Canada Orders Pastor to Renounce His Faith

In a decision that foreshadows the possible fate of Fr. Alphonse de Valk, Canada’s leading pro-life voice among Catholic clergy, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal has forbidden evangelical pastor Stephen Boisson from expressing his moral opposition to homosexuality. The tribunal also ordered Boisson to pay $5,000 “damages for pain and suffering” and apologize to the “human rights” activist who filed the complaint.

The complaint stems from Canada’s debate leading up to state legislation recognizing so-called same-sex marriage. In 2002, the pastor wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper in which he denounced the homosexual agenda as “wicked” and stated that: “Children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.”

The activist subsequently filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission — a quasi-judicial body that investigates alleged discrimination within the Canadian province. The government tribunal published its decision [] on May 30.

While agreeing that Boisson’s letter was not a criminal act, the government tribunal nevertheless ordered the Christian pastor to “cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.” Moreover, the tribunal’s decision “prohibited [Boisson] from making disparaging remarks in the future” about the activist who filed the complaint and witnesses who supported the complaint. Many of Canada’s religious leaders and civil libertarians have expressed concern that the government’s human rights tribunals are interpreting any criticism of homosexual activism as ‘disparaging’.

The tribunal also ordered Boisson to provide the complainant with a written apology for his letter to the editor. This last requirement threatens civil liberties in Canada, said Ezra Levant, a Jewish-Canadian author and lawyer. Levant, himself the target of an Alberta Human Rights Commission investigation, is facing the possibility the state may order him to apologize as well.

“Ed Stelmach’s ‘conservative’ government now believes that if it can’t convince a Christian pastor that he’s wrong, it will just order him to condemn himself?” Levant wrote on his blog. “Other than tribunals in Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China, where is this Orwellian ‘order’ considered to be justice?”

“This is like a Third World jail-house confession — where accused criminals are forced to sign false statements of guilt,” Levant wrote. “We don’t even ‘order’ murderers to apologize to their victims’ families. Because we know that a forced apology is meaningless. But not if your point is to degrade Christian pastors.”

In essence, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal is ordering to the minister to renounce his Christian faith, since his opposition to homosexuality is based upon the Judeo-Christian Bible. The case against Pastor Boisson has been watched closely by practicing Catholics in the country, especially as news spreads about the current Canadian Human Rights Commission investigation into Fr. de Valk reported on in this space last Wednesday. The Basilian priest and publisher of Catholic Insight magazine stands accused of promoting “extreme hatred and contempt” against homosexuals for having publicly defended the Church’s traditional definition of marriage. Some of the allegedly hateful statements are quotations from the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Fr. de Valk told Catholic Exchange.

Although Catholic moral teaching is generally more nuanced in its criticism of homosexuality, evangelicals and fundamentalist Protestants often appear to be used as test cases for the government commissions before targeting Catholics. Thus many Catholics fear the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will attempt to use the Boisson case to muzzle Fr. de Valk from expressing the Church’s traditional moral teaching, delivering a further blow to religious liberty and freedom of conscience in Canada.

Pete Vere


Pete Vere is a canon lawyer, author, and Byzantine Catholic from Northern Ontario, Canada. He and his wife Sonya have six children. In his few spare moments, when he is not cooking or camping with his family, he enjoys hunting, reading, video games and scotch.

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  • joseph garnier

    And only to think that our president signed a North American Union treaty with these arrogant atheists! You might say that he goes to church, so how could he allow this in a country he seeks to unite with, but the Bible says that you will know them by their results. The “intellectual elite” that we foolishly elect are those who strip our lives of meaning and then place themselves as redefiners of God. There are none in power who have not sold their souls to the God of this world.

  • slbute

    It goes way beyond President Bush my friend. He seems to be everyones doormat these days. I guess it’s easier that way.

  • mickeyaddison

    Ok…lemme see if I got this straight: the Alberta Human Rights Commission goes off the deep end and its Bush’s fault?

    Aluminum foil hats to the left, please.

