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
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
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
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