TORONTO, ON January 17, 2014 – The Catholic Civil Rights League is pleased to announce that its application to intervene in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) appeal of Montreal’s Loyola High School has been accepted. The hearing is scheduled for March 24. The school is seeking to cover Quebec’s Ethics and Religious Culture (ECR) course content from a Catholic standpoint.
The League will intervene jointly with the Association of Catholic Parents of Quebec, Faith and Freedom Alliance and The Association of Coptic Christians of Montreal. The intervention will emphasize the religious freedom rights of religious institutions, and multiculturalism, support for which can be found in the Quebec and Canadian Charters of Rights and Freedoms.
A total of 10 interveners were approved by the Supreme Court, including a separate intervention from His Grace, Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal.
The League was an intervener at the SCC in the case of SL and DJ vs. Commission scolaire des Chênes, in which parents had sought unsuccessfully to exempt their children from the ECR course.
Loyola High School had asked to cover the ECR material in a world religions’ course based on its Catholic perspective, which it had already been offering for a number of years, a request which was upheld by the Quebec Superior Court but appealed by the province.
The Court of Appeal decision, issued December 4, 2012, declared that because Loyola’s course is Catholic in orientation, it could not be considered equivalent to the ECR program, because the ECR course was specifically designed to be religiously “neutral.”
Opinion: Loyola High School is defending freedom of religion, Montreal Gazette, January 16, 2014
Loyola decision infringes on parental choices, says CCRL, League press releases, December 6, 2012
Quebec Catholic school principal fights for right to teach religion course with faith, National Post, October 30, 2013
Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information:
Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244; firstname.lastname@example.org