Religion is having a rough couple of weeks in Canada.
First, prayer made headlines when the University of Windsor revealed they'd removed the Lord's Prayer from their convocation ceremony.
And now Catholic and pro-life groups are fuming over remarks made by Ontario education minister Laurel Broten during a discussion on the province's anti-bullying bill.
"Bill 13 is about tackling misogyny," she said. "Taking away a woman's right to choose could arguably be one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take."
As the National Post reports, Broten's words have inflamed already sensitive Catholic and religious groups concerned that the new bill would force them to accept Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in their schools.
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With Broten's most recent statement, however, taxpayer-funded Catholic schools are also wondering whether the government will put a kibosh on pro-life teaching.
"All you can really read into her position is [that she believes] the Catholic teaching is misogynist. That's a point worthy of a serious debate," said Catholic Civil Rights League lawyer and president Phil Hogan.
"Is it also misogynist for, for example, Catholics and other pro-life individuals to suggest that selective sex abortion is a fundamentally anti-woman engagement? Where does this misogyny have an end?"
But Broten's spokesperson Paris Meilleur said the minister's words have been "grossly misunderstood" by her critics and emphasized that Ontario had no plans to rewrite Catholic school curriculum.
"[T]he Government of Ontario is committed to support for Catholic education and denominational rights" Broten later wrote in a statement to the Post. "[T]he discussions of the last week were not about what is taught or is not taught in our Catholic schools."
Her clarification doesn't appear to have appeased Teresa Pierre, president of Catholic parents' group, who told the paper she's worried there's a mounting campaign to eradicate long-held Catholic doctrine from their children's education.
"Parents who were concerned [Bill 13] would be used to silence Catholic teaching on homosexuality have now seen that in her mind this bill concerns the life issues too," she said.
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It's understandable why Pierre and her colleagues may be feeling the pressure. The Toronto Star reports that 48 per cent of Ontarians in a recent poll wanted to see the province put the $7 billion it allots toward Catholic school funding to other uses.