Although the Catholic School Board of Toronto (Canada) voted to declare June the month of “gay pride” and to raise the “LGBT” (gay, gay and bisexual) flag in its schools, the local diocese emphasized the symbolic power of the cross.
Additionally, the Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, highlighted the importance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Toronto Archdiocese said in a statement: “The cross indicates outside Catholic schools and any Catholic church, hospital or institution, our commitment to welcome everyone who enters and loves them in their beauty and uniqueness as children of God.” May 4, reflecting on inclusion and acceptance.
On May 6, the Toronto Catholic School Board, elected by popular vote, approved three separate proposals: one declaring a “gay pride month” every June, the other permitting the gay flag to be hoisted in all schools, and another allowing for the gay flag to be raised in all schools. All schools have gay flag to be filed in the school board office. The Board’s “LGBTQ2S +” Advisory Committee recommended approval of the three proposals.
In its comments before the council vote, the Toronto Archdiocese said that parents make a “clear choice” when they send their children to a Catholic school.
“They rightly expect administrators, administrators, teachers and all education partners to ensure that the Catholic teaching is presented, lived and integrated in everything we do,” he noted.
In this sense, the diocese asserted that “the appropriate symbol that represents our faith, the integration and acceptance of others, is the cross that appears at the entrance to every Catholic school.” It is the main symbol of our Christian faith: it leads us to contemplate the generous and sacrificial love of Jesus, because he gives his life for all of us.
“In a world that crucifies an innocent person, Jesus restores love with hate and says: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what to do” (Luke 23:34). The love represented by the cross is that sacrificial love is not focused on the self, but on others. “
Catholic school systems in the province of Ontario, of which Toronto is capital, are funded by taxpayers and the schools are not owned by the parishes in which they operate. While bishops set curricula for catechesis and ensure the sacramental service in schools, they do not exercise control over elected councils.
Provincial governments lay ground rules for the operation of these schools, while local decisions are made by governing councils elected by Catholics at the time of municipal elections.
The Toronto Catholic School Board has approximately 92,000 students and 14,000 employees in 196 elementary and high schools. Its 2020-2021 budget was $ 1.2 billion.
Cardinal Collins had previously met with education directors and heads of parish Catholic school boards to discuss inclusion issues, including requests from some school boards to raise the LGBTI + flag.
Translated and adapted by Diego Lopez Marina. Originally posted on CNA.