Skip to comments.Bishop asks Catholics to affirm Church teaching. Catholics freak out.
Posted on 03/01/2013 5:34:59 AM PST by NYer
Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, California, has done the unthinkablenay, he has gone beyond outrageous, to a place so foreign and radical, many Catholics in his diocese are going apoplectic and having complete meltdowns (with low-fat lattes in hand, I presume). Prepare to be shocked:
The Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese is requiring its 200 schoolteachers to sign an agreement affirming that "modern errors" such as contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia are "matters that gravely offend human dignity."
The move is an effort by Bishop Robert Vasa to delineate specifically what it means for a Catholic-school teacher -- whether Catholic or not -- to be a "model of Catholic living" and to adhere to Catholic teaching.
That means means abiding by the Ten Commandments, going to church every Sunday and heeding God's words in thought, deed and intentions, according to a private church document that is an "addendum" to language in the current teachers' contract.
Who does he think he is? Their employer? Their bishop? Um, yeah, he is both, in fact. But, of course, some of the teachers would rather not walk the talk and be adults about the reasonable requirement:
But some teachers fear the addendum is an invasion of their private lives and a move toward imposing more rigid Catholic doctrine.
"Personally, it's probably something that I can't sign," said a teacher at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa. ...
The teacher, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, said he has not made a final decision whether or not to sign the document.
"On my high moral days, I feel I absolutely won't sign," the teacher said. "And on my days that I think about my job, I think who will it affect if I don't sign it."
The teacher said he objects to the "whole idea that they want me to live their morals when it's my personal life what I do outside of work."
Even more depressing are the vast majority of the nearly 90 comments (as of this posting), many of which raise the question: "Were you educated in a Catholic school? Can you spell 'Catholic'?" And, "If your conscience tells you that 2+2 = 5, do I have to affirm how wonderful of a teacher you think you are?" Here are a couple of the more ridiculous comments:
Coercion of any kind is wrong. You can't say "well we aren't firing them if they choose not to sign..." That's like a armed robber saying "I didn't shoot you, you shot you by not handing over your money when I asked so very nicely the first time." I believe in God and I was raised a Catholic, but more and more I have to put my faith in what my heart believes instead of what a single man such as this one demands I believe. Shameful.
Oh my! My heart goes out to all these teachers. To force them to sign this document (and it is force) is despicable! These teachers have families, obligations, homes, etc. Wouldn't it be amazing if all the teachers refused to sign? How would this bishop run the schools without all these dedicated teachers. This is positively disgusting of this Bishop to demand this.
I suggest teachers who are opposed to this look for jobs at less discriminatory schools. For those that can't find work elsewhere, they should sign it and then be as immoral as possible in protest of this terrible agreement.
Yes: be immoral in order to show you own the moral high ground. Brilliant. Meanwhile, here is some of what the offending addendum states:
Titled "Bearing Witness," the addendum asks teachers to "acknowledge" or "recognize" that:
They are called to a "life of holiness" and that "this call is the more compelling for me since I have been entrusted, in my vocation as a teacher/administrator in a Catholic school, with the formation of souls."
As a teacher in the Santa Rosa Diocese, "I am, by that fact, also a ministerial agent of the Bishop who is the chief 'teacher' of the Diocese."
It also requires all teachers to "agree that it is my duty, to the best of my ability, to believe, teach/administer and live in accord with what the Catholic Church holds and professes.
"I am especially cognizant of the fact that modern errors -- including but not limited to matters that gravely offend human dignity and the common good such as contraception, abortion, homosexual 'marriage' and euthanasia -- while broadly accepted in society, are not consistent with the clear teachings of the Catholic Church."
Read more here. Prepare to laugh, to cry, and to say a prayer for Bishop Vasa.
The teacher said he objects to the "whole idea that they want me to live their morals when it's my personal life what I do outside of work."
Not only does this teacher lack a properly formed conscience, this teacher is not intelligent enough to teach at the high school level.
This is an individual who could not reason his way out of a wet paper bag.
I guess I would have had a retreat this summer and during the retreat re-taught the Catechism. I’ve done several weeks now of RCIA as a team member. I probably would have had issues with signing off on some of this stuff at the beginning of the series but now I would crawl over broken glass to sign it.
