Canadian teens stand up to heresy in their Catholic High School

The other day we learned from Archbishop Hon, the Chinese-born Secretary of Propaganda Fide, that an illicit episcopal consecration was averted, probably because the people stood against it.

Here is another example of resistance “from below” properly offered in the face of improper use of authority and promotion of heresy.

On LifeSite there is a story about a girl who stood up for the faith in the face of a dreadful and erroneous old chestnut that, in the Resurrection, Jesus did not physically rise from the dead.  My emphases and comments.

NORTH BAY, Ontario, June 8, 2011 ( – “If Catholic students are required to go to so much trouble with their Catholic teachers to defend a teaching as simple as the resurrection, what do they have to do in their Catholic schools to defend teachings on abortion, homosexuality, or same-sex ‘marriage’?” asked Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholic commenting on the case of Francesca Sinicrope.

A Grade 12 student of North Bay, Ontario, Sinicrope has recently gone to battle with a teacher and principal at her Catholic High School over the truth of Christ’s Resurrection.

“He told us people have taken the Bible too literally,” Sinicrope told LifeSiteNews in a recent interview. “He began saying that it was like a metaphor that you follow…He said that Jesus never resurrected.”

While the principal says an investigation has cleared the teacher of wrongdoing, another classmate has corroborated Sinicrope’s account.

During the week leading up to Easter this year the Catholic High School decided to place crosses in every classroom, recounted the teen.  Following Holy Thursday Mass, Francesca’s sociology teacher provided an explanation of the crosses to the whole class, saying that the same message would be given to all the classes.

Francesca’s video footage, posted on YouTube, recounts the events.  “He told my whole class that Jesus had never resurrected,” the 17 year-old said. “That is so unbelievable to me in a Catholic school.”

“My really good friend asked him, ‘So you’re saying that Jesus never resurrected?’ and he answered ‘yes’,” Francesca continued. “My teacher went against the Catholic faith and the school mission statement.

A friend and classmate, Celine Giroux, backed up Francesca’s account.  “He began talking about how we as Catholics took the understanding of the Resurrection too far,” Celine told LifeSiteNews.  When the teacher told students the Resurrection had never happened, Celine says she challenged his statement.

“So what you’re trying to tell me is that what I’ve believed in all my life is wrong, that Jesus never resurrected?” Celine asked. The 18 year-old recalled that the teacher answered: “The moral is right, it’s just the story is wrong.”

[Get this…]Because He died in our honour we should be nice to each other,” was the teacher’s moral, according to Celine.  Francesca’s earlier recollection agreed, “He told us the crucifix represents helping others, when we look at it that’s all it’s supposed to mean.”

According to Francesca, the event should never have happened.  As she notes in her video account, her parents submitted a detailed “Traditional Values” form to the school at the beginning of the semester.  The form specified requirements for parental notification or exemption from certain areas of teaching when “concepts or values” conflicting with the family’s values were presented.


Read there for the rest of the story.

WDTPRS KUDOS to these kids.  Good for them!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. moon1234 says:

    Sounds like the Bishop/Pastor needs to step in and remove this teacher.

  2. Tominellay says:

    …sociology teacher…not surprising…the Catholic bishop there will be cleaning house soon…

  3. Phillip says:

    Jesus died in my honor. I’m so flattered. I feel like a Roman emperor or something.

    (Sad. Very sad.)

  4. marniebcn says:

    In a Catholic school, why would anybody need to sign a “Traditional Values” form?

  5. Tominellay says: …sociology teacher…not surprising…the Catholic bishop there will be cleaning house soon…

    Not likely!

    My American friends, Catholic education in Ontario is publicly-funded in accord with the Scott Act of 1860 and our Constitution, the then British North America Act of 1867 and our more recent Constitution Act.

    We now have weak bishops who have not fought of the CINO Premier (Governor) of our province forcing GSA’s (Gay Straight Alliances) on our Catholic Schools so I will not hold my breath on any bishop acting against this heretical teacher.

