choose to blindly follow, while completely ignoring that there are good, law-abiding, morally-laudable, gay people who have meaningful, love-filled, long-lasting, stable relationships. And to deny them respect, tolerance and approval, is wrong.

            I'd love to see your evidence on the homosexual relationship failure rate.

            I'll gladly refuse you're advice because I won't subject myself to an unjust playing field determined by bigots in the catholic church who only have the "ick" factor as a defense.

          • I'll give respect and tolerance, but I see no failure in the social compact if I do not give them my approval. I am sure you disapprove of many things I do.

            Oh, and homosexual sex isn't that icky. You're just sticking it in a different hole, which people pretty much do all the time in heterosexual relationships anyway. I grew up in the age of the internet since I was 12 years old. I'm used to it.

            It is the fact that the sex act is not procreative which is the primary problem, and the primary reason that we consider it harmful. It is essentially treating your body as a means merely for pleasure, without acknowledging its procreative nature and the responsibility of commitment that this requires. Contraception, adultery, premarital sex, masturbation and homosexuality are thought to leads to a lack of respect for your own body and for the body of your partner.

            In order for sex to be a source of happiness rather than misery, sex must be in a strongly committed relationship where you are open to the possibility of its natural conclusion (procreation), and open to the consequences of the natural conclusion(procreation). If you aren't, you shouldn't do it, and you shouldn't do sexual acts that deliberately avoid it.

            We're not singling out homosexuality. It is just part of a wider theology of sexual ethics. You might not agree with these sexual ethics, but they aren't motivated by an "ick factor" or ignorant bigotry.

          • "It is the fact that the sex act is not procreative which is the primary problem"

            So there we have it. The RC must believe that homosexual acts are more sinful or dangerous than premarital sex for that reason alone.

            And if not, then why isn't it possible to have sex, not merely for pleasure, but as the ultimate expression of love for one another?

            "In order for sex to be a source of happiness rather than misery…" – This is the main problem I have: the church telling me what I must do to avoid being miserable.

            Why should I listen to these teachings if for the majority of my life following this doctrine has only lead me to be miserable and unhealthy?

            The Church is asking me to hate myself. plain and simple.

          • According to you so far. I can't choose being gay. I can't be fixed. So in order to be a good RC I must remain celibate for the rest of my life.

            Why am I held being held at a different standard than those who had the luck to turn out straight?

          • Oh, and for the marriage failure rate being greater in homosexual marriages.

            Of course, it isn't like this is a surprise to anyone. The tendencies of of gay men to be un-atttached and the loss of sexual intimacy and practice among long-term lesbian partners is well known both in and outside of the gay community.

          • I didn't slander everybody from the stone ages. There probably were quite a few enlightened non-catholics in those days.

          • hell there probably were some enlightened catholics in those days that held views less primitive than yours.

          • Sure, there were a lot of homosexual Catholics. There were periods of greater and lesser homosexual toleration, depending on the place.

            So why say it is a stone-age belief? It isn't as if the arguments in favour of homosexuality are new or revelatory. Though, a romantic partnership between two equal men like we expect today is fairly unusual.

            Usually the homosexuality praised or institutionalized was between older men and adolescent boys. Probably because middle aged men aren't ideals of beauty, and even if you did prefer men over women, you didn't marry men but instead did your duty to produce heirs.

    • Thanks! It's always good to get some real information.

      Now if only they'd stop protecting those of the clergy, and the flock, who don't live up to their catechisms.

      • Amen to that. The orthodox Catholics are the ones who are angriest when they don't.

        Luckily, strongholds of Catholicism known for their orthodoxy are having an easier time with the sex abuse scandal than those bishops and dioceses that were more progressive.

        • Oh, sorry, I wasn't talking about the sex abuse scandal.. I was talking about unjust discrimination toward homosexuals.

          • So who is being protected while practicing unjust discrimination toward homosexuals?

  10. Yawn. Wake me up when hardcore Catholicism becomes the backbone of international terrorism; until that point, Loyola's only a threat to the happiness of unenthusiastic Catholic teens, and pretty much no one else.

    • Okay….shall we start with the Spanish Inquisition?

      Or the last stake-burning…actually an auto-da-fe….in 1850?

      Or shall we go directly to the murders of abortion doctors?

      • The Catholic Church has never murdered abortion doctors. The Catholic Church has never advocated for the murder of abortion doctors.

        As for the last stake burning in 1850, I can't find references to it in anything but neopagan websites (whose historical accuracy is not particularly laudable). Stranger things have happened though, and I'll fully admit the possibility.

