In every high school there are mean-spirited teens who have nothing better to do than taunt, tease and make life unbearable for other teens. The "others" are invariably the ones who are different — the ones who are queer.

Bullying is wrong — parents know that, teachers, principals and administrators know that, the Ontario Board of Education knows that; even the Catholic Bishops of Ontario, who oppose anything with the word gay in it, understand that bullying must be stopped.

That’s a big step — getting the almighty bishops to approve anti-bullying programs in Catholic high schools. They are a hardened bunch who have happily denounced GSAs and any clubs that nurture queer students and their needs.

Once the bishops came out (excuse the pun) against bullying, you would think other Catholic institutions would have followed suit.

But no: on May 9, the head of Courage Apostolate declared his support for bullying by opposing the anti-bullying clubs.

Father Paul Check, executive director of Courage International, said that he does not approve of support groups for teens struggling with homosexuality. He feels that the teens could be helped with the “assistance of a priest who understands something of the question, and perhaps working with a counsellor or therapist who shares the anthropology of the Church.”

So a priest counselling a queer teen will solve the bullying issue?

This is not the first time that Courage has done something dumb. Xtra reported in March that Courage pamphlets were available to students in a Mississauga School. The apostolate is not supposed to work with teens; they are supposed to be dedicated the praying away the gay in adults.


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