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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Intellectual freedom in Canada: Now the "human rights" industry wants to decide who should be altar servers

This story from Canada's "human rights" industry would be unbelievable if it did not happen to be true.
Peterborough Bishop Responds to Human Rights Complaint by Dismissed Homosexual Altar Server

Bishop says, "The Tribunal has no authority to place itself as an arbiter of canonical precepts."

By Patrick B. Craine

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario, September 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Bishop of Peterborough, Nicola De Angelis, has written a pastoral letter to the faithful of his diocese addressing a recent complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT), brought against the bishop and twelve local parishioners. In the letter, which is to be distributed at Sunday Masses this weekend, the bishop strongly redresses the OHRT's encroachment, asserting his authority as bishop of his diocese and the autonomy of the Church from state control over internal Church matters.

This past April, Bishop de Angelis directed St. Michael's pastor, Fr. Allan Hood, to dismiss Jim Corcoran from altar serving at the parish; this came after a letter was submitted to him by 12 parishioners, who were concerned about public scandal because it was known that Corcoran lives with his same-sex partner.

Corcoran, who had originally been asked to serve by Fr. Hood, filed a complaint against the bishop and the twelve parishioners on June 17th, alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation. The respondents, including the bishop, were then required to defend themselves to the OHRT through written responses.

In this weekend's letter the bishop writes: "I fail to understand how secular powers and government agencies should think they are in a position to tell the Church that she is wrong in her internal rules and regulations, even though these have directed and shaped the life of the Church during the last 2000 years. However, this is what we face today."

(For more go here.)
Hat tip Blazing Cat Fur.

As I have noted before, when government interferes with religion in the name of some generalized "human rights", it always ends up establishing a religion, whether it wishes to or not. In this case, the "human rights" spokesfolks want to establish the United Church's views rather than the Catholic Church's views about who should serve at the altar, and - as with any question about what God is thought to want - I don't see that it is any of the government's business.

A church could decide that all altar servers must ride a skateboard while carrying out their duties. No doubt that discriminates against the wheels-challenged among us. But so? People who don't like it are free to go to another church or to none. Or start their own denomination. That is why we have religious freedom in Canada. Or did. And will again, once we rid ourselves of these professional busybodies who have commandeered a budget for advancing supposed "human rights" - really just a cover for growing government interference in areas formerly protected by our ancient liberties and our constitution.

It would sure be nice if they started paying attention to true human rights issues, such as the oppression or even alleged murder of women who do not conform to the demands of a culture.

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