Apparently a non-Catholic student in Brampton who already had an exemption from religious classes requested an exemption from attending mass as well. Why was this student at a Catholic school in the first place? Those of you with more fortitude than I can Google the long sad story of Catholic schools in Ontario. This is too close to supper and I am afraid it might cause me to lose my appetite. Suffice it to say that as part of the settlement giving Catholic high schools full funding, they are required to accept non-Catholic students. There is another question here. Whatever possessed the school authorities to fight this in the courts? Did someone seriously think that the following headline might be a really good thing?
A non-Catholic high school student, already excused from religion classes, has won the right to avoid mass and retreats as well.The Ontario Superior Court has ruled that student at a Catholic high school who is entitled to be excused from religious courses must also be excused, if they wish, from religious field trips and attending mass.The decision is being hailed by critics of publicly funded Catholic schools, who believe it brings a secular option to a religious school system they feel is a costly duplication of education.“Parents of Grade 9 to12 students living in a community where the nearest school, the least crowded school, or the best school is Catholic can now chose that school without fear that their children will be forced to take sectarian (religious) courses and programs of little interest to them,” said Leonard Baak, president of Oneschoolsystem.org, which opposes taxpayer funding of Catholic schools. Non-Catholics may attend Catholic high schools, but not elementary schools.
The reaction is typical Ontario fare. Someone runs a news article on Catholic Schools and the bigots come out of the woodwork. Reason goes out the window and hysteria runs rampant. Sometimes I think these periodic news reports are managed just for this purpose. Here's a really wild idea. Instead of grabbing headlines for requiring someone to do something he has no obligation to do anyway, try something different. How about grabbing headlines for preaching the gospel and teaching an undiluted version of Catholic teaching?
If you're going to get nailed to the cross anyway, it might as well be for speaking the truth. Getting nailed to the cross because your attempt to fit in with the prevailing culture wasn't working out as well as you expected is just sad. Trying to do something under civil law that you could never accomplish under canon law is foolhardy at best.