Coptic Orthodox may pull children from Toronto Catholic schools
August 08, 2011
Concerned that Toronto Catholic schools will adopt a policy promoting tolerance of homosexuality, a Coptic Orthodox priest is calling upon parents to consider withdrawing their children from the schools.
“In these young grades, we don’t want teachers talking about God creating Adam and Steve,” said Father Jeremiah Attaalla, who ministers at Ti Agia Maria and St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church in west Toronto. “It’s Adam and Eve.”
“Our members do not want gay-straight alliance groups in our Catholic schools,” added the priest, who says that 4,000 Coptic Orthodox children attend the schools. “We will pull our children from the Catholic schools if they go ahead with it.”
Some Coptic Orthodox laity have taken issue with Father Attaala’s comments. Reporting on the controversy, the most popular newspaper in Canada glossed over the theological differences between Catholics and Coptic Orthodox (who do not accept the Christological formulations of the Council of Chalcedon), ignored major differences in liturgy; and appeared to make the ridiculous claim the Catholics believe that the Pope is not a human being, but a “divine figure.” The Toronto Star reported that
though most in the Coptic Orthodox community send their children to Catholic school, they are not Catholic themselves. The differences are slight--they use the same liturgies, though Orthodox Christians differ from Roman Catholics in their belief that the Pope is a human being, not a divine figure--which has meant Coptic Orthodox children most often are sent to Catholic school.
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