Toronto Catholic Schools Allow Pride Flag, Reject Pro-Life Flag

This is not just about a flag — it’s about the views being taught inside Catholic schools.

The pro-life flag from the Pro-Life Flag Project (
The pro-life flag from the Pro-Life Flag Project ( (photo: Credit: Pro-Life Flag Project ( / Courtesy of the Pro-Life Flag Project (

There are some ideas so fundamental to Catholic teaching that they must be accepted by Catholics without question. Opposition to abortion and opposition to euthanasia are two such core teachings that are not up for question.

These pro-life convictions provide a key to a greater understanding of what the Church stands for. If the Church isn’t for life, it isn’t for much of anything.

Yet a recent episode in Toronto shows what happens when secularism infects theology, and in the process rips up the foundation of all that Catholics find sacred. It also shows that those in charge of teaching the new generation of young Toronto Catholics need to review the Catechism or find another job.

What happened puts into question just how Catholic these schools really are.

Last month, the trustees of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, voted to reject a proposal to fly a pro-life flag over its schools. The board, however, does allow pride flags to fly over its schools in June, so-called Pride Month.

“Trustees at the Toronto Catholic District School Board once again trampled on parents’ rights to have their children educated according to Catholic teachings when they voted 8-2 against a proposal to fly the pro-life flag at schools,” said Dr. Teresa Pierre, president of Parents as First Educators, a national Canadian group that supports the rights of parents over the secular liberal ideology of governments and school boards.

“Since the sanctity of human life is a front piece of Catholic moral thought, you would have thought this was a no-brainer. Well, you would be wrong.”

The decision to fly the Pride flag was made in 2021 on an 8-2 vote, over the objections of Cardinal Thomas Collins, then archbishop of Toronto.

“Things really are in a shambles when a Catholic school board allows a loophole for LGBTQ+ activists but refuses to offer the same respect for the Church’s actual teachings,” Pierre added.

Trustee Markus de Domenico told the Toronto Star newspaper he opposed flying a pro-life flag because of its association with Campaign Life Coalition, an unapologetic pro-life group and supporter of the National March for Life held in Ottawa each year.

De Domenico said that the coalition “really disturbs me (as) they’ve been nothing but very anti-Pride, anti-human rights code.”

The Coalition is not a hate group or opposed to human rights — rather, it supports Church teaching.

The pro-life flag is almost whimsical in its unthreatening, childlike design. On a white background there are two horizontal lines, one blue and one pink — because “male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). In the middle are two baby feet, also pink and blue, inside a white orb. The feet are being protected by a hand above and below the orb.

In an article in the (Toronto) Catholic Register, board member Michael Del Grande explained why voting against flying the pro-life flag is an insult to what the Church stands for:

Del Grande shared what the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the recent Dignitas Infinita declaration released by the Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith state about the sanctity of life and abortion said. Dignitas Infinita warned that ‘today, in many people’s consciences, the perception of its gravity has become progressively obscured. The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behaviour and even in law itself is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake.’ 
Del Grande said he ‘could think of no legitimate reason why this motion shouldn’t pass unanimously. We’re a pro-life board, and I expect you will vote in favour of my motion so that (the board) does its part to vigorously defend the most marginalized and victimized group in this country, namely children in the womb who are killed at a rate of 100,000 annually.’

Of course, this is not just about a flag — it’s about the views being taught inside Catholic schools. For several years, for example, many Catholic school board teachers have marched in the annual Pride parade. 

All of it seems to add up to real concern about what future generations of Catholics will believe and espouse. A good guess is it will have nothing to do with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.