Loading
Bishop stands firm on maintaining Catholic identity in schools
Bishop Robert F. Vasa of Santa Rosa, California
Bishop Robert F. Vasa of Santa Rosa, California

.- Bishop Robert F. Vasa of Santa Rosa, Calif., has said that he will allow several months for education and instruction before moving forward with a Catholic identity policy for diocesan school teachers.

“The Pastors and I agree that a longer implementation period is in order,” Bishop Vasa said in a March 19 letter to the diocese.

“It is now clear to me that there are a number of significant misunderstandings about what the Church teaches, as well as why, and this presents an opportunity to teach.”

The bishop had previously introduced a contract addendum, entitled “Bearing Witness,” which all educators within the diocese were to sign, acknowledging that they are “ministerial agent[s]” and are “called by God to a life of holiness.” The statement of faith encourages teachers to keep God in their “thoughts, words and deeds.”

It further requires that teachers reject the “modern errors” that “gravely offend human dignity,” including contraception, abortion, same-sex “marriage” and euthanasia. Teachers would be expected to attend Mass regularly and not to “teach, advocate, model or in any way encourage beliefs or behaviors contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

Originally, teachers would have been required to sign the additional pledge on all contracts for the 2013-2014 school year, a change that would have affected 11 schools and nearly 200 teachers.

Reports indicated that some parents and teachers resisted the requirement, arguing that it was too harsh.

“I'm a Catholic, but to have the bishop do this is not the type of Catholicism my faith teaches me,” said parent Lori Edgar to PressDemocrat, a Santa Rosa news outlet.

Bishop Vasa responded to the various critiques by explaining that he “had failed to properly communicate” with principals and pastors in the diocese before issuing the requirement, and will now delay the pledge of faith until the spring of 2015, at which time it will be implemented in some form.

PressDemocrat reported that the Bishop’s decision to delay the implementation of the policy was a sign of the bishop had “relented” and that he was softening his position.

In his letter to the diocese, however, the bishop stood by his decision, calling the additional time an opportunity to instruct teachers on the requirements of the faith.

Bishop Vasa said that “this desire to strengthen our Catholic schools is just too important not to do well” and that the additional months of preparation and instruction will help this project.

“We agree that we need to engage our Teachers and give them the necessary faith instruction which they need to more fully understand and appreciate the teachings of the Church, including those issues about which there is such sharp contrast between the mores of society and the clear and consistent teachings of the Church.”

“This,” Bishop Vasa said, “is too important a goal to try to accomplish in one year by way of a couple of meetings and a mandate.”

Tags: Catholic Identity, Catholic education


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: