Alberta Officials Deem Catholic Teaching on Sexuality ‘Unacceptable’

Bars moral doctrine from school sex-ed curriculum

by Stephen Wynne • ChurchMilitant • October 25, 2017

EDMONTON, Canada – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Education Minister David Eggen are rebuffing a sex education curriculum designed for use in the province’s Catholic schools.

Drafted as an alternative to the government’s homosexualist teaching plan, the curriculum incorporates Church doctrine on sexuality into subject matter.

Submitted by the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta, it would teach Catholic students that homosexual acts are “not part of God’s natural order,” and that one’s sex and gender identity are linked from the moment of one’s creation.

But in a statement Tuesday, Notley rebuked the curriculum.

“Nowhere do the rights of religious freedom extend to that person’s right to somehow attack or hurt others — and that’s what’s happening here,” she said. “We will not use public dollars to have sexual health programs that deny science, that deny evidence and that deny human rights.”

“They can continue to work on [the alternative curriculum] all they want,” she added, “but we ultimately approve the curriculum that goes into schools, and this kind of curriculum will not happen.”

Notley insists her government respects parental choice, pointing to parents’ right “to pull their kids from curriculum and education around sexual health.”

But, she reiterated Tuesday, “under no circumstances will we enforce or condone a sexual health curriculum that normalizes an absence of consent, refuses to talk about contraception and other things that protect the health of sexually active young people or in any way marginalizes sexual minorities. That’s not on.”

Notley’s comments followed those of education minister David Eggen.

Eggen blasted the alternative curriculum, saying it “was never given serious consideration and no funding was provided in response.”

“I’m deeply concerned to see it suggested that providing Alberta students with accurate information on these important topics is ‘problematic’ or that there’s something wrong with being gay,” he wrote in a statement.

“I can assure Albertans that, under our government, any curriculum changes will be inclusive of all students — no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

United Conservative Party member — and one-time Catholic school student — Jason Kenney is blasting Notley and her government, declaring she has no right to redefine Catholic values.

“It’s not for me or the premier to dictate to the Catholic education system how it teaches Catholic values,” he said after a party rally in Edmonton Tuesday night.

“The whole point of the Catholic education system is to be Catholic,” reasoned Kenney.

The education ministry holds considerable sway over the Catholic school system because it is a recipient of public money and for the past several years, Alberta’s Catholic school system has faced increasing pressure from gay activists and their allies to allow the trampling of Church teaching in the classroom.

In November 2015, Eggen issued a series of guidelines, directing schools to submit new policies that specifically address LGBT demands. These included allowing students to use the bathroom of their choice, installation of single-use washrooms, catering curricula to the LGBT agenda and allowing homosexuals and transgenders to form clubs to discuss and promote ideas counter to Church teaching.

In response to Eggen’s directive, the Edmonton Catholic board stated: “All efforts to support the inclusive, safe and caring learning and working communities within our district must be in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church.”

Eggen reacted by openly debating the dissolution of the Edmonton Catholic School board. His predecessor, Dave King, went further, calling for Catholic schooling in Alberta to be abolished altogether.

Calgary Bp. Fred Henry condemned the guidelines’ stridently anti-Catholic flavor. “They breathe pure secularism,” he warned and “smack of the madness of relativism.”

The ministry of education, Bp. Henry wrote, is both guided by and propagates a “narrow-minded, anti-Catholic ideology,” which gives rise to its increasingly “totalitarian approach.”

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