Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Friday, October 10, 2014

O Canada!

Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking at the national conference of the Canadian Christian Legal Fellowship.  It was very similar to Christian Legal Society conferences in the U.S. except that different court cases were stirring passions.  The controversy surrounding the proposed Trinity Western Law School was a frequent topic of conversation. It appears that Canadian law is supportive of Trinity Western's right to train professionals without sacrificing its community covenant; it's the members of the various provinicial law societies who are working to block accreditation. 

One equally interesting debate concerns the case of Loyola High School v. Attorney General of Quebec, a case pending before the Canadian Supreme Court.  Loyola objects to the government's requirement that the Catholic school teach the required Ethics, Religion and Culture (ERC)  curriculum from a neutral perspective in order to support pluralism and facilitate dialogue among students.  The oral arguments in March 2014 included some exchanges that would be eyebrow-raising in the US, including one Justice's suggestion that Loyola avoid the dilemma by hiring a non-Catholic to teach this portion of the curriculum. Opposition to the ERC is not universal, even among traditional evangelical Christians.  Regent prof John Stackhouse, for example, supports the ERC as a sensible approach in a pluralist society.  The Court's ruling, expected in the coming weeks, will shape the future of institutional religious liberty in Canada.

There is a vibrant community of religious liberty advocates in Canada, including Christian Legal Fellowship and the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, and it was a privilege to get to know their leaders


Vischer, Rob | Permalink