Well, that was fast.
A few hours after our article yesterday about a manger on Old City Hall’s south-facing lawn, which featured a sign saying the statues were “donated by Campaign Life Catholic In honour of the efforts of Pro-Life hero Fr. Ted Colleton,” the City ordered that sign’s immediate removal. According to the Post, who wrote about the story last night, a “city communications official” issued a statement saying that ‘‘The nativity scene that is currently located on the front lawn of Old City Hall has been located there during the Holiday Season for the past 14 years. A plaque had been erected [for the first time this year], relating to ‘Campaign for Life,’ which wasn’t approved as part of the permit and does not comply with the City of Toronto’s Human Rights Policy. As a result, the plaque will be removed.’”
Less a plaque than a laminated sheet of paper, though, the sign’s removal didn’t take long. According to this morning’s Star, it was taken down yesterday afternoon—well, half–taken down, as you can see in the photo at the top of this post from this morning—by Suresh Dominic, the founder of Gethsemane Ministries, the lay Catholic movement presenting the display. He told the paper on his way to the manger that “I don’t understand why a molehill is made into a mountain….I’m wondering how this is offending people.” And then, we imagine, he reached into the manger’s wooden womb and quietly took half of the sign out from it. Dominic didn’t want to terminate it prematurely, of course, but he found himself in a situation where the choice to abort was not much of a choice at all; circumstances dictated that he all but had to. Sometimes it happens.
Photos by Michael Chrisman/Torontoist.