        As for the Spanish inquisition, if you are a converso, or a descendant of conversos, I'm sorry. Of course, I don't have much in common with Torquemada besides our shared atheism.

        Hmm… you know you have advocated for the complete removal of religious practice from the public sphere, and compare teaching children Catholicism of their ancestors to brainwashing and child abuse. You want to do a comparison based on shared beliefs and smear me with the sins of the past? The Spanish inquisition is in my backstory, but I promise you I'll come out better than you will.

        • Nah…I'm sure none of the protesters or people pulling triggers were RCs. Nasty prottys all, no doubt!

          Another group the church was fond of killing….along with many others of course.

          Sorry, but the last auto-da-fe was in Mexico in 1850, and the Encyclopedia Britanica is not a pagan site.

          Nope, I've never been either Jewish or Catholic.

          Yes, I regard the teaching of religion to children as child abuse.

          To counter it, they need a decent secular education, so they have some hope of being normal.

          I don't have a 'back story', sorry.

          • Sure you do Emily. Your beliefs and ideology have a history, just as mine do. Certainly you have as much in common with some vile individuals in history as I have. What is Torquemada to me? I'm a modern, secular, liberal in the private sector, and he was a medieval aristocrat who was a public official for the Crown of Spain and the Spanish Church. Surely the links between me and Torquemada are as weak as yours are between Stalin or Mao, or as strong. That's what happens when you paint with a broad brush.

            As for auto-de-fe, it doesn't mean that everyone was burned at the stake. That was just the most extreme punishment that could be imposed. I know there was a trial for heresy there (which is bad enough, I'll admit), but I don't think there was a stake burning. I'm having difficulty finding out about the accused and what occurred at his trial.

          • I don't have 'beliefs and an ideology', sorry.

            And don't try dragging 'communism' into any of this. I'm not interested in a dead economic system either, and never was.

            Auto-da-fe has a distinct meaning, and it wasn't a party.

            I find it interesting that everyone one on here is helpless when it comes to googling things they don't agree with. LOL

          • I was taught religion as a child. "My First Bible" was one of my favorite books: it had great stories and nice pictures. Also, I had a lot of fun listening to stories, doing crafts and acting during Sunday school. I wish that kind of "child abuse" on everyone.

          • Fairy tales always involve nice pictures and songs and acting. You are however, informed they're not real unlike the bible stories you were told.

            They skipped over the bad parts. Even when you're an adult you're not informed about them.

          • Yes, one day I read parts of the bible and saw that my favorite stores where, um, not as 'nice'. One day I also read Hans Christian Andersen "Little Mermaid" and that story wasn't as happy as my childhood version either. Religious teaching in itself isn't bad, it's how it taught and if it's imposed.

          • Yikes, sorry for all the spelling/grammar mistakes in that post.

          • "Okay….shall we start with the Spanish Inquisition? "

            Well, that was unexpected. But then, nodody expects the Spanish Inquisition…

    • Spanish Inquisition
      The massacre of innocent women in Salem, MA
      The Holy Crusade…

      Having achieved hegemony, the Catholic Church no longer needs to rely on these tactics.

      • No, they just brainwash kids.

        Into a lot of things apparently.

      • Hey now, we had nothing to do with the massacre of women in Salem, MA.

        As for the Crusade, that started as an appeal by the Byzantine Emperor to protect his territory from Islamic invasion. Most Crusades afterward were to retake territory that the Crusader states had held for decades.

        Nasty, unChristian business though. The sack of Constantinople was the nastiest bit of businsess, but then the Byzantine court shouldn't have blinded the Doge of Venice when he was a young man serving as a diplomat there. It left him bearing quite the grudge.

    • You've forgotten Guy Fawkes and the IRA. And I'm sure we could dredge up a few other recent examples if we googled a bit. The problem being, of course, that it's hard to find a Catholic population that needs to use violence – if Opus Dei can have a member seated in the UK's Labour Cabinet, there's probably not much need for Catholic extremists to resort to violence to achieve political aims.