I guess I would have had a retreat with the teachers this summer if I were the bishop and during the retreat re-taught the Catechism. I’ve done several weeks now of RCIA as a team member. I probably would have had issues with signing off on some of this stuff at the beginning of the series but now I would crawl over broken glass to sign it.
THE CHILDREN!!! Oh, Dear Lord, Please save the children!
I am sick to death of this self congratulatory streak in teachers and nurses. Dedicated, hardworking, devoted, blah, blah, blah. Newsflash, it's a job. You're not doing it because you love it. Or at least that's not the only reason you're doing it. You're doing it for a paycheck.
Here's another newsflash. You may be a good teacher. But there's one lined up right behind you for your job. You may even be a great teacher who really truly is irreplaceable. We'll be sorry to lose you. However, if you quit your job, the world will keep spinning. Kids will still learn, and life will go on.
This is the same bishop who wrote the intro to this book: http://www.amazon.com/Doctrines-Genesis-1-11-Compendium-Traditional/dp/0595452434
Whoa! Just came across this by accident: http://books.google.com/books?id=-JNaLoaCagwC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Well all of these teachers should have been asked this when they were hired.
If they teach at a Catholic school it should be no problem for them to adhere to catholic principles. If it is they need to look elsewhere.
When we lost the nuns to Vatican II or whatever it was that drove them from the habits and to feminism it was the kiss of death for Catholic schools. Some still survive, but they arent the same.
If you really want to hear some squealing add that to the employment contracts at Notre Dame and Georgetown.
Whenever I falter with the Church, it’s for just the opposite reason.
I get fed up with the irreverence at Mass.
I despise the bishop’s and priest’s ignoring abortion advocating politicians.
Half of those sitting in the pews don’t believe in the faith and only want the social justice aspects of the Church....and worse vote for abortion loving Dems.
Then a Cardinal Dolan, right before the Conclave, comes out and supports Obama’s gun control plan. (sickeningly political)
It wears you down at times. I have to remind myself that the American Bishops are not the entire Catholic Church. I do not want an American to be Pope, unless it’s Chaput.
“Then a Cardinal Dolan, right before the Conclave, comes out and supports Obamas gun control plan. (sickeningly political)”
Are you Catholic? Which parish do you attend?
Is divorce included as one of the 'modern errors'?
It is the thinking of a teenager.
When MA ordered kids to affirm transgendered by using the same bathrooms (showers?), not that many freaked out.
What a crazy world
Profoundly moving statement. You have come to recognize how truth is liberating. God bless you!
Yes. I’m Catholic.
I’m in Western Maryland...Our Lady of the Mountain Parish.
We have Capuchins here. They are excellent.
My complaints are with the broader Church. When I said, “a Cardinal Dolan”, I meant his specific action and other Bishops, as well.
Amen to that.
...Chaput defended his decision in support of Sacred Heart by asserting that Catholic schools were obliged to provide an environment where the faith is fully taught and practiced. He said concerns about offending students or engendering alienation between parents and children at home would hobble those efforts.
Divorce is not contrary to the teachings of the Church. Marriage outside of the Church is, so is marital relations outtside of marriage, OKA adultery. That does not come into issue on school as these are issues for adults, not kids, so they’re not going to go into that on this piece.
Divorced people are wlcome in the Church.
For what it's worth, I think you hit the nail right on the head with your criticism. "Wears you down" is exactly what it does.
Divorced people are welcomed into the church that is true...but they may not remarry without an annulment from the church or they are considered to be committing adultery as their previous marriage is still considered valid.
When I heard, last week, what Cardinal Dolan said/did, I had to seek consulation. Ran into a favorite priest on the way into Mass. He was just getting off his motorcycle, wearing his collar, of course. I said”maybe you can help me”. He looked up and smiled and said, “of course, what is it?”
I told him what I’d just heard reported buy Raymond Arroyo, an impeccable source.
He , well, I won’t tell you his reaction, but I can say that there are wonderful priests out there who get the whole culture and see clearly; that the bishops need prayers and that when you say you have problems withe the broader Church, what I think you mean is, you have problems with the USCCB and the way they handle things while expecting us to believe that they can’t get into politics.
