Parents' group seeks apology from TCDSB superintendent

  • July 6, 2011

TORONTO - A Toronto-based parent group is crying foul over comments made by a Toronto Catholic board superintendent which they claim makes light of Catholic parents' concerns about the board's new equity policy and “appear to mock the teaching of authentic Catholic doctrines.”

The Ontario Catholic Parents' Association criticized remarks by superintendent Patrick Keyes to Xtra, a gay and lesbian magazine. In a June 22 article, Keyes was quoted as saying, “every time a teacher spoke about homosexuality they had to also say to students, ‘By the way, you’re intrinsically disordered.’ ” OCPA is seeking an apology from the board.

"I cannot envision any Catholic teacher ever saying what Keyes imagined," said Teresa Pierre, spokesperson for the OCPA. "This is a caricature of what the catechism teaches, and it is unacceptable to find it attributed to an administrative officer charged with handling the Church’s doctrines in a respectful manner.”

Pierre added that “the catechism does not teach people that people are disordered by homosexuality, only that the acts are disordered.”

The parent group also took issue with Keyes' comments about parents' concerns: “I’m listening to some people and I’m thinking, ‘How can you believe God is love if that’s what they’re saying to other people?’ ” Keyes told Xtra.

Pierre said this was seen as a criticism of parents and appears “to dismiss a segment of Catholic parents who have concerns about what their children are taught with regards to homosexuality at school.”

But Toronto Catholic District School Board spokesperson Emmy Szekeres Milne responded in an e-mail that Keyes was misquoted.

“First, we would like to clarify that some of the comments attributed to Mr. Keyes by another publication were taken out of context creating the impression among some that the views of Catholic parents are not respected and that the teachings of the Church need not be heeded,” Szekeres Milne said.

Keyes' response “By the way, you're intrinsically disordered” is a “facetious remark to the report suggesting that would not be how a teacher would respond,” she added

“Mr. Keyes spent some time being interviewed by the reporter, explaining in detail the teachings of the Church including the centrality of the dignity of the human person. Much of this was not included in the text as it was reported,” Szekeres Milne said.

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