At face value, it seems to be a legitimate employer’s request (“Diocese requires teachers to follow church doctrine,” Thursday). That is until you remember that these directives are imposed on teachers who may or may not be Catholics.
The “Addendum: Bearing Witness” attached to the teacher’s contract requires all educators to pledge allegiance “to what the church holds and professes” or lose their jobs. The principal of Cardinal Newman brushes this off as just a minor blip in a process that some of us believe to be a serious moral error.
How can you breach the conscience of anyone, but more specifically the non-Catholic teacher who was hired to teach math, not to be “the ministerial agent of the Bishop”? Shall he be fired for speaking the truth? Will we substitute with a mediocre math teacher just because he will sign the document?
Some Catholics are not surprised by these recent developments. In fact, we are waiting for the next shoe to drop. I spent an afternoon reading through Bishop Robert Vasa’s letters to the Diocese of Baker, Ore. The next document to test the orthodoxy of the Catholics in Santa Rosa, and to determine who has the right to serve the Catholic Church, will be the “Affirmation of Personal Faith.”
If you want to teach catechism, serve as a Eucharistic minister, sing in the choir or be a lector, you must prove your worthiness by signing the “affirmation,” which is no affirmation of faith in the gospel sense of that word. It is not about loving God and loving your neighbor, nor is it about exercising the virtues of the beatitudes, and it is definitely not the faith that can move mountains. In actuality, it is a loyalty oath, not to God but to the reigning teaching authorities in the Roman Catholic Church. “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God.”