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EXTRA LETTERS: Readers react to local directive to Catholic teachers

  • Bishop Robert Vasa (The Press Democrat)

Bishop's right

EDITOR: I haven't read the specific language of Bishop Robert Vasa's school contract amendment (“Diocese requires teachers to follow church doctrine,” Feb. 28). But the bishop has a perfect right, if not an obligation, to require Catholic school teachers to adhere to the teachings of the Catholic faith.

We live in a secular, relativistic society. If I am sending my child to a Catholic school, I want to be sure he or she will have teachers who convey, by word and example, the authentic teachings of Catholicism. Otherwise it can easily become a situation where the tail wags the dog.

In the Catholic Church, change does take place. It took decades of theological scholarly work in the liturgical, scriptural and ecumenical movements and the lay apostolate to reach Vatican II; then it took 29 years, and consultation with bishops and theologians around the world, to compose the catechism. As successor to the apostles, Vasa is charged with the privilege of preaching the gospel. I wish him well.

JACK O'CONNOR

Healdsburg

An ethical dilemma

EDITOR: The local Catholic community finds itself in the eye of an ethical storm due to the bishop's mandate that all educators sign a covenant stating that “modern errors” relating to issues such as contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia are inconsistent with the teaching of the church. The implication is that signature of the addendum is a condition of continued employment.

Is this coercive approach warranted in light of the collateral damage it may inflict? One could logically ask, why stop there? Shouldn't students and families be required to sign as a condition of attendance?

The impact of this requirement is potentially devastating to many. For educators whose beliefs are not congruent, there is no wiggle room — sign and suffer the effects of the cognitive dissonance that will result from the realization that they have betrayed their beliefs for the sake of continued employment, or don't sign and suffer economically.

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