  11. Looking over this thread, I would say that there's a lot in it that I disagree with, and a lot that is simple-minded and polemical (on both sides of the debate, incidentally), but I am struck by the fact that the comment thread has produced a far more informed, nuanced and even – with a few notable exceptions – respectful discussion of Catholicism than is to be found Mr. Patriquin's original post. It is really quite striking to find a comment thread of a higher quality than a blog post, but in this case that says more about the tenor of the post than anything else. In any case, this all goes to show that a kind of indiscriminate, uninformed contempt for Catholicism is permissible among the higher echelons of some sectors of journalism than one finds on a moderately decent internet comment board (and despite the fact that we've all seen how far off the rails Macleans comment threads can go from time to time). My main point here isn't that Mr. Patriquin was wrong to take the substantive political position he did, but that he felt comfortable doing so in a tone of contempt and evident lack of information which really ought to be unbecoming for a journalist, but which in the process does indeed reveal something about double-standards – just not the sort of double-standards which he was intending to call to our attention.

    • More like contempt for all religions. They've earned it after all.

      • This is a non sequitur.

        • No it's not. I was replying to:

          'In any case, this all goes to show that a kind of indiscriminate, uninformed contempt for Catholicism is permissible'

          • *sigh*

            This really getting tiresome. You may have been "replying to" the words that you cite, but in that case you were not really replying to my post at all, since the words that you cite are a sentence fragment. If someone looks at the context they will see that I referring strictly to the attitude evinced by Patriquin's post, which is specifically about Catholicism. I do not comment on his attitude towards other religions, because he does say anything about them from which his attitude towards them could be determined. You may have contempt for all religions, but there is no way to know whether Patriquin does from his post, and thus that was not the subject of my comment. Quoting a fragment of a sentence does not change the subject of my post.

          • Now you ARE dizzy.

          • This is nonsensical.

    • ^^^^^^^Agreed^^^^^^^^

    • ziggy,

      I somehow don't think that Patriquin's beef is strictly with the Catholic Church. It very much sounds like he's got issues with all Christians.

      • Or religion generally?

        Or maybe just religious hypocrisy.

        • I find that atheists usually reserve their vitriol for christians. I've actually never heard one b!tch about budhism or paganism.

          Having said that, I don't know if Patriquin is an atheist. I think his point was more about the inherent hypocrisy of some Quebec politicians who are ready to go on a crusade against Islam but keep their mouths shut when it comes to going after Catholics.

          Too many of them in the "Régions" and they surely vote.

          • No, atheists regard all religions as nonsense. It's just that on chatsites it's only christians that try to convert you, not Muslims or Hindus.

            Buddhism is not a religion, it's a philosophy. Pagans have as many gods as catholics do.

            But I will agree, the point the author is making is about hypocrisy.

          • Pagans have more than one (i.e. Eros, Pallas Athene, Apollo, Zeus)

            Christians have one. (God.)

          • I think most people in this thread agree that some of that hypocrisy does exist, and there's nothing wrong with pointing it out to some extent, but Patriquin's post has problems of its own.

          • Only to you.

            The rest of us understood it just fine.

          • Don't sink to the same level. Now you think this gives you the right to insult atheists. There's nothing wrong with atheism, just like there's nothing wrong with Christians or Islam. Why in heck you use this as an opportunity to attack atheists is beyond me. Go ahead, join Patriquin in his hate-on.

    • Agreed. Unfortunately, it seems like the tone of the debate drops sharply when it comes to religion. I would suggest, however, that just as Mr. Steyn actively courts the anti-Islam crowd (and counter-crowd) for page views, so does Mr. Patriquin in this instance. If it weren't for the people that read the articles, they would go away due simply to lack of funds.

      But then, I'm just as guilty as anyone else for adding to the post count in these threads.

      • Yes, the comment count on Steyn's posts always depresses me, if only because it amounts to a lot of outraged people who are just giving him the attention he wanted in the first place. But I normally stay away from that part of the site.

        • Well, everybody knows that Patriquin is descended from a long line of converso Cathars.
          He has a small but comfortable place in the Languedoc and named his first child Albi.

          Not to be confused with the sporadic White Russian visitation in Provence.

      • Don't lump Steyn in with Patriquin. They're not even in the same universe. Steyn does not court an anti-Islam crowd at all. There's a difference between writing about facts and events and making up lies.

  12. The time has come for the moderate pundits to call out this extremist pundit Patriquin.

    Why won't they call out their own extremists!? It's typical of the pundit movement… they spread their lies and their values while trying to destroy our way of life. The pundit agenda has got it's tentacles into the soft, radical MSM and is warping it into a tool to ensure we all use Macs, Twitter, intensedebate and irony.

    We need the moderate pundits to speak up before this goes too far (if it hasn't already). We all want to live in a country we recognize but so long as the pundit threat remains, I cannot see how this is possible. Let's lock this Patriquin fellow up in Gitmo North for a while and see how he likes his radicalism then.

