"They're trying to teach people that there's another way of life," said Eric Gillespie, a lawyer representing Residents for Sustainable Development. "Then you put what, to them, is one of the biggest symbols of consumerism right where they can see it."
The group is making its case before the Ontario Court of Appeal. It wants to have overturned a decision last year by the Ontario Municipal Board to allow a Wal-Mart to be built near the 93-year-old Ignatius Jesuit Centre, which sits on 259 hectares.
In making its decision, the OMB considered the "physical impacts" – such as noise, light or environmental pollution – and not the spiritual damage, said Gillespie.
"The non-physical intangibles would be affected in a very, very significant way," he said.
The modern day Jesuit order is a far cry from the soldiers of Christ whom St. Ignatius Loyola raised up in defence of the Catholic faith. Its membership is overwhelmingly heterodox and homosexual, and the few Jesuits remaining who believe in the Catholic faith find themselves on the margins of their own order.
Fr. Paul Shaughnessy's account of the collapse of the Jesuit order and the travails of Fr. Joseph Fessio are but the two most obvious examples of how shamefully the Jesuits treat their own.
Given the choice between a shopping trip to Wal-Mart and an ecology retreat at the Ignatian Centre, Wal-Mart would be less likely to endanger the souls and Catholic faith of its customers.