    First…there is no such thing as a “North American Union”, and Pres Bush didn’t sign any treaty to unite with them. Its pure fantasy.

    Second…the AHRC is the villian here. Canada is rapidly becoming a “workers paradise”. No wonder Catholic Quebec wants to secede!

    Third…We ought to be more concerned about whether this sort of socialism will come south. There are not a small number of “progressives” in America who would do the same if they thought they could get away with it. Homosexual “marriage” is already being imposed by court fiat against the expressed will of the people of California…

  • tednkate

    Not only is there a connection between contraception and abortion; the connection exists between contraception and homosexual behavior. (See here: )

    Although the latter connection isn’t as easy to see, I am convinced now more than ever if you want to fight homosexual behavior, you are going to have to go after part of the problem: Catholic (and eventually other Christian) married couples who are using contraception.

  • knitmom

    The issue here is one of free speech being curtailed by a non-elected entity. The Human Rights Commissions here in Canada were initially established to ensure the rights of visible minorities and women, particularly in the workplace. They have since broadened their scope to include political incorrectness reported by those who have been “offended”. As the saying goes, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”, and so these cases get a lot of publicity.

    The loss of freedom of speech is of grave concern to anyone who is serious about living out their faith. It is a form of persecution that unfortunately is very real.

    Thank you Mr. Addison for setting things straight in the comments.

    Just a little note to Mr. Garnier of the comments – please do not call Canadians “arrogant atheists”, because in fact, many of those in government here are vibrant Christians who are trying to stem the tide of all this nonsense. Please offer your prayers for our country instead.

  • Grace Harman

    Our water supply is polluted with excess female hormones from the “pill”. That is turning male fish to females and weakening male hormone levels in people. The forced teaching of homosexuality in schools is also affecting our children, and we’ve been destroying tradidional marriage with no-fault divorce for years. Divorce hurts and confuses young people anyway. We need good families to have a healthy society. Humanae Vitae was prophesy.
    Arrogant judges are twisting our laws against following God’s Laws. To accept this is to destroy our own freedoms. Be very careful who you vote for! (Look up SPP.GOV on the internet. There was a Treaty signed between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. in March 2005.)

  • tednkate

    Treaties must be ratified by the Senate in order for them to be really binding in this country. Of course, it is possible that the executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch may decide to uphold what is in the document through regulations, passing of laws favorable to the advancement for its aims, etc.

  • rakeys

    The Democrats have also been trying to pass a “hate crimes” bill here in the U.S. which will also trget any negative comments about homosexuality. It has not been successful yet, because President Bush would veto it. President Obama will not. Yes . Watch who you vote for.

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  • Richard

    A Raspberry (Bronx) to the canadian bunch perpetrating this silliness and prayers for those Canadians struggling to straighten out their misguided leaders.

  • Grace Harman

    The Democratic Party has just endorsed “gay Marriage”. Here! in the U.S. – Now what will happen?

  • If you’re hoping it won’t happen here in the U.S. you’re a tad late. Read this:

    I’m certain New York’s Gov. Patterson and his cronies have something similar in mind. Nothing like “Human Rights” to create a dictatorship.

  • Homosexuality will be the issue that forces Catholics in the west underground. We can not, and should not hide from our truths. The real question is this; are you ready to suffer persecution for His names sake?

  • eric

    If Obama gets elected it will be the same,and you probably include picketing abortuaries as well. Canada might seem tame in comparison.

  • canagencatholic

    AS the sole Canadian(so far) to post on this:
    1) This is just part of seeing the fascistic weasels of the human rights tribunals and commissions expose their intentions for the rest of us. I just hope that the reaction to this will be …. vigorous.
    2) Quebec used to be Catholic. Now it is more pagan than even Vancouver/Victoria. Quebec would’ve been another Venezuela if the had separated.
    3. The H.R. Tribunals across Canada are embattled. Pray that Canadians rise from their despondent lethargy to remind Politicians that attacks on freedom can create a new squeaky wheel with a long memory

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  • eric

    The puritanBoard, are heretics your brothers in arms? Wasn’t the denial of the Faith the start of all this? Subjectivism leading to anything but truth. Why whine about one thing and let the rest go?

