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Catholic principal faces dismissal {by gov board} for promoting 40 Days for Life - Ecumenical
Life site news ^ | 13 October 2011 | Patrick B Craine

Posted on 10/13/2011 9:56:50 PM PDT by Cronos

The principal at a Catholic elementary school in Winnipeg faces possible dismissal after he allowed students to count the 40 Days for Life vigil towards community service hours.

Principal David Hood of Christ the King School advertised the local 40 Days campaign in a recent newsletter and then allowed students who approached him to join the vigil to satisfy part of the 10 hours of community service required of grade 7 and 8 students.

The move led to a media firestorm this week with calls for the school, which is independent and under the auspices of the Archdiocese, but receives 50 percent funding, to lose its public funding for promoting “political” activism.

Now the incident and Principal Hood’s employment is under review by the school’s board of directors, the CBC reported Thursday afternoon.  Hood was asked to stay home Thursday.

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After the Winnipeg Free Press broke the story Tuesday, the Archdiocese, headed by Archbishop James Weisgerber, immediately distanced themselves from Hood’s actions, insisting that “Catholic Schools in Winnipeg do not give community service or academic credit for participation in prayer vigils.”

“There are no Catholic schools in Winnipeg that give academic credit for political activity,” Robert Praznik, the Archdiocese’s director of education, told the Winnipeg Free Press.  “We’re very careful, we’re not a political organization. None of this is part of the curriculum, and none of this is done on school time.”

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Praznik insisted the Winnipeg Catholic schools strongly uphold the right to life, but said they “would never give credit to people for attending a prayer service,” just like they “wouldn’t give credit to people for attending Mass.”

“We respect the sanctity of human life.  It would be individual parents, families that would make those decisions,” he continued.

Asked if the schools would organize a group to attend a pro-life event, like the Catholic schools in Ontario do by sending students to the Ottawa March for Life, he said, “We would have difficulty if it happened during school hours because of our funding.”

“It’s not that we’re not supporting pro-life activities, but we’re also politically sensitive to the political environment,” he said.  “In terms of government regulations in terms of school hours and so forth.  We walk a fine line.”

Maria Slykerman, the organizer of Winnipeg’s 40 Days for Life, insisted the campaign is not political, and questioned why a Catholic school would not count standing as a witness to the dignity of the unborn as a service to the community.

“They’re not getting involved in political lobbying.  They’re getting involved in praying,” she told LifeSiteNews.  “I don’t see anything wrong about the teacher and the principal giving these kids community service.”

Manitoba’s Ministry of Education told LifeSiteNews in a statement that the 40 Days for Life would not fit into the government’s community service curriculum requirements, which they say are meant to support “worthwhile causes or organizations.”

Under the Manitoba government’s curriculum, community service for credit begins in high school, when students can earn one credit for a minimum of 110 hours.  Christ the King’s 10 hours of service is not mandated by the government curriculum.

“Community service credits are awarded to students who make a contribution by volunteering for worthwhile causes or organizations,” the statement read.  “Participation in this type of activity during school hours or as organized by a teacher would not fit under the Manitoba curriculum which all funded independent schools in Manitoba are required to follow.”

Bishops across the world have joined the 40 Days for Life vigils, including campaigns in North Carolina, New Jersey, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Toronto, and Sydney.  Most recently, Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver joined his local campaign.

In September 2010, an aide to Pope Benedict XVI replied to a letter from the 40 Days for Life campaign in London assuring them that the pope would be praying for “you and all those who seek to protect life in the womb, that their efforts might lead to a growing appreciation of the inalienable rights of the unborn child.”

Principal David Hood was unavailable for an interview.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: 40daysforlife; abortion; abortions; canada; catholic; christtheking; christthekingschool; davidhood; hood; prolife; religiousfreedom; religiousliberty; romancatholic
Good job, Principal David Hood
1 posted on 10/13/2011 9:56:56 PM PDT by Cronos
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To: Cronos

Placemark for pingout and why would the Principal get in trouble for this??

2 posted on 10/13/2011 10:16:34 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell.)
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To: Cronos

I’m sure they could have just got their community service hours by going door to door to collect for planned parenthood. /S

3 posted on 10/13/2011 10:30:30 PM PDT by MacMattico
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To: little jeremiah

Because Canadian Catholic schools get government (province) funding big time—part of the whole Canuck multi-culti (superior to the Yanks and their melting pot) and valorize-the-French-culture-out-of-guilt-over-the-British-conquest shtick.

And because the culture stupidly reduces the abortion debate to politics rather than a fundamental human rights issue. Ironically, the gays have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in portraying their cause as one of civil rights while the abortion issue has been successfully transformed, in the minds of most mindless North Americans to a right-wing/left-wing, partisan, sectarian political issue.

4 posted on 10/13/2011 10:42:06 PM PDT by Houghton M.
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To: Cronos

I don’t understand this.

If the students had, instead, spent time trying to educate people about trap-neuter-release programs for feral cats (which would also save lives), would that count as community service?

I suspect I already know the answer.

5 posted on 10/14/2011 4:00:00 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: little jeremiah
Catholic schools in Canada are semi-public, part of the consequence of not having a First Amendment, and having a large formerly-Catholic Francophone minority, which traditionally has demanded that their language, culture, and religion get special treatment.

Ironically, the big anti-Catholic-schools push that took place in the US in the late 19th Century, which enacted laws and court decisions that prevented anything like the Canadian situation from occurring here ... starts to look like a very good thing in this day and age of militant government secularism.

6 posted on 10/14/2011 5:04:55 AM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: Campion
Dear Campion,

“Ironically, the big anti-Catholic-schools push that took place in the US in the late 19th Century, which enacted laws and court decisions that prevented anything like the Canadian situation from occurring here ... starts to look like a very good thing in this day and age of militant government secularism.”

Which is why my thinking has moved away from the idea of vouchers for private school education.

My favorite idea is PJ O'Rourke’s, which is to just blow up all the public schools. However, a more realistic idea might be to provide every family with a massive tax credit (partially or wholly refundable?) for each school-aged child. That credit could be exchanged at the state or local level for a free education at a government-run school, or the parents could make any other arrangements so desired, including homeschooling.

At $5000 or $7500 per child, the decision to homeschool would be available to many more families, as these funds would be available to help defray the loss of a second income in a household.

The credit would be applicable against federal, state or local income taxes, property taxes, or payroll taxes [employer and employee side] (Lots of people pay little or nothing in income tax, but everyone who works pays a great deal in payroll taxes, especially when one adds the employer's side of things.).

It would mean that most families, and especially larger families, would pay little or no net taxes while raising their children, but that's with the understanding that they would be taking on the direct burden of arranging and paying for the education of their own children. And in strictly natural terms, that is the most important function of most folks during their lives - rearing children decently well, educating them, forming them morally and religiously.


7 posted on 10/14/2011 5:43:13 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest

I agree. But the public school monopoly would go wild if they lost control of all this public money. Think of how many careers depend on this funding. School districts would be requited to strip central office down to a half dozen employees. That would be devastating to the children who so depend on them /sarc

8 posted on 10/14/2011 8:35:41 AM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: Cronos
Largest 40 Days for Life ever! September 28 – November 6 (301 locations, 46 for the first time)
9 posted on 10/14/2011 11:03:36 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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