The Archbishop in Wonderland!

My new nemesis word just showed up in the ridiculous letter below: microaggression.  Do you all know what “microaggressions” are?  I live in California, so these are a must to learn.  If you are in the business world, you can actually get in trouble (sued, censured or fired) for saying/doing such things because we live in the Land of the Offended.  In reality, it’s an invented word to muzzle society.  Here are some examples of microaggressions from the University of California Office of the President (http://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/seminars/Tool_Recognizing_Microaggressions.pdf):

(Highlighting and comments in parentheses all mine!)

“Where are you from or where were you born?” “You speak English very well.” “What are you? You’re so interesting looking!” A person asking an Asian American or Latino American to teach them words in their native language. Continuing to mispronounce the names of students after students have corrected the person time and time again. Not willing to listen closely and learn the pronunciation of a non-English based name.

“You are a credit to your race.” “Wow! How did you become so good in math?” To an Asian person, “You must be good in math, can you help me with this problem?” To a woman of color: “I would have never guessed that you were a scientist.”

“When I look at you, I don’t see color.” “There is only one race, the human race.” “America is a melting pot.” “I don’t believe in race.” Denying the experiences of students by questioning the credibility /validity of their stories.

A White man or woman clutches his/her purse or checks wallet as a Black or Latino person approaches. A store owner following a customer of color around the store. Someone crosses to the other side of the street to avoid a person of color. While walking through the halls of the Chemistry building, a professor approaches a post-doctoral student of color to ask if she/he is lost, making the assumption that the person is trying to break into one of the labs (OK, if you go to school in California, you know this is a joke.) 

“I’m not racist. I have several Black friends.” “As a woman, I know what you go through as a racial minority.” To a person of color: “Are you sure you were being followed in the store? I can’t believe it.”

“I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” (Heaven forbid!) “Of course he’ll get tenure, even though he hasn’t published much—he’s Black!” “Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.” “Gender plays no part in who we hire.” (This is a bad thing why?) “America is the land of opportunity.” (Um, it is!) “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.” “Affirmative action is racist.”

To an Asian, Latino or Native American: “Why are you so quiet? We want to know what you think. Be more verbal.”  “Speak up more.”  (So we don’t want to know what they thinking?) Asking a Black person: “Why do you have to be so loud/animated? Just calm down.” “Why are you always angry?” anytime race is brought up in the classroom discussion. Dismissing an individual who brings up race/culture in work/school setting.

Faculty of color mistaken for a service worker. Not wanting to sit by someone because of his/her color. Female doctor mistaken for a nurse. Being ignored at a store counter as attention is given to the White customer. Saying “You people…” An advisor assigns a Black post-doctoral student to escort a visiting scientist of the same race even though there are other non-Black scientists in this person’s specific area of research. An advisor sends an email to another work colleague describing another individual as a “good Black scientist.” Raising your voice or speaking slowly when addressing a blind student. In class, an instructor tends to call on male students more frequently than female ones.

Use of the pronoun “he” to refer to all people. Being constantly reminded by a coworker that “we are only women.” Being forced to choose Male or Female when completing basic forms. (The audacity!  I really think zebra should be an option!) Two options for relationship status: married or single. (Alternative options would be?)  A heterosexual man who often hangs out with his female friends more than his male friends is labeled as gay.

When a female student asks a male professor for extra help on an engineering assignment, he asks “What do you need to work on this for anyway?” “You’re a girl, you don’t have to be good at math.” A person asks a woman her age and, upon hearing she is 31, looks quickly at her ring finger. An advisor asks a female student if she is planning on having children while in postdoctoral training. Shows surprise when a feminine woman turns out to be a lesbian. Labeling an assertive female committee chair/dean as a “b____,” while describing a male counterpart as a “forceful leader.”

Most of these are lame and I don’t know anyone except Elaine Benes’ ex-boyfriend from Seinfeld that would actually ask them.   A couple of these are just crass, but in short, we are apparently supposed to just keep our head down and not speak, unless you are one of the liberal elites talking about Catholicism. In that case, you can say anything you darn well please.  Please!  Get over your offended selves and stop accusing the Church of “microaggressions.”  We’re not going to shut up and sit down because you are liberal.

