Report of the President of Dignity Canada
Canada Dignité (DCD)
I would like
to welcome all delegates and guests to our third
online House of Delegates meeting. We have now
experienced several more months living and dealing
with Covid-19, since our last meeting on September
18, 2021. If we didn’t fully recognize it before,
we have become acutely aware that we are living,
biological beings and face some of the same
medical challenges that previous generations
faced, as well as what those in poor parts of our
planet face on a regular basis.
In this report I will briefly describe
the major activities of the national body in the
last 12 months.
(prior to the election Bill C-6): An Act to
Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)
In November, 2020, DCD submitted a
formal brief to the House of Commons’ Standing
Committee on Justice and Human Rights in support
of then Bill C-6. The Bill C-6 went to the Senate
on June 22, 2021 , just a few days before the
summer recess, where it died when the federal
election was called.
In the new parliamentary session
following the general election, the government
re-introduced a more restrictive version as Bill
then Leader of the Official Opposition, the Hon.
Erin O’Toole, instructed his MPs to allow the Bill
to pass unanimously in the House of Commons, as it
also did in the Senate and came into force on
December 30, 2021.
Its remarkably fast track through
Parliament can be viewed here.
Canada Dignité and the Vatican’s Synod on
officially launched the Synod on Synodality in
October 2021. Without knowing which Canadian
dioceses would be participating and how they
would, we became aware that Dignity USA, Future
Church, New Ways Ministry and other reform-minded
organizations decided that they would conduct
listening sessions to enable their supporters to
express their views on at least some of the
questions posed by the Vatican.
We contacted Mark Guevarra at the end of
January, and asked him for his assistance in DCD’s
conducting listening sessions online.
facilitated three sessions for us.
The session on February 26th
comprised 10 DCD members.
All were male who lived in Vancouver,
Toronto and Montreal.
Two sessions were conducted on March 5th
and 21st, and comprised five and three
participants, respectively, from the DCD email
list. Among these eight, five were female and
three were male, and they resided in Victoria,
Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto.
that were posed:
What have been the joys and obstacles
in your journeying together with the Church?
[Later] Is there anything else you would like to
share, or what are your dreams for the Church?
I drafted a
summary for each session, which was sent back to
the participants for their review and possible
the end, I created two syntheses: one for the
February 26th session and one for the
March 5th and 21st sessions
In the first
week of April, I sent electronic copies of the two
syntheses to the General Secretariat for the Synod
of Bishops at the Vatican and to the diocesan
contact person at the Archdiocese of Toronto. Both acknowledged receipt. The CCCB and
the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall advised us to
send them to Toronto.
“Fraternal Open Letter to Our
Brother Bishops in Germany”
On April 11, 2022, more
than 70 bishops from around the world released a
"fraternal open letter" to Germany's bishops
warning that the changes to Church teaching
advocated by the German "Synodal Path" may lead to
schism. These 70 bishops seemed shocked with
anything that might challenge Christian
anthropology and sexual morality; and the
reliability of scripture.
They would certainly not consider any
changes to the institution’s official teaching
condemning LGBTQ romantic behaviour, as expressed
in paras. 2357-2359 in the catechism.
Recognizing how documents and
pronouncements from the German synodal gatherings
are consistent with DCD’s goals to see the
official teachings remedied, I considered it
important to write to the four Canadian bishops
who signed on to the open letter.
The open letter and a sample of DCD’s
individual response to the four bishops are
attached to this report. The DCD letter was also
submitted to and published in Island Catholic News
the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC)
Dignité officially became a member of the GNRC in
April 2021. I have been involved with the GNRC
Contemplative Spiritual Formation Committee since
December 2019. I recorded a promotional video for
the committee which can be found here.
Dignity Network Canada
DCD is also a member of the Dignity
Network Canada which is a group of civil
society organizations across Canada involved in
supporting the human rights of people regardless of
sexual orientation, gender identity and expression
and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) globally. The
Network is governed by a Board of
Directors and has a number of working groups to
advance its collective work.
It acts as a Canadian hub for
communication and knowledge-sharing across
organizations on global LGBTQ and SOGIESC human
rights issues, especially emphasizing the
perspectives of international partners. It convenes
and hosts gatherings, conferences and meetings on
Canada and global SOGIESC human rights; encourages
and supports public awareness, education and
research related to global SOGIESC human rights
issues; and it engages and supports advocacy efforts
both nationally and internationally to advance
SOGIESC human rights and inclusion.