Skip to comments.Bishop Relents on Vow for Catholic School Teachers
Posted on 03/25/2013 6:36:26 AM PDT by marshmallow
Bishop Robert Vasa acted Thursday to quell a rising tide of unrest, announcing he would not require the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese's teachers to sign a morality clause as part of their contracts if they want to teach next year.
But the bishop, who hews to a strict interpretation of church doctrine, indicated that within two years he intends to put into place something in some way resembling his controversial "addendum." The addendum would have required educators employed by the diocese to affirm that contraception, gay marriage, euthanasia are "modern errors" and "matters that gravely offend human dignity."
"The goals which we had established for this year's teacher contracts will be postponed and we will plan to implement them, in some form, in the spring of 2015," Vasa said in a letter released Thursday that was nearly two pages long and addressed to "Pastors, Principals and especially Teachers."
The plan had provoked fears by teachers, some of them non-Catholics, that they would have to choose between personal beliefs and their jobs. It prompted an outpouring of criticism from parents and students.
(Excerpt) Read more at pressdemocrat.com ...
If that’s the politics Bishop, then close the school.
Smaller and purer may be the way to go.
Maybe the bidhop had a talk with a lawyer.
Bring back the Oath Against Modernism.
Every Catholic Bishop should require all employees of Catholic institutions to advance the mission of the Church. That's their job. It's what they're there for.
I can’t believe that Vasa folded on this.
There has to be more to the story that we see here.
I bet it was in the language. Shall we look for this to surface again?
I was thinking of something else, too. Can he let the current employees go (fire them) and then require this allegiance from all the new employees? Or would that be a bigger mess?
It all depends on what their current contracts say. It could be, as Mrs. Don-o suggested, that he’s been advised that this may be unnecessary, if the current employment rules include anything like “exemplifying the Catholic Faith.”
I started reading the comments posted on the Press Democrat website and was staggered by the level of vitriol directed towards the Bishop, a lot of it from self-identified Catholics. If this is indicative of the state of the faith in his diocese, then he has an uphill battle to be sure. He may have misjudged the amount of resistance he was facing. If teachers were threatening to quit en masse and effectively shut down the schools, then I don’t see how he had much choice but to back down for now.
Believe me, I understand the sentiments to “fix it now or shut it down,” but I don’t see that as exercising responsible stewardship over the Church’s goods. Closing a school is not like closing an Arby’s. Schools are complex institutions with deep ties to the community, and risking shutting one down even for the best reasons without sufficient preparation would cause immense bad will that might never be healed, and actually harm efforts to spread the Faith.
I’m glad to see the Bishop is sticking to his guns on the long term goals. Hopefully the more disgruntled teachers can find new jobs in the interim. I haven’t been following this until now, so anyone who is more aware please forgive my ignorance. But it seems to me that he made a tactical, but not necessarily fatal, miscalculation in trying to roll this out so fast.
Hopefully any long-suffering faithful teachers are communicating with him in private so he knows who his friends are inside the institutions so he can focus on turning around at least one of the schools, and from there begin to form a solid structure of authentic Catholic education in his diocese.
In humility, though, I think we have to recognize that these problems have been festering over many decades and they aren’t going to be solved overnight.
Do 12% a year, in 4 years all the baddies will be quitting and you can replace them. There are Catholics --- parents and teachers -- across the country who would flock to his diocese. This I know.