The broader Church might mean The Holy See, which is never wrong about these things. The Vatican.
the Holy see is firm on these things, many in the American Heirarchy choose (they used to be much worse) to misinterpret.
Check the encyclicals, George Weigel, ad Raymond’s weekly show the World Over, and welcome home.
Wonderful. THis Bishop is doing his job, not an easy thing to do in this environment.
Catholic school teachers, when they stray from Church teachings, are many times more harmful than any horrible public school teacher or program.
They stray children during their formative years away from the Church in THE NAME of the Church.
The school we are affiliated with ahs a yearly ceremony where the teachers and staff stand before the congregation (the students - families welcome- at Mass and pledgeadherence to the Holy See.
When and if (it happens) they veer from that they are replaced immediately.
It’s very very important.
So what is the teaching of the magisterium and the catechism on this issue? Does the Catholic church actually teach this?
As stated - marital relations outside of [Catholic] marriage is adultery and not allowed.
The anullment is a grant, after careful investigation, that the marriage never took place.
Please allow me.
When Cardinal Dolan pledges solidarity with Obama on any issue, it is seen by the public as adherence in many matters. Matters, for instance that do veer from the Magesterium, the existence and the contents of which many in the Church are completely unaware, relying on news that “tickles their ear”.
If a Cardinal had come out and stated that he was in solidarity with or agreed with Pres. Bush or Reagan on anti abortion matters, all would say, stay out of politics, and we hate these Catholics etc.
The right to bear arms, specifiacally, certainly is addressed in the Catechism, derived from the Magesterium.
BTW, it also clearly states that embracing illegal aliens is not allowed for a country, as it breaks down the fabric of the country, eventually leading to its demise and an inability to help anyone in the end including its own citizens.
God bless Cardinal Dolan,, and, with all due respect to him, he and many bishops have embraced publically the illegals.
“The right to bear arms, specifiacally, certainly is addressed in the Catechism, derived from the Magesterium.”
And what does it teach? :)
Yes. I am primarily talking about the USCCB.
Before I became Catholic, EWTN was the spark that initiated my study of The Catholic Church.
Journey Home and Father Pacwa’s teaching of JPII’s writings were my favorite shows. And still are, actually.
I have always felt Christ in my heart. But the second spark was literally feeling Jesus Christ inside Catholic Churches.
The third and continuing fire is learning more about Early Church history and reading Encyclicals.
I’m ordering Faith and Reason and can’t wait to read it. I consider that a way to read both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, since I’ve learned that then Cardinal Ratzinger had great input into this Encyclical.
Thank you for the Welcome Home. It has been a journey and I educated myself for several years before converting.
When you read the depth of Early Church history...”you cease to be Protestant”, or you deny the reality of the Truth by falling back on the Lies taught by Protestant Ministers.
Many of the ministers do not realize the truth themselves and merely cut themselves off from that history. A warning to Protestants...better not read the history, my brothers and sisters. (But I pray you do)
Despite the problems in the Church, those problems are only secondary to my own weaknesses and failings, when I do falter. Because there is no scandal and no Bishop failing and no corruption that will keep me from Jesus Christ, in the Church he founded and is living in.
**The Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese is requiring its 200 schoolteachers to sign an agreement affirming that “modern errors” such as contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia are “matters that gravely offend human dignity.”**
May God bless Bishop Vasa! Yes, he has a spine. There are a many other teachers out there who would like to quit the public schools and teach in a Catholic School, yes, even for a cut in pay.
A friend, here in my town, did just this, and she is so happy although it has been a learning year for her as well since she was teaching a different grade that she did in the public schools!
Let alone, his eternal life minus heaven!
Can he think that far ahead?
A glimmer of light in a very dark USA.
Divorce is not recognized by the Roman Catholic church. Marriage is a sacrament and a marriage is forever until the death of of the spouse or unless it is formally annulled by the Church.
That does not come into issue on school as these are issues for adults, not kids, so theyre not going to go into that on this piece.
Divorce is not an issue for kids but contraception, abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual marriage is?
Divorced people are welcome in the Church.