Now that I have that little explanation out of the way, here’s the latest attack on Archbishop Cordileone: (http://www.donotlink.com/medium.com/@teachacceptance/a-plea-to-archbishop-salvatore-cordileone-do-no-harm-d1e75fad48c): 

A Plea to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone: Do No Harm

Right off the bat!  The hypocrisy can be found in the title ! However, I’m just guessing these two docs have absolutely no problem with killing a child in the womb or passing out artificial birth control to the students they are trying so hard to protect.

We are two faculty members and medical/mental health providers in the Department of Pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco, Benioff Children’s Hospital, offering care to gender-nonconforming and transgender youth, and hoping religious institutions will support us in our work.

Nope, sorry.  We’re not going to support you twisting the minds of the youth.  Ever wonder why there are so many “transgender” youth here compared to someplace like, say, Nebraska?  They’re being created due to the message they’re getting. Congratulations, doctors.

Sadly, in our own back yard, our Catholic Archbishop is doing anything but. Speaking at a recent conference in Manhattan, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone cast aspersion on the increasing categories of gender being “invented,” drawing laughter from his audience at the expense of the growing number of GLBTQ people trying to live their lives free from prejudice, rejection, and violence.

There are only two categories of gender.  I would have thought they would have taught you that at medical school, doctors.  They are male and female . And, yes, the vast amount of letters being added to the alphabet soup is insane.  Half the time, it’s your little club that bickers about what gets into that soup too.

Let’s make this easy for you and any parents concerned about Catholic teaching in a Catholic school.  If you are concerned for your child’s safety and well being, DON’T SEND THEM THERE!!!  This whole thing is getting Orwellian and I think we’ve all had enough with the thought police!

Cordileone’s initial proposal for a teacher handbook is even more vitriolic, cast in language that could have devastating effects on our GLBTQ youth: only a marriage between a man and a woman in sanctified, “all extra-marital sexual relationships are gravely evil and…these include…homosexual relations”; homosexuals can reach perfection if they grapple with their “condition” before God “by the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace.” Ergo: GLBTQ students will be taught being who they are or going in search of a partner is an evil act, and a good dose of reparative therapy (a practice legally banned in California) will help them suppress unnatural tendencies and achieve spiritual perfection.

Would you give us the respect of being a tad more honest here???  This isn’t Archbishop Cordileone’s wording; it’s the Catholic Church’s wording.  You don’t like “gravely evil,” take it to the Pope to whom you’re appealing to for the Archbishop’s removal.  Also, I don’t remember the Archbishop ever suggesting reparative therapy.  Besides, as you point out, it was the initial proposal.  You and your ilk got so offended (cue the tiny violins playing now), it was removed and teaching expanded.  So, why again are you still whining about it?  Plus, you don’t even have it right.  Again, and you know this, people are not labeled “gravely evil” in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, actions are. LGBTQ (let’s go full OCD and make it BGLQT!) teens should be taught self-mastery.  Heck, ALL teens should be taught self-mastery.  You guys really seem to want to create a Mad Max dystopian world where nobody can control themselves.  Why?  Oh yeah, as a way for YOU to control people.

If those weren’t enough microaggressions to deflate a youth’s sense of well-being and catapult them into depressed or suicidal states (a significant risk for GLBTQ youth), the handbook condemns contraception and the use of assisted reproductive technology, the very techniques GLBTQ individuals use for family-building. Lesson: unprotected sex that may lead to AIDS is a holier practice than sinful contraception; any GLBTQ person turning to assisted reproductive technology to become a loving parent will be engaging in immoral activities. Is this what we want to teach our children?

Why yes! This is exactly what I want my children taught.  That would be called the teachings of the Catholic Church.  And there’s that microagression word! Let me just clue you in to the fact, you genius mental health doctors, you are the ones who created a world of death, destruction and suicide by teaching them that there is no intrinsic value to life.  You want to know why the suicide rate is climbing?  It has NOTHING to do with the Church’s teaching on artificial birth control and everything to do with your sacred cows of abortion and contraception. You’ve completely brainwashed these kids into thinking that it’s fine to kill people and that children are a burden.  Why wouldn’t they think their life has no value, either?