    • Oh, I'm sure he'll find hypocrisy there too.

      • The tone went completely over your head, eh?

        • No.

  13. Well, we're into the threads on TV and movies, which means the political ones are over for the day and the authors have gone home.

    Also the thread is now so long it's unwieldy. LOL

    But thank you to M. Patriquin for his observation, and the resulting discussion. I enjoyed it.

    Good night, all.

  14. There seems to be a bit of misunderstanding about behavioral genetics that needs to be corrected.

    The heritability of homosexuality is fairly low. People can have different genetic causes for homosexuality that come from different genes. Identical twins are not both heterosexual or homosexual 100% of the time. When something has a genetic component, it does not mean that no other factors were causes of that trait being expressed. Many genes do not get expressed until they are triggered by external factors.

    Despite all of these facts, homosexuality is not a choice, and it does indeed have a genetic component.

    That is all.

    • Ted, you are cracking me up with your lessons in Genetics 101. Complete fabrication is what I see.

      The existence of a gay gene has yet to be established and you are talking about heritability?

    • Hmmm. No gay gene has been discovered.

      And even so, let's say serial killers, sex maniacs, liars inherit their failings… So what?

  15. I have no clue what that exactly means, but this much is for sure: it will teach that homosexuals are evil, women should be modest, pre-marital sex is sinful, and only men can have the privilege to teach the ways of god to the flock

    You are way out of line Patriquin. Loyola is a very good school, and this crap you are spouting is just that: complete garbage.

    There's a concept called freedom. Get acquainted with it. You might also consider acquainting yourself with the concept of quality journalism.

    Muslims and Christians and green leprechauns have every right to teach their own religious views. You can take your state-sanctioned religion with you to whatever communist country you like the most. There's a big difference between wearing a face covering in a government-run French class, compared to the freedom to teach your religious views without interference from big brother. Nothing's stopping Muslims from teaching their religion as they see fit (except of course for this unconstitutional and offensive provincial law). Clearly you have a hate-on for Catholics. Get over it.

    • What would Jesus do?
      Let your mind take a walk away. Walk away to the wild side.
      The place where nobody thinks as you do.
      Do, do
      Do, do, do
      Do, do


    • The "Catholic perspective" was well defined by Emmett McLoughlin, a former priest, in his book Crime & Immorality in the Catholic Church. "…MCloughlin shows how Catholic teachings on venial and mortal sin lead youth to a value system that…sponsors crime rather than prevents it; how the Catholic teachings on sex cause untold sufferings from repression and guilt…and how the Catholic practice of the confessional is used by many to wipe the slate clean so that the sinful and evil acts can be repeated." And that's just the book jacket! Loyola would be remiss if this book were not included in the course.

  16. My thinking is that if a school wants to teach something other than the provincially dictated curiculum, they are now a PRIVATE school. Not publically funded, and that's that.
    There was a huge hoopla in Ontario over changing the sex ed. The Catholic schools (among others) were dead set against it. Then, to my thinking, set yourself up as a private school and let the kids in provincially funded taxpayers' schools get the information they need to make informed choices

    • It makes no difference in Quebec whether you are public funded or not in Quebec : you have to teach what the state has decided and even how the state is decided (that's basically what Loyola gained : no in matters of values, the State cannot say you have to teach it in a relativistic way).

  17. If you expect me to believe the church has spent the same resources condemning masturbation and trying to affect public policy regarding masturbation, as against gay rights – then I am calling you a liar.

  18. Loyola does receive some government funding and that is part of the issue here, however the students parents are also taxpayers. I am of the opinion that the government allotment should go to the school of the parents choice, public or private. The taxpayer who sends their children to a private school should not have to pay twice. Regarding the judge's decision to allow the exemption I would say, "amen!"

  19. " I have no clue what that exactly means,"

    That's exactly what I think of Mr. Patriquin's article.

    "This much is for sure: it will teach that homosexuals are evil"

    This is outer nonsense, Mr. Patriquin should learn more about the Catholic doctrine : the Church has nothing against homosexuals (we are all sinners) only against homosexuality (a sin).

    Finally, since when is it atonishing that an elite Catholic school in a Catholic province (if only sociologically) should not be treated as some freak taliban madrasa ?

    I'm French speaking and totally agree with this ruling… Sorry to note that Maclean's is opposed to it and opposed to freedom of choice for Quebec's parents. Maclean's has been better inspired.