This. Is. Amazing! (http://bit.ly/2bRU34T) The title is mistaken at best or maybe downright disingenuous: “Here Is The Loyalty Pledge Philly Catholic Schools Are Making Parents Sign.” Interestingly enough, the document already had a title: “Memorandum of Understanding”. Of course, they had to change the title because it doesn’t fit the narrative they’ve got going for Archbishop Chaput.
One has to ask, why doesn’t Philly Magazine think it’s a good thing for parents sending their kids to a Catholic school to understand what the schools are all about? If I were the Archbishop, I would want people to understand that. Why would anyone have a problem with it? Nobody is “making” anyone sign the document. People are free to attend a Catholic school, and they are free not to. No guns to anyone’s head. That said, if they are going to attend, they darn well better be prepared to adhere to the rules of a Catholic school and support the Catholic identity of said school. After all, it’s not a Protestant school. It’s not a Muslim school. It’s a Catholic school, for goodness sake.
The key is really in the very last line of the memo. We know that Catholic schools accept families of different faiths. The Catholic Church doesn’t expect them to convert to attend the school. However, they do expect them to:
… pledge support for the Catholic identity and mission of this school and by enrolling my child I commit myself to uphold all principles and policies that govern the Catholic School.
Let’s go over that again. The Church expects them to support the fact that it’s a Catholic school. Duh! If you don’t want to respect this fact, what should you do? How about finding a school that doesn’t make you uncomfortable? It also asks them to uphold the principles and policies that govern the school. Again, if you can’t do that, why the heck would you want them there anyway? I mean, it’s a little crazy to say, “I hate the teachings of the Church, therefore I’m going to put them in a Catholic school,” isn’t it?!? It’s a whole other thing to say “Well, I don’t agree with all of the teachings of the Catholic Church, but I respect the right of the school to teach Catholicism by word and deed.” What sane person would expect any less?
I think this would be a lovely thing for the Catholic schools in the Bay Area! Maybe Archbishop Cordileone could insert this somewhere in a parental handbook but the teachers should have something similar. I’m reasonably sure the “Concerned Parents” crowd would be none too pleased. They would probably decry it as draconian to ask them to say they understand it’s a Catholic school and that they will not try to undermine that. Oh, the horrors!