Thursday, July 12, 2012

Arlington Diocese parishioners question fidelity oath

Kathleen Riley, left, and Alison Carroll
resigned as teachers at St. Ann's
Sunday School.
Michelle Boorstein at the Washington Post has written another in a long string of articles misrepresenting and/or disparaging Catholicism, not that an anti-Catholic story in the Post isn't regular fare. In this installment it seems that two catechists at St. Ann's Parish in Arlington felt put upon by the Bishop when they were asked to sign a Profession of Faith in conjunction with their role of teaching Catholic children. Hmmm, really?  I would only ask how professing that you will teach the authentic Catholic faith somehow controversial? They ARE charged with teaching the Catholic faith as the Church teaches it after all. Would this be a story if a Presbyterian Pastor asked the same thing of his staff? Would it be newsworthy when Baptist Pastors disassociate themselves and their churches from other Baptist churches over doctrinal issues? Uh...somehow not. But when it's the Catholic Church, somehow the rules of the game change for our intrepid newshound. A friend put it well in a Facebook com box this afternoon,
"...Michelle Boorstein is notorious for cherry-picking her stories, her quotes and her sources. She stuffs the first 75% of the article with things she likes and saves the "fair and balanced" stuff for the end when nobody's reading anymore."
That sort of covers it concerning Boorstein's brand of journalism.

The current slate of American Bishops aren't making up new stuff here. They aren't inventing teachings out of whole cloth, you know, like Salvation by Faith Alone or something. If you disagree with the Church's teaching on salvation, abortion, contraception, so-called same-sex marriage, etc, etc, then the issue is yours not the Church's isn't it? For the church, despite Boorstein's innuendo to the contrary, has been utterly consistent. Open your heart and educate yourself. Yes, you have a right to your conscience, but shouldn't it be a well-formed conscience?  If you, in all humility, still don't believe what She teaches, there are tens of thousands of other options available to you. It is, after all, still a free country...for now.

All of that said however, as a Catholic, I EXPECT to be taught (and to ensure my children are taught) what the Church teaches. The teachers have the obligation to teach what the Church teaches and not confuse people with their opinion when it differs from settled teaching. And we, as parents, are our children's primary catechists. Make sure you are ALWAYS driving the bus that is their faith formation! Get to know your catechists and most of all, endeavor to KNOW AND GROW IN YOUR FAITH!

I'm sure it would be very telling to know what specific issues these (thankfully former) catechists have with Church teaching.
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  1. Your friend must be a genius. Can I meet him, LOL. I still maintain that complaining about having to teach Catechism after signing up as a Catechist is like ordering pecan pie and complaining that someone put nuts in it.

    1. Yes Mr. Skiles, my friend seems to have Ms. Boorstein pegged. ;-)

  2. My husband has to sign a loyalty oath for his new position as professor at a state university. It's pretty typical -- do your job, and uphold the constitution. That these Sunday school teachers think they're exempt from doing their jobs is the epitome of entitlement. They're also belittling the nature of volunteer work by demeaning any attempts to give the job higher status. Taking a loyalty oath, to me, means that the job you're doing is important enough that they want your word that you'll do it well. Sad that they feel "put upon" when asked to teach the Catholic faith to Catholic children in a Catholic Sunday School at a Catholic parish.

  3. It would be wonderful if more parishes demanded the signing of a statement of faith and loyalty. I will not send my children to CCD in my parish because I know what passes for catechesis there. Unfortunately the tools of catechesis that present the truth correctly and without dumbing down are also a bit dry. It seems that our CCD programs have fallen into the trap of "education" that everything must be bright colored and dumbed down in order for children to digest it. Thank you for drawing attention to this. I enjoyed your post.

    1. Thanks Christine! In our parish, we have a really good CCD program. I have yet to run into anything that concerns me. But I also believe that the Pastor sets the tone there. The key, for me, is doing it with my kids and knowing what they're being taught each and every week. ;-)


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