Reports have it that student and community outrage in response to the original handbook proposal has led to a reconsideration of the language that will be used in the final teacher handbook. Regrettably, vitriolic words previously spoken cannot easily be taken back, especially if retracted only under duress, so now the damage has already been done.

Thanks for admitting that none of the Archbishop’s actions will be good enough for you.  Why didn’t you just say this from the start and save the proverbial ink?  BTW, it’s hardly an outrage to all of “the community.”  Amazingly, some actually want the teachings of the Catholic Church taught in the Catholic schools.

In a comment specifically targeted to transgender individuals, Cordileone, in his Manhattan speech, stated, “The clear biological fact is that a human being is born either male or female.” This simplistic statement flies in the face of scientific studies demonstrating that sometimes a person’s body and gender identity (inner sense of being male or female, or somewhere on a gender spectrum) don’t match. While Cordileone states that gender identities are being “invented,” compelling scientific evidence — hormonal, genetic, and neurologic — indicates strong biologic underpinnings to gender identity development. Core gender identity would appear to be biologically hard-wired just like sexual orientation.

Oh, my gosh!!!!  This is how far the insanity has gotten!  It is simple!  There are two genders and there’s NO science to contradict that.  It flies in the face of nothing! It is hard science.  There’s a reason that psychology isn’t considered a hard science.  It ever changes on the whims and notions of those who practice it. How many years have we heard there’s a “gay gene?”  Purely psychological fantasy! Thankfully, the hard science people have proven that to be a farce with their identical twin study of homosexuality.

The larger challenges faced by transgender individuals come not from biologic variation (there are safe and effective medical treatments to bring body and gender identity into alignment), but from social systems that do not accept or understand these individuals. Doubters should be aware of a recent, rigorously carried out study demonstrating that a gender-affirming model of care for transgender persons results in a quality of life and sense of “well-being” that were equivalent or superior to that seen in age-matched controls form the general population.

The larger challenges faced by transgender people come from you, dear doctors. You try to treat outward appearance.  The Catholic Church and Archbishop Cordileone treat the soul.  You bet we’re doubters.  I can show you studies proving the exact opposite.  Again, science has gone out the window.  We can’t help but note you don’t even bother giving a link or name to the study.  I’d imagine you don’t want anyone looking too closely at the “controls.”

Whether in the classroom, in our offices, our religious institutions, or at home, practices that support rather than condemn our GLBTQ youth are for the good of all of us.

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, Benioff Children’s Hospital Mental Health Director, Child and Adolescent Gender Center

Stephen M. Rosenthal, MD Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Gender Center”

Just one last lie on the way out the door, huh?  Why would anyone believe you when you insist on using the, oh, so scientific method of “If you say it enough, it will be true?”  Nobody has been condemned by Pope Francis, Archbishop Cordileone, or the Catholic Church.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is just yet another example of the insanity the Church in San Francisco faces. Let’s broaden that.  This is what the Church in all the liberal pockets of our country face.  Anyone feel like they’ve just read Alice in Wonderland?  Pray for us!

The Great Retread

Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the letter to end all letters, straight from the “Concerned Parents” Facebook page!  Oh, wait… Never mind.  What a letdown!  It’s just a retread from February.  I, personally, found it ridiculous from start to finish.  I think they were trying to be poetic but it’s just nonsensical.  If you need some comic relief, here’s the link to the “Great Retread”: https://medium.com/synapse/the-great-reversal-e6fc788a6541

Note the dramatic title:  “The Great Reversal.”  What is “The Great Reversal,” you ask?  Well, it’s a reversal from believing the teachings of the Church to not believing them.  Was that a big secret?  I’m reasonably sure people have noticed this by now.  Remember when “great” used to mean something?

 An open letter to students from concerned parents

Decades before you were born, we, your parents, grew up in Catholic and other schools where no one was “out.” We heard the term “fag” thrown around classrooms and hallways with casual cruelty. There was overt bullying and brazen gossip based on perceived sexual orientation. There was occasional violence. There was loneliness and even despair among our peers who knew they were “different.” There were suicides as well as descent into slower forms of self-destruction. There was anger smoldering beneath the surface among those who knew they would never be accepted. Our teachers and school leaders? Silent or worse.