    OECTA (Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association) is a radical union of social justice advocates that would join American teachers’ unions for being more interested in lining their own pensions than actually educating. If you read LifeSite you’ll know from other examples what this union has wrought for Catholicism. One thing now, they are taking $60 from every member to fight the possibility of a Conservative Government being elected in Ontario this October.

    This girl is smarter than her teacher.

    Man bites dog!

  6. benedetta says:

    All of these sorts of things were disseminated and gained local following in some places by supposedly enlightened leaders who now quite habitually, thoughtlessly, invite people, young and old, and teach people, young and old, to endlessly infect any spontaneous acts of faith which might well up quite naturally from their status as children of God and all that implies and their desire for communion with the living God, and substitute in place of faith a lifelong trip around and around the mulberry bush as if some sort of bible detective and flatter one’s self into feeling that one is merely exercising one’s intellect, conscience, free will. The news is that faith comes with one’s whole being and never excludes intellect, conscience, free will, and plenty of ivy-league educated and also relatively humble people will readily tell you that. The practice of teaching doubt to children is an attempt at keeping them at farther then arm’s length from God. Doing so has great ramifications already visible and quite obvious especially in places where this sort of thing is preached and taught, to kids (!) at the expense of and neglect of the essential truths of Christianity which are timeless. It is certainly discouraging and will have a discouraging effect, but teaching children that the Eucharist is just a wafer, a man-made symbol, or invention of “The Church” still will never negate or change Jesus’ own reality poured out to this very day for us. It’s a sad thing to observe, that people have done this but it cannot compare to the power that is always offered to those who seek communion with Him, and not on some theologian’s newest idea for it but on His terms first and foremost, encompassing, not just intellect but the heart and the whole being altogether. Young people are rarely acknowledged for asking that their basic dignity be respected in this way. Adults in such environments aren’t so children and young adults will clearly have even less say or power to ask for a change.

    But these pseudo dogmas born out of one or two political bitterness from the 1970s and locked into same as stone statues now for many of us in some regions, what logically do their proponents believe will happen when they are implemented, trumped and then taught, to children? Do they really believe that what will result will be a healthy faith life? A spiritual life? They are out of their minds. All one needs to do is look around to see that in the places where the Church has attempted to “go Episcopal” or go Buddhist or whatever the thought of the day, whatever the theologian now celebrated as our hierarch to whom we all must bow, the faith is in a miserable state, by any criteria or measure.

    The essential truths of the faith are essential for a reason. We can and should trust the sources of the faith. These truths have supported believers in all times and circumstances and in the worst that our generations have seen as well. That will never change no matter how much vitriol or what demands certain American publishers or theologians or empowered types wish to heap more and more, it seems as if on endless binge. It is junk food for the soul.

    Even secular studies of health and well being show that adults, teens, young people, who attend church services weekly are healthier than counterparts who do not attend. Yet the one who attends Mass, incorporates belief into life, and recognizes a sociology teacher’s attempt to undermine a timeless truth and discourage people from further looking into it (because of course no one wants to feel like an idiot who believes something which your sociology teacher has declared a myth) has to be made out to feel somehow wrong. I guess our “spiritual leaders” are not so concerned with health. I guess they wish to be, unhealthy, mentally, spiritually, physically. When you teach people that they need not attend church, guess what, they will believe that it is not necessary for them to go. See the clericalism is still alive and kicking. When you tell them that it is only a wafer and that you are the spiritual authority, it is logical and predictable that this will be fully believed and acted upon. Of course as I said nothing any mortal can say about it will ever negate the full reality but the attempts clearly have human consequences that we should not deny.