  • And with an Obama presidency, even if SCOTUS rules in favor of religious freedom, the response will be, “Justice Roberts has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.”

  • Cooky642

    I have been praying for Pastor Boisson, Bishop Henry, and the others in the news since their names first surfaced. What am I praying? For the same thing I’ve been praying for the U.S. for the last 6 months: that we will ALL be given the grace we need to stand firm! Is persecution coming? Re-read the article: it’s already here.

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  • nativity



    1. The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided.(1) Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature.

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  • ck

    Simple solution – Canadian Christians need to STOP being
    quiet and saying, “Golly-gee, I don’t want to get involved. I’ll just keep my
    head down and mind my own business.” 
    No, first thing Christians/Catholics need to do is start getting
    organized.  Why? – Because the radical
    activists are organized.  They are also
    very vocal.  Next, Christians/Catholics need
    to remain vigil to what the Alberta Human Rights Commission is doing and work with other denominations of good-will.  After all, if they can be bullied, so can we.  Last, they need brave leadership from the top
    of the Church down to the pews.  They must be organized and peacefully
    march/demonstrate until the outcry is so strong the “Alberta Human Rights
    Commission” is shown for what it is – an embarrassing, shameful, attack on freedom.  Otherwise, I fear Christians/Catholics will
    be bullied into submission and jailed by these so-called “Human Rights” groups/commissions.  Wake up people!  The US needs to do the same.

  • Soul2solu


    1: 28




    ” the eyes of the Lord your God 
    are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end  ” Deuteronomy 11:12



    Dear brother in Christ


    Greetings to you in the most precious name of our Lord
    Jesus Christ


    Let me introduce myself that my name is P. EPHRAIM, from India. We have established the
    society in the year 1997 with the help of some faithful Christians. We
    established this society only because that we can proclaim the spirit of God in
    our areas some of our teams have been distributing the Bible free tracts and
    booklets in the particular centers, Hospitals, Educational centers and some
    remote villages. We also distribute them for the Pastors and Evangelists.


            Through this
    process we are able to cover our Mandal nearly 15 villages. Pastors and
    Evangelists of different areas also getting free tracts and booklets from us.
    And they good understand about Bible through this literature. It has become a
    burden for us to continue this program. If I got generous hand of yours. I will
    be able to succeed in this program.


       By the grace of God, we run a Christian lending library in my
    area. So many people are come and search the spiritual books and read and known
    the real God of Jesus. Here, my position is not good, because of no sufficient
    spiritual literature. Many people are disappointed of short of literature.


     So, brother please consider my
    request and pray for my spiritual need of my people and send some of your
    publications and Gospel Tracts to me. We pray for you and your families and
    also your ministries.


    Pls Prayer for our Need‘s: – Brother, if you possible please provide here in my area, Your
    Gospel messages are relay to free media. Here so many free media channels are
    broadcast some business, Films and etc, but there is no our Gospel messages
    free Media in my state (Andhra Pradesh). So, brother, please consider my
    request and provide your material and support to start the Gospel Messages free
    Media (FM)Free Media; here so many people are used free media sets, audio.

    We request you please kindly consider my request and support my
    above media center in my state . we pray for you and your family and also your
    ministry .

     See Our Web Site : –

    Church ministry [2] women s ministry.[3] youth ministry

    [4]children s ministry[5] House visiting ministry [6] tracks

    Bible distribution ministry [8] street gospel ministry [9] hospital ministry


     Please pray for us as we pray for you. We
    shall await for your further the most valuable and prayerful response at an
    earliest with good anticipation and fervent hope.

    We pray for you and your Family and also your
    ministry in my Regular prayers.



    Yours in His service forever


    Rev . P. Ephraim

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  • There we have it. No understanding of the phrase “Shall not infringe”