I’m sure most of these supposed “Concerned Parents” were not in high school “decades before you were born”.  I think most of us have children in the first decade after we graduate.  I suppose more and more are selfishly putting that one off now, though.  “Gotta have my career, my car, my house – kids come last around here!”  Still, my youngest child in a long line wasn’t even born “decades” after I graduated.  So let’s just say we’re, maybe, talking about high school in the 80s.

Guess what?  I went to Catholic high school in the Bay Area in the 80s. Rampant abuse wasn’t to be found.  In fact, a couple of the kids who considered themselves “gay” and who everyone else thought were “gay” were class and school officers! While an occasional fight broke out amongst the boys, it was never aimed at these guys or girls.  It was usually the jocks fighting over a stolen girlfriend.  Here’s the real shocker!  I didn’t grow up in “progressive” San Francisco.  I grew up in the conservative ‘burbs.  There weren’t teachers hiding violence and shaming of homosexuals because it wasn’t happening.  I can’t believe the blatant dramatic lies being told to affect this generation!

You young students, our sons and daughters, in Catholic Schools in the last decade have grown up with a new reality. You have peers “out of the closet,” and you see that their human dignity is not diminished by their sexual orientation, and you indeed celebrate your unity undergirding the differences. You also have peers whose families are led by gay or lesbian parents; you visit them, they welcome you into their homes, you see their full humanity flowering in their families. Some of you live in such families, newly protected by laws recognizing civil same sex marriage. You may know a classmate who was conceived by in vitro fertilization. You do not see the circumstances of his or her conception as changing in any way the inheritance as a child of God. You include them in your circles without question. This is new, this is a blessed change.

Again, drivel. In fact, I’d have to say violence against all classes has gone up and it has nothing to do with following the teachings of the Catholic Church. In fact, it’s for the polar opposite reason. The only reason people are hyping this fear frenzy against the Catholic Church is because they want the Church to accept their way of life and to influence these kids to think the exact same way. I’ve already discussed the lame “in vitro” argument here https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/new-tactic-for-the-old-hypocrites/

The canard has been repeated time and again, but who in the hell is looking at any of the groups listed in their last paragraph and calling these children evil?  Oh, yeah, nobody in the Catholic Church.  How about you stop telling your children that the Catholic boogeyman is under their bed?  If you don’t want them exposed to Catholic teaching, take them out of the evil Catholic school.  Let me tell you again, for the slower learners: the Catholic Church believes that every human life is sacred.  You people, trying desperately to convince these kids with your dramatic soliloquies, are the ones who place limits on the value of human life.  You promote fulfilling your life before you have children as if they are a hindrance to your happiness.  You promote discarding children for your convenience, because of their sex or their race, or because there are too many of them.  You degrade women by promoting using them for their fertility or renting their womb for a nice paycheck, and you don’t give a darn about depriving children of their biological parents.  Want to deny that?  You can’t, so get over your sanctimonious selves!  You are the reason that kids value and respect life so little that they are beating the snot out of each other!

Then there’s the Catholic Church. Here’s what she says:

2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.

Note, it doesn’t say “gay” human life, straight human life, black, white, or any other color human life.  It’s ALL human life.  The Catholic Church doesn’t place limits on the value of each unique soul.  That would be you.

“There is no going back.”

Going back to what?  The farcical portrait they’ve painted of the Catholic high schools “decades before their kids were born?”  Please.  The Catholic Church has been constant. The “Concerned Parents” are the ones twisting themselves into pretzels.  They are the ones who show such abject disregard for life that suicides, brutality, and severe lack of respect for their fellow human being are running rampant.  The Catholic Church has been telling us this would be the end result of selfish, anti-life behavior for a long, long time.  You wanted to disregard the teachings of God?  You got death.

However, the language currently proposed by the Archbishop for your faculty’s handbook, in which active homosexuals, including those in marriages no matter how loving, are labeled “gravely evil”“ — that language is what is now repulsive to you.

OK, the “Concerned Parents” Facebook page might want to link to something a little more current.  First of all, “gravely evil” and all of the teachings cited in the original handbook (you’d better sit down for this!) come from the Catechism of the Catholic Church!  Next, the Archbishop actually removed the words “gravely evil” and just spelled out more of Catholic teaching on the subject.  Also, the Archbishop never said anyone was gravely evil.  Please drop the Sam Singer move.   As we’ve explained, time and again, only actions are called evil.  All those opposed to Archbishop Cordileone can come up with is a bunch of retread articles and the same three arguments over and over again.