    It’s so interesting to me how people teach all the weirdness, to children and pretend to parents that somehow their child will still be enabled to have a healthy life nonetheless. It really does remind me of the way the Stalinists attempted to indoctrinate people with lecture and inciting to doubt. If you get to read Fr. Ciszek you easily recognize that Jesus’ life, always offered, has zero to do with attempts to control, deny, pretend as a myth. And if you are one who was once taught these very things and still feel that belief is a matter of intellectual exercise, of opinions based upon whatever the latest might be, I really sympathize with you. Look into a little prayer, even if you feel that you cannot believe and are convinced of everything as presented that it was all just myth etc. See where that takes you.

  7. Jack Hughes says:

    That teacher should be fired on the spot !!!!

  8. S. Murphy says:

    Good job, Francesca!

  9. anilwang says:

    An important inoculation against this type of liberalism is given by Paul in:

    1 Cor 15:13-26 ( )

    If Christ has not been risen from the dead, Christianity is a sham, believers are fools to be pitied, and the multitude of martyrs wasted their lives and died vain.

    If a good carpenter died only to honour us 2000 years ago, who cares? Many WWII veterans, some of which in our own families, did a whole lot more.

  10. chloesmom says:

    Proud of my young compatriot! David in TO, I live in Quebec – even worse than Ontario. Our bishops are mute and mostly invisible – very frustrating. In my diocese (Valleyfield), our bishop is a relatively young man, so he has quite a few yrs. left till 75. He only seems to show up for fund raisers (and Confirmation, of course). Our pastor ignores anything that comes from Rome, and seems OK with a lot of questionable things happening in our parish. Let’s make a deal: I’ll pray for you in Ontario, and you pray for us here in Quebec. Un gros merci, et bonjour!

  11. Mundabor says:

    “Because He died in our honour we should be nice to each other”

    This is another example of the new religion of “niceness”.

    Here in England one hears a lot of this, with Christianity an embarrassing optional to be sacrificed everytime not doing so would be “not nice”.

    “Holiness is not niceness” (I think it was Fulton Sheen)


  12. APX says:

    @David in T.O.
    Catholic education in Ontario is publicly-funded in accord with the Scott Act of 1860 and our Constitution, the then British North America Act of 1867 and our more recent Constitution Act.

    It’s the same thing in Saskatchewan. However, the Catholic school system I went to school in, and the same one many of my friends and relatives work in had to underg0 faith-based screening via their parish priest, and then once they’re hired, they’re expected to register and remain active in a Catholic Parish, complete two university Catholic study courses, within the first two years of employment, have their growth plan, including spiritual wellness, evaluated by the superintendent, and “abide by the ideals and principles common to members of the Catholic Churchand, by word and example, encourage Catholic students to do likewise.”

    The real issues for us come when the university assigns Education Students to intern for a semester because there’s no real faith-based screening. In my high school we had a Wiccan student interning for one of the drama teachers. She was quickly removed after sudents made complaints to the principal about her teaching the students about Wicca.

    The problem with teachers is they’re not as easy to get rid of. They have unions to protect them. They can be re-assigned to other teaching jobs (ie: Christian Ethics teachers teaching heresy can be re-assigned to teach another subject, etc.), but once they get tenure, the school board can’t just get ride of them.

  13. wanda says:

    ‘During the week leading up to Easter, the Catholic High School decided to put crosses in every classroom.’

    ? I would think that crosses, nay, crucifixes, would be in every classroom from the outset. They had to explain the crosses? Well done young ladies. You are truly courageous and thank you for your defense of the Faith.

    Prayers for our northern brothers and sisters and would you be so kind to pray for us to your south? Merci beaucoups!

  14. EWTN Rocks says:

    Hooray for Francesca! Wanda, I agree she demonstrates significant courage defending the faith. My prayers this morning are for those in the south.

  15. disco says:

    Next they’ll be telling us that Jesus died so that sodomites might adopt children…

  16. my kidz mom says:

    Fulton Sheen said it best: ‘If you want your kids to defend their Faith, send them to a public school; if you want them to lose their Faith, send them to a Catholic school.’

