December 12, 2012
Canadian Catholic School Must Teach 'Secular' Religion Course After All
'Neutral' study of global religions is not 'infringement of freedom of religion,' rules Quebec appeals court.
The Court ruled that Loyola High School must fulfill Quebec's mandatory religious culture education requirement through a “secular” and “neutral” course provided by the government. Loyola had sought to win the right to use its own course, which teaches religion from a Catholic perspective.
The decision overturns a 2010 Superior Court ruling that the government's action violated the school's free exercise of religion. Canada's Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the course does not violate the religious freedom of parents.
“Exposing students to the global study of religions in a neutral perspective without requiring them to adhere to it, is not an infringement of freedom of religion,” stated the Quebec appeals court.
CT's previous coverage of Quebec includes a profile of Canada's prodigal province as well as a Catholic priest who sued a pro-life website for defamation and a Christian community of Native North Americans that banned sweat lodge prayers. Last year, Quebec restricted funds to faith-based daycares.