Articles by Paul Donovan
By Paul Donovan with Peter Stockland
June 1, 2015
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada declared the government of Quebec had breached the religious freedom of Loyola High School, a private Jesuit institution in Montreal. Paul Donovan, who led the seven-year legal battle as Loyola's principal and who became its president in April, spoke with Convivium publisher Peter Stockland about the implications of the decision for Canada's faith in common life..
PD: Whether the perception is false, it challenges Trinity to ask itself this question: "Are we trying to separate ourselves from society or are we trying to find a way of engaging society? If it's the latter, then how do we get across that we're not trying to pull away from society, that we're trying to be a part of society as the people we are?" That's a challenge C: The Court didn't answer the direct question about corporate Charter rights, but they did have some very strong language around the socially embedded nature of religious belief C: What would the ballpark cost be from the time Loyola filed its application against the government's refusal to grant an exemption to the Ethics and Religious Culture program until the resolution in the Supreme Court this year? C: One of the arguments from the other side, in favour of imposing the Ethics and Religious Culture program even on a private Catholic school, was the need for time for so-called cognitive dissonance In this particular case, the people on the other side thought the government was actually being neutral [by imposing the Ethics and Religious Culture program] PD: I was actually thinking of the Jehovah's Witnesses example, which is ironic given it's a case that people love to cite when they talk about government not getting involved in religion The idea of maintaining — I would go further than that and say enhancing — the Jesuit nature of the school is going to be part of that strategic plan in the direction that Loyola takes C: Just to delve into the ruling itself, one of the things that's come up in discussions is unease about the language in Justice Abella's decision, albeit a 7-0 decision, about Quebec allowing a private religious school system to exist even after the dismantling of the denominational school system C: That was Justice Abella's statement in the Loyola decision, wasn't it? The secular State must respect religious diversity not seek to distinguish it?
February 1, 2014
Principal Paul Donovan explains why Loyola High School in Montreal is going to the Supreme Court
C: Just to put it in context, the Loyola High School student who was centre of the case, the complainant so to speak, is now attending Concordia University and will be finishing his first year when the Supreme Court hears the appeal on March 24 C: There was the Drummondville case, of course, in whic...
August 1, 2013
Secular society has a duty to encourage a flourishing religious life, argues Paul Donovan
Despite the current perception of religions and religious people, almost all religions, including the most isolated and conservative, believe that con-tributing to the common good of society, especially to the care for its weakest members, is part of their faith Archbishop Lépine observed that, with...