    Ever since my children were young, I have constantly been on alert to resist the promotion of heresy at their catholic schools, CCD classes, and even (sadly) at Sunday Mass. Now that my kids are in a catholic high school, we talk daily about what is presented in their religion class. Thank the Lord my children have been blessed with two solid (young, pro-life) whom we respect; in stark contrast to their heretical hippie-style World Religions and Social Justice teachers.

    Parents, you can’t defend the faith if you don’t know it yourself. Learn it, live it, be a happy Catholic!

    Father Z, you have been a blessing in my maturing faith. May God bless you with many more years.

  17. Leonius says:

    The same teacher is probably teaching much younger children also who are much less mature in their faith, that is the truly sad thing about this.

    All the parents should refuse to send their children to the school until both the teacher and the principal are removed.

  18. JaneC says:

    Sadly, this kind of thing is all too common. I went to the mainstream Catholic high school in my home town for one year, in 1999. The religion teacher I had there was absolutely horrible, a heretic. We watched BOTH “Godspell” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” in class, and a PBS documentary on the 1960s (oddly, she was too young to remember the 1960s herself). How that all was meant to relate to a course called Christian Scripture I still am not sure. Thankfully after a year of that purgatory I transferred to a smaller Catholic school, where they taught straight from the Catechism four days a week, and excerpts from a different Father of the Church each Friday. I was well-prepared for the “religious studies” courses at my Catholic college, where the Lutheran pastor who taught the New Testament course was most theologically orthodox person in his department.

  19. DBuote says:

    As a Catholic seminarian in Canada, I beseech all of you to pray for the Church in Canada. Things like this happen A LOT, unfortunately. Sadly there is not much that can be done about it… yet.

  20. stgemma_0411 says:

    Sadly, this is the norm for Catholicism for most of Canada. Having lived in the Maritimes, the message from both the pulpit and the classroom was typically bad. My wife and I moved to Alberta, this past January, and I am actually surprised to see that Catholicism is doing much better out here, in the Western part of Canada. Not nearly the same level of abuses and heterodoxy that was typical of most parishes in the East.

  21. nichols.a.t says:

    This is why I homeschool – having to pay someone else to mislead my children and instill doubt doesn’t sit well with me either (Catholic school is not publicly funded in the US).

  22. Mike says:

    The Jesuit high school in Montreal has a case before the Supreme Court for the right to opt out of a secular “ethics” course that has been mandated by the province of Quebec. Should they lose, things like this article will be small compared to what will be taught in Canadian Catholic schools.

  23. moon1234 says:

    In reading the comments above I have to wonder how the STATE can madate what is taught in a private religious school, especially when what is mandated is directly contradictory to tennants of the faith.

    Imagine reguiring the local madrassa to teach that homosexuality just a life choice and all the little students should be open minded? I wonder if that “teacher” would even make it home in one piece.

    It is so sad that the faith in Canadian schools is essentially dead.

  24. Sliwka says:

    It does not surprise me that teacher would be teaching like this at a Canadian Catholic school based on what drivel we are given as a curriculum to teach from. I student taught grade 2 in Alberta this spring and to introduce the Holy Spirit, I was supposed to have them imagine they were seeds and to play act seeds and feel what seeds feel when they see the sun. Needless to say I did barely what was required of me. Good on the curriculum for assuming the children had some knowldge of the Real Presence (though the kids did not from the wide eyes and open mouths when I said the food Christ gives us is himself).

    It does surprise me that the students would stand up for this seeing as this is what they are taught. Makes me want to get into admin after I get my degree next spring and run a school right.

    To the teachers reading here, and especially to those in the article: James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.

  25. In 2002 the Bishop of Meath and Kildare, Ireland, initiated an ecclesiastical trial against a dean in the diocese who denied that Jesus is the Son of God. He also said that Jesus and John the Baptist were ‘mistaken and misguided’. It was the first such initiative in 150 years, as I recall. However, it didn’t go ahead because the dean resigned. By the way, Bishop Richard Clarke was the Church of Ireland (Anglican) bishop.

