Abolish Alberta Catholic Schools?

News: Education
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 21, 2016   

Former education minister advocates ending Catholic Schools in Alberta

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ALBERTA (ChurchMilitant.com) - With four bishops now rejecting Alberta's new gender identity guidelines, former education minister Dave King is renewing his call to end Catholic schooling in Alberta.

As reported Wednesday by ChurchMilitant.com, the issue centers on the province's pro-LGBTQ policies mandating students in all Alberta schools, including Catholic-run schools, be allowed to dress, use bathrooms and participate in sports based on self-identified gender.

Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton and Abp. Gerard Pettipas of Grouard-McLeennan have joined Bp. Fred Henry of Calgary and Bp. Paul Terrio of St. Paul in rejecting Alberta's new transgender guidelines for schools.

Bishop Paul Terrio of the diocese of St. Paul condemned the government-imposed guideline, relating, "The Church believes that one's physiological gender is not arbitrary, but determines the identity that we grow into. This process of growth in identity must be respected."

And while the current education minister, David Eggen, is considering dissolving the Edmonton Catholic School board owing to its rejection of the new gender identity guidelines, his predecessor Dave King is calling for the end of Catholic schooling in Alberta altogether.

King wants public funding for separate schools to cease, saying, "[It's] clear there's confusion over who has the last say when it comes to the separate school system."

He told Edmonton AM's Mark Connolly, "This current conflict just makes clear that there are all kinds of problematic outcomes that result from us continuing separate school education."

Elaborating on the issue of control, King commented, "When we refer to Roman Catholic separate schools — that's certainly their legal name — we sometimes think the name Roman Catholic means they are owned by the Catholic Church."

But that is not the case, he countered. "In law, the bishop has no constitutional, no legal, no financial, no fiduciary responsibility for separate schools. He's certainly free to offer trustees advice, but they're not under any obligation to follow the advice."

But former premier of Alberta Dave Hancock says people have a constitutional right to a Catholic education. "It would require significant movement to change the constitution. It's been done — Newfoundland did it, Quebec did it — but I don't see any political will, any real public groundswell, saying that they don't want to have what we've got now."

To learn more about the transgender agenda, watch, "Mic'd Up—The Transgenda."


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