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10. Catholic teachers' pledge

  • 10/30/2013:A1: MOURNING PARENTS: Sujey Lopez clutches the coffin holding her 13-year-old son as her husband, Rodrigo, consoles her during Andy Lopez's funeral Mass at Resurrection Church in Santa Rosa on Tuesday evening.

    PC: Sujey Lopez clutches the coffin holding her 13-year-old son as he husband Rodrigo Lopez consoles her during Andy Lopez's funeral ceremony funeral ceremony at Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

The proposed 2013-14 contract package for teachers in the area's Catholic schools came as something of a shock for many. Included for the first time was an addendum in which employees were asked to promise to abide strictly by Catholic doctrine, including rejecting "modern errors" such as contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia, and vowing to live by the Ten Commandments and attending church weekly.

The proposed pledge set off a wave of opposition and drew national attention to conservative Bishop Robert Vasa, two years into his tenure at the historically progressive Santa Rosa Diocese. He denied that he was trying to enforce conservative dogma, but was merely fulfilling his duty to see that Catholic principles were "clearly and consistently taught."

Opposition continued to build, however, forcing the bishop to back off, first exempting teachers at a Ukiah school, then finally canceling the idea completely.

The idea is not dead. In canceling the 2013 addendum in March, Vasa said he could revive the idea in some form in as little as two years.

You can reach Staff Writer Sean Scully at 521-5313 or sean.scully@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @BeerCountry.

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