Welcome at mass, yes. Divorced people are still married in the eyes of the church, unless the marriage has been annulled or the former spouse has since died, and as a divorced person can receive the sacraments. But if you divorce and remarry without having your prior marriage annulled then you cannot. So I would hope that something like that would be included in the Bishop's addendum, and that anyone who teaches in a Catholic school in his diocese cannot divorce and remarry without annullment.
Unfortunately, this good bishop is way out of step with the vast majority of Catholics, especially clergy and theologians. Oh well. At least he hasn't been kicked out.
Maybe stanne can give you other cites. I have read these citations in the catechism:
2263-2266 in the “legitimate self-defense” section.
Those don’t refer to 2nd Amendment directly, but the language is precise, clear and not only refers to the right to defend yourself, but the grave obligation to defend others you are responsible for.
The more history I study, the more I am convinced the Reformers had a great much quite correct. (their input is still affecting the RCC for the positive, it may be added).
In that same history spoken of, if it not be limited to selected cherry picking by RCC apologists, much of the present day RCC claims can be seen to be selectively and carefully exaggerated, all done while dismissing or downplaying how those very same claims to "spirit" be available to all.
Though there can be some sorrow as to (in your own experience?) not having "felt" or had palpable sensory experience or discernment of the presence of the Lord in other than "Roman" churches(?), possibly resulting in lost time (years?) when one could have otherwise enjoyed the reassurance of the Comforter, I'm glad for those whom are able to as you said, experience "literally feeling Jesus Christ inside Catholic Churches".
Yet that same Spirit can be found outside of the Latin church, both fully and perfectly, despite claims to the contrary, or comparison that it be mere crumbs. What the Lord Himself inhabits, is our faith, even as He is the author and finisher of it.
If one is to say, the proof of the Lord selecting adherents/members of the RCC, can be validated by His presence discerned among them...then the same proof of selection and validation must be accepted when encountered elsewhere, using the very same scales of measurement.
If you only knew what you had been missing...right? I can tell the same story from a non-denominational point-of-view.
If we were to be able to fully compare notes (bearing in mind the inherent difficulties in regards to subjective appraisels comparing discernment of spirit) you may be quite surprised, of just how strong His presence can be, outside of the Roman church.
If others were to have been much more forcefully subjected (greatfully) to the presence of the Lord's spirit, than I myself have experienced, we would hear of it more often. If others had only undergone what I myself have, and having experienced it in an array of church settings (or more personally, when not exactly inside a church building or as a congregant)...they may be ashamed for pointing towards that same as if I was merely looking at the menu, or eating at McDonalds while thinking it fine dining, while they in their own estimation were eating Coq au Vin or some such.
I've had that comparison put forth towards myself...by an RCC promoter who seemed to not be able to get their mind around the fact that the Church is not defined by churchmen alone, but is shepherded by only One true Shepherd --- not a pope, though the Latin church is entitled to it's own bishop.
The church He founded? Jesus Christ never traveled to Rome. Why now is there some headquarters there? For sake of both Paul and Peter having been there, ministering at some point (they both traveled to other locales also)...or for sake of it said them having died there? Over their dead bodies, it is. Now shall I be told about Elijah?
I'm sorry you perhaps did not much encounter the Lord, or if so not powerfully, or "enough" before your own "RCC" conversion experience, if that can be loose outline for your own personal experience. Yet I am grateful the Lord keeps His promises that he will not entirely leave us or forsake us, despite of (not dependent upon) our own selves, or necessity for "perfect" doctrine or teachings in all things, at all times, for His Spirit to minister unto us.
Where ever He may be truely found, so be it.
+Vasa also has Latin Mass in his cathedral, he is gutsy.
What’s wrong with him? He is filled with pride and worships himself.
“contraception, abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual marriage is?”
Oh yes they certainly are, but only because the culture bombards them jwith it.
Divorce is so widely accepted it doesn’t even come up.
People argue about it to no end, as you are illlustrating here.
Divorced people are welcome in the Church, at Mass, receiving communion all of it, including teaching kids. Divorced people cannot date other people or remarry if their catholic marriage is not anulled. Anyone who practices the faith knows this. The confusion comes in when people try to confuse it out of selfishness or to excuse others’ behavior but it is simple. Marriage is for life, anything that resembles marriage outside of that is adultery. Anullment recognizes that the marriage never took place.
