Facebook is supposed to be fun right?
Oh, I know there are controversies, and I have made a special point of putting my more controversial friends into their own special group so that I don't have to read most of there stuff unless I'm ready for it.
Likewise, I send my more controversial finds over to my blog page, to spare my casual FB friends from reading the less fluffy stuff.
Yesterday however, several times I came across a story about a mom in my area who had to choose between her job in a Catholic school and her son. I couldn't imagine how that could be.
It turned out it was a story about a lady who was invited to the position of religious education director at a Catholic School, but had to turn it down because she couldn't sign The Document! which is basically a morality clause for all of its elementary school employees.
Here's the exact language - emphasis mine:
Role as Minister and Role Model of the Faith. The Teacher-Minister, in signing this Agreement, represents that he/she has read and understands the Statement on the purpose of Catholic Schools and the Role of Teachers and Administrators in Catholic Schools by the Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, which is attached to this Agreement as Exhibit A and incorporated into this Agreement by this reference. The Teacher-Minister understands and acknowledges that the Roman Catholic Church views the primary purpose of a Catholic school as a means of building up the Kingdom of God through the holistic and authentically Catholic formation of each student and that such development can only truly be fostered in a wholly Catholic environment. The Teacher-Minister further understands and acknowledges that it is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that teachers in a Catholic school are truly and in a very real sense engaged in a special ministry, or apostolate, of the Roman Catholic Church and that such teachers should bear witness to Christ in their lives as much as in their classroom instruction. For this reason, Canon 803 of the Code of Canon Law requires that teachers of a Catholic school must be “outstanding in true doctrine and uprightness of life.” As such, the Teacher-Minister agrees to act, speak, and live at all times in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as expressed by the Magisterium of the 45 http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/ministries-offices/human-resources-office/contract-for-certificated-employees/ 46 http://media.cleveland.com/plain_dealer_metro/other/Cleveland%20Diocese%20contract%20with%20HS%20teach ers.pdf The Cardinal Newman Society Faith and Morals Language in Catholic School Teacher Employment Documents (Compilation) 24 Church including, without limitation, as found in the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, which is available online at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM and which is incorporated into this Agreement by this reference.
The Teacher-Minister understands that actions and speech that are contrary to Catholic teaching shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination. The following, although in no way an exclusive list, represents by way of example certain speech or actions that are considered to be contrary to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church:
a. Public support of positions contrary to Roman Catholic Church teaching (including, but not limited to, publically supporting abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, surrogate parenthood, direct sterilization, or so-called homosexual or same-sex marriage or unions).
b. Procuring or assisting another in procuring an abortion.
c. Making use of or participating in artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, or surrogate parenthood.
d. Preparing for or engaging in a same-sex marriage or union.
e. Engaging in or publicly supporting sexual relations outside or marriage (which shall be understood for purposes of the Agreement as being the marriage between one man and one woman).
f. Living with another as husband or wife without the benefit of a marriage recognized as valid by the Roman Catholic Church or cohabitating outside of marriage.
g. Engaging in or supporting transvestitism, transgenderism, or sex reassignment.
h. Membership in any organization that is anti-Catholic or whose philosophy is in any way contrary to the ethical or moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
i. Indecent or lewd behavior (including, but not limited to, the unlawful use of drugs, substance abuse, or use of pornography).
j. Serious dishonesty.
k. Entering into a marriage with a person when one of the parties to the marriage is validly married to another person in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church (e.g., entering into a marriage if one of the parties has entered into marriage previously and has not received an annulment from the Roman Catholic Church).
l. Use of social media or electronic means of communication (e.g., email and texting) in an improper, immoral, or scandalous manner (including, but not limited to, use of social media or electronic means to communicate, post, share, or send material that is lewd, indecent, sexually suggestive, or pornographic).
Because this candidate's son is gay, and because he may one day wish to enter into a same sex union, she declined her dream job, because she would never not attend the wedding of her child. So of course, the Diocese of Cleveland must change it's guidelines?
I think it's possible to love your child and still support Church teaching. In fact, I've done just that.
I have three older sons who all chose to live with their girlfriends before marriage. One even had a child outside of marriage. I love my sons. I love my granddaughter. I continue to love and support my church. I tell my sons that I love them, but I do not support cohabitation before marriage, and I support the church's teaching on these matters. The few times one of my sons has been challenged on their mother's strong Catholic views he said, "She is entitled to her religious beliefs and her views." He defended ME even though he disagreed with me. I have never felt that I had to choose between the two, rather I have always felt that my job as a parent was to hold the line and shine a light on the truth of the church's teaching, while still reassuring my children that I loved them. Not always an easy line to walk, but I think we've managed to keep our family together and respectful, even if we disagree on this. The choice between church and child is a false dilemma.
As I read her commentary, I was reminded of a similar article a few years back by Sean Savage, co-author of Inconceivable. I've blogged about that several times before. More publicly he took his bishop to task on the CNN site.
Both articles did something very similar - they offered a litany of all the things that the writers had done FOR the Catholic Church - from attending Catholic Schools, to various ministries, to monetary support. And both articles seem to say that because of all of that - they are disappointed that the church won't simply give them a pass on their particular issue.
After reading that list of "works" no wonder our Protestant Christian friends still they we believe in salvation via works instead of grace!
After last week's of support for the traditional family by Pope Francis, I very much doubt the doctrines on faith and moral issues as they relate to the family are changing any time soon, even if Pope Francis had the executive order ability to change them on his own.
I hope the Diocese of Cleveland stands strong in requiring this signed document. Why would anyone want to work at a Catholic School, especially as the director of religious education, if they couldn't fully embrace Catholic teaching? Anyone who says that they could teach the doctrine while not believing or living it is kidding themselves. Students aren't stupid. They'll pick up on the gestures and tones that tell them their teacher isn't buying into what they're being taught.
Why should a Catholic School hire a teacher or an administrator who doesn't accept Catholic church teaching and even wants the choice without consequence to give examples or publicly speak out AGAINST Catholic Church teaching.
Maybe more importantly, why would hard working Catholic parents, waste their money and support on a school that isn't even trying to be authentically Catholic? I went to one of those schools - lost my faith and also my soul because of it. So I support the Cleveland Diocese in at least trying to keep their schools authentic and true to their bigger mission.