Quebec: A Catholic High School Wins a Court Battle

Source: FSSPX News

According to a decision handed down on June 18 by the Quebec Superior Court, Jesuit Loyola High School of Montreal will be dispensed from teaching “the  Ethics and Religious Culture course” imposed by the Quebec Ministry of Education in the fall of 2008.

The Jesuit school administration asserts that the course’s contents conflict with the institution’s Catholic values. According to statements reported on the Radio Canada website (, headmaster Paul Donovan stated that Catholic values must be present in every discipline, not only in religion classes, but in the other subjects such as English or Physical Education. The parent of one student remarked in a report posted on the same site that “in the name of diversity they go against diversity.” The school is not against the whole idea of a course on ethics and religious culture, but merely wishes to adapt it to the Christian principles inculcated in the school, an adaptation rejected by the government, which through its lawyer’s voice denounced it as a “confessional program” that does not elicit the students’ questioning and does not present things in a neutral fashion.

The decision finally proved that the administration of this secondary Catholic school, located west of Montreal, was right. The ruling explained that by obliging the institution to give the course from a secular perspective, the Ministry of Education violated the right to religious liberty. For the Quebec judge, “Canada’s democratic society is based on principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the primacy of law, which enjoy constitutional protection,” reported the local press quoted by Apic. The decision ruled that by obliging this Catholic school to give the course from a secular perspective, the Ministry of Education was employing a method “essentially equivalent to the Inquisition….” In his decision, he characterized the obligation imposed on the high school as totalitarian.

Since 2008 when the course was introduced, the Ministry has received about two thousand exemption requests. Till now, they have all been refused.

(Sources: Apic/Radio Canada – DICI No. 218 of 10 July 2010)

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