It is a very simple issue - which, by the way, any teacher knows about in order to answer questions or to lead by example, which is what they’re talking about here, to begin with.
Teh more the teacher knows and follows the teachings of the Church, the shorter the answer to kids’ questions and the less questions to be had.
Scott Hahn states that dwhen he read history he converted.
If yo have a catholic book store near you it’s nece to browse. They’ll have a Church history section. Four Witnesses is good. Also, Confessions of St. Augustine. The Didache also
What am I? An encyclopedia?
Google search Catechism, etc
2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor.... The one is intended, the other is not.” [St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 64, 7, corp. art] 
2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow: 
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s. [St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 64, 7, corp. art]
What is wrong with him is that he is pretending that he won’t have to have a meeting with his maker. He soesn’t picture how silly he’s going to sound when answering for his life choices, “duh, on my good moral days. . . and on my other days, I thought blah blah blah”
You brought a smile to my face with that comment. Thank you. I remember the first time I sensed the Real Presence in the tabernacle. It was my first Catholic wedding. I knew Jesus was there but I didn't know how.
I remained protestant for decades after that but I never forgot that first time I sensed Jesus palpably before that Catholic wedding even began. God is so good :)
Welcome home. I find Catholicism an incredibly joyful lifestyle and hope it's the same for you. Peace be with you.
Rubber meeting the road time. Our conservative priest last fall said that “we” are going to start pushing back (at the liberal government) to much applause. That was the last I heard about it. Come on Church, your flock is waiting for some leadership. Maybe the next Pope.
I would say that contraception is even more widely accepted, yet the Bishop chose to include that in his list.
Thanks for the response, brother.
I’m not going to respond to all of your points, because some have gone back and forth zillions of times here on FR and will likely be disputed for eons more.
I’ll just respond to several that 1)I believe to be in need of clarification and 2) a few where I believe you are misinterpreting or misstating what I said.
“In that same history spoken of, if it not be limited to selected cherry picking by RCC apologists, much of the present day RCC claims can be seen to be selectively and carefully exaggerated”
As a former Protestant I have to tell that it is absolutely the opposite of what you say. I personally experienced several denominations and non-denominations doing what you claim, however, in a massive scale. There are so many falsely created versions and deliberate untruths that I heard about the Catholic faith, that it is no wonder there is such angst toward Catholicism from Evangelicals and Protestants.
There is also a Protestant/Evang. ignoring of Early Church history and strong disregard for the facts of that history in relation to the Christ-Peter-Pope connection and lineage.
The Catholic Church is the church that says, “read, explore, open the light of history and immerse in that history”, both great, good, and the repugnant. There, Christianity is objectively found in its infancy and early years.
I would challenge Christians to take it upon themselves to read this history in depth.
“Though there can be some sorrow as to (in your own experience?) not having “felt” or had palpable sensory experience or discernment of the presence of the Lord in other than “Roman” churches”
I actually had a personal relationship and conversion of the spirit, when I was not involved in any church at the age of 13. I was a Christian at that moment of knowing Truth and acceptance of Christ. After that until about the age of 25, I drifted from church to church. And of course seeking Christ. In almost all of those dozen churches, I felt the Grace of God.
“Yet that same Spirit can be found outside of the Latin church”
“...both fully and perfectly”
I would disagree with that. Early Church history informs me that the Catholic Church is the originally created Apostolic and Universal Church of Jesus Christ. If this be so, then the fullness and completeness is in that Church.
“despite claims to the contrary, or comparison that it be mere crumbs.”
The gift of Grace from God is never “crumbs”. It is a holy gift of love that is Christ given.
That Unity of belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior should be strong enough to keep all of we Christians as brothers and sisters, despite our differences in doctrine.
My conversion from Christian to Catholic Christian is one that I believe, both through faith and objective Church History...gives me the Fullest and most Complete Christianity that is to be found here on earth. Not perfect, for war are Men, not incorruptible, for we are sinners...but original Church of Jesus Christ as He walked the Earth. Peace, Brother.