Canadian Priest investigated
for quoting Bible
Targeted under human rights law where no defendant ever cleared
June 05, 2008
12:00 am Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A priest is being investigated as a potential
Pete Vere, a canon lawyer and Catholic journalist, has reported on
the prosecution of Father Alphonse de Valk, a
pro-life activist known across
"What was Father de Valk's alleged 'hate act'?" Vere wrote.
defended the Catholic Churchs teaching on marriage
The new case comes just as columnist and author Mark Steyn, and Maclean's magazine which published an excerpt from his "America Alone" book, are on trial before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal for similar "offenses."
"We know under the Supreme Court of Canada and under tribunals of this country that there are reasonable limits to freedom of expression," Faisal Joseph, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Steyn dispute, said in a LifeSiteNew.com report.
That case revolves around Joseph's claims the defendants depicted Muslims as "a violent people" with a religion that is "violent."
In the new
case, Vere raised the question that
"If one, because of one's sincerely held moral beliefs, whether it be
Jew, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, opposes the idea of same-sex marriage in
Vere wrote that the response he got from Mark van Dusen, a spokesman for the federal human rights prosecution office, shocked him.
"We investigate complaints," Vere reported van Dusen told him. "We don't set public policy or moral standards. We investigate complaints based on the circumstances and the details outlined in the complaint. And if upon investigation, deem that there is sufficient evidence, then we may forward the complaint to the tribunal, but the hate is defined in the Human Rights Act under section 13-1.
"Our job is to look at it, compare it to the act, to accumulate case law, tribunal and court decisions that have reflected on hate and decide whether to advance the complaint, dismiss it or whether there is room for a settlement between parties," van Dusen told Vere.
What is shocking about that, Vere wrote, is the admission that unjustified complaints can be dismissed, yet the case against de Valk has continued now for more than six months.
"In other words, individual Jews, Muslims, Catholics and other
Christians who, for reasons of conscience, hold to their faith's traditional
teaching concerning marriage, could very well be
guilty of promoting hate in
De Valk, who publishes the "Catholic Insight" magazine that "bases itself on the Church's teaching and applies it to various circumstances in our time," is accused by a homosexual of promoting "extreme hatred and contempt" against homosexuals.
Vere said, however, the priest is simply following the teachings of the Bible and the examples of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XV by stating that Christians must love homosexuals and treat them with dignity due humans.
Besides the complaints against the priest and Steyn, other cases already have substantiated the Canadian precedent that Christian beliefs can be evidence for convictions.
In 2005, a Knights of
Bishop Fred Henry has described the situation as "a new form of censorhip and thought control." Those are the same words leading
Christians in the
Vere also warned that in the Steyn
case, the bottom line is that a Canadian human rights tribunal now is
"attempting to prosecute a case against an American resident, based upon
what an American citizen allegedly posted to a mainstream American Catholic
website. What passes for mainstream Catholic discussion in
And WND reported just days earlier when a verbal spat between two men on a street in Champaign, Ill., left the self-proclaimed homosexual facing no charges, and the other, an 18-year-old Christian student, facing felony "hate crimes" counts.
Vere's warnings were followed by one from Grace Harman, who noted on the website's forum: "It would appear that Canadian law is discriminating against people on the basis of their religious faith, or perhaps discriminating against God himself, who gave us the laws of nature and purpose of life."