  26. annony11 says:

    @JaneC .. that sounds exactly like the religious studies faculty at my alma mater. Although there was one teacher who was actually Catholic and better than the Lutheran pastor. We also had a laicized priest in the bunch. Pretty sad how one of my music teachers, a Presbyterian, was more Catholic than most of the “Catholics” teaching there.

  27. AM says:

    It is so sad that the faith in Canadian schools is essentially dead. This is a little unfair.

    Canadian (Ontario) Catholic schools are part of the public school system. They are not private schools at all. Religion is an obligatory subject in all grades. The religion curriculum is governed by the Ontario Bishops, but the rest of the curriculum is the common public education curriculum. Typically, although by no means universally, children of catholic “background” attend Catholic schools. This includes lapsed young adults, children of lapsed parents, the lukewarm, the interested, the committed.

    Consequently, in grades 9 and 10 a religion class consists of a large group of kids who are there because they must be, half of them are not going into an “academic” stream, and most have very little religious knowledge such as should come from family and church. And many are pretty thoroughly uninterested in the subject. That makes teaching religion at that level very, very difficult. Try to imagine it, really.

    Now, add to that the generally liberal ethos in the Ontario teaching profession. Exceptions exist, but they have to go up against their colleagues’ outlook as well as the students’ apathy.

  28. capebretoner says:

    “As a Catholic seminarian in Canada, I beseech all of you to pray for the Church in Canada. Things like this happen A LOT, unfortunately. Sadly there is not much that can be done about it… yet.”

    Your use of the word “yet” gives me real hope! Prayers for you and all of your fellow seminarians!

  29. irishgirl says:

    Good for those two girls to stand up for the Faith! There’s hope for the Church in Canada!
    That so-called ‘teacher’ and ‘principal’ ought to get canned-pronto!

  30. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Thank our Lord someone young out there isn’t afraid to put her neck out to say how inneficient her teachers are at teaching the True Faith. In all honesty Catholic schools should have never accepted public money. Only private Catholic and homeschool are acceptable means to go it seems, sadly.

  31. lucy says:

    Feeling profoundly grateful that we are able to homeschool our children. I will pray for our brothers and sisters in Canada. We should all pray most heartily for our bishops everywhere since they we will be held to a much higher degree of accountability.

    For those that cannot homeschool – at least get the three books that will help you: The St. Joseph First Holy Communion Catechism, and the two Baltimore Catechism books 1 & 2.

  32. Brad says:

    We have been warned many times that whenever the Incarnation (and thus the cascade of events that followed, e.g. Resurrection) is denied, the bad spirit in the world, i.e. satan, is in the room, or person, in a very profound way. The Second Person must always be denied, followed reliably by his Mother (less denied, more besmirched).

    That classroom needs to be exorcised! At the very least get some holy water in.

  33. benedetta says:

    This notion of “not being nice as the only sin”. It’s kind of a technique used by sort of boorish and imposing personalities who are not always so nice themselves, to guilt and shame people who are more inclined to give others leeway, into doing what they desire. It’s a bit of trend. And in thinking it through a bit I wonder if I haven’t perhaps been a bit sinful, neglectful, in being overly nice to those who propose some really harmful things to me and those to whom I answer for in this life. Add to the list of common myths and misconceptions about Christianity: doormat is not the same as being charitable. And if niceness is extracted from another via shaming then it isn’t really charity now is it. That’s just a manipulation, plain and simple. This high school teacher (in a position of authority and power and he well knows it) telling female students is essentially saying, “Be nice to be and honor my advice to you that the Resurrection is a myth”. Sorry pal but the nice factor requires us to call you out. The charity part comes in when we pray for you as well.

Comments are closed.