The CCRL Executive

Christian Domenic Elia, PhD

Executive Director, Catholic Civil Rights League

On June 30, 2014, Christian assumed the role of Executive Director after having served on the CCRL Board since 2011. He holds four degrees, including a PhD and he has served as faculty at four universities. He has an extensive background in Catholic leadership, which includes postings in education and lay ministry.


Philip Horgan, JD

President and General Counsel

Philip Horgan is a Toronto based lawyer, who has operated his own firm since 1996. Mr. Horgan has appeared at all levels of courts and tribunals, including over 40 interventions in significant appellate cases across Canada on religious and conscience rights and constitutional freedoms on behalf of the Catholic Civil Rights League and the Faith and Freedom Alliance. He has been involved in over 20 such interventions at the Supreme Court of Canada, where he has appeared as counsel on many occasions, most recently in Trinity Western (2018), Saguenay (2015), and Carter (2015).

He is a past president and current executive member of the Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild of Toronto. He served as Chair of the Parent Advisory Council of St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto between 2004 and 2009. Phil received the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s Alumni Award in 2006.

In December 2012, Phil was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Il Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canada in advocating for freedom of conscience and religion, services to the legal profession, and development of public policy.

Phil has been an active participant in minor hockey as a coach, referee, and executive member, with the North York Knights and Forest Hill Force hockey organizations. He has been named Coach of the Year on two occasions.

Phil is married to Christine, and they have five adult children.

Board of Directors

Edward De Vita
(British Columbia)

Desmond Sanesh

Francine Lee
(Central Region)

Bill French

Richard Bastien
(National Capital Region)

Jean Morse-Chevrier

Nicholas Newman, MD

Noel McFarran
(Greater Toronto Area)

Theodoric Nowak
(Atlantic Region)

Looking for a CCRL guest speaker for an event or for media commentary?

The CCRL is Canada’s only lay organization devoted exclusively to combating anti-Catholic defamation and to bringing Church teaching to bear on issues of public debate.