What a reversal! Stay faithful to your new perception — and thank the current generation of teachers who have helped inform your consciences and boldly inspired you to believe that human dignity is indivisible. Stand with them, and start by learning more about human beings from all the disciplines you study, and most especially from your study of the Gospel of love, from the God who liberates slaves and all those oppressed, from the Spirit that stands with the truth of Church teaching based on the saving presence of God’s grace and mercy in our lives.

Remember, students, they are opposed to the Catechism.  They are repulsed by it, they want you to be repulsed by it, and they freely admit that the teachers are teaching the students to be repulsed by it.  Thanks for the honesty!  What happened to the teachers supposedly NOT teaching against the teachings of the Church?  And how about just a bit of a mention of learning what the Catholic Church teachings really are?  You also kind of left out the itty bitty part about SIN! That is precisely the problem these folks have.  They either no longer believe sin exists, or they believe sin is anything that disagrees with them.  Sorry, not reality. Sin is not based on your preferences.

Beware that your resistance to this handbook language does not get lost in anger or in a judgmental grudge against the Archbishop. We believe in loving even our opponents. We also know that God is God and we are human and we make mistakes. Believe in conversion, the turning of hearts and minds. As the Gospels exhort us: Be the salt of the earth, the light unto the world. Search for the pearl of great price and cherish it. Continue to put your arms around those of your peers who are most vulnerable to those and all hateful words, bring them close, wrap them in layers of protection and reassurance. They need and deserve your loving embrace.

Um, have they seen their Facebook page???  Their resistance was buried in anger and a judgmental grudge a long time ago!  Sadly, they are hoping Archbishop Cordileone and the rest of the faithful are going to convert to the secularized faith they hold dear.  That isn’t going to happen.  They missed the part of the Bible they cherry pick so well that says:

Sin offers death, for wages; God offers us eternal life as a free gift, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

We’re going to choose to follow Christ Jesus our Lord!

Tang or Fresh Squeezed?

Wow! Bad week for those opposed to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone! I’m sure some are still passed out celebrating the Irish referendum but while they were on the floor, Cardinal Wuerl dropped a 10-chapter (not counting introduction and conclusion) pastoral letter on why they are wrong. On the heels of that, the Vatican Secretary of State said the Irish vote legalizing gay marriage was a “disaster for humanity.” Completing the trifecta, Pope Francis (you know the guy they are counting on to be so “compassionate” – in other words, the guy who was supposed to rubberstamp sins with a big OK) has said about 100 times in a week or so that “marriage between a man and a woman.” Don’t think Truth is going anywhere anytime soon, no matter how you wish it away or insist it depends on popular vote.

Cardinal Wuerl’s letter can be found here: http://www.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Being-Catholic-Today-Pastoral-Letter.pdf

An article with Cardinal Parolin’s and the Holy Father’s comments here: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/vatican-stands-by-cardinal-s-remarks-on-referendum-1.2227805

Do you think Sam Singer’s going to tweet these? Really, you don’t? Yeah, I guess not. Not exactly following his game plan of having Archbishop Cordileone removed by the Holy Father. His poor head must be exploding right now. Cue a bunch of nasty tweets out of frustration about Archbishop Cordileone in 3 … 2 … 1. Knowing Sam, however, he’s probably hoping that the Pope will now remove Archbishop Cordileone AND Cardinal Wuerl.

At some point, the dissenters are going to have to stop the silly game of pitting Pope against his Archbishop. I can’t figure out if they really think the Pope doesn’t know what goes on around here and they think they can shame him into removing our good Archbishop, or if they really don’t grasp the fact that the Pope and the Archbishop both teach the same things. Either way, the dissenters are both confounded and confused, or they seek to make everyone else so.

Let’s look at THE letter of the week from Cardinal Wuerl. It’s directed at his area, but it’s the same type of shenanigans – dissenters saying the Church shouldn’t be Catholic. There are a lot of amazing passages which are not only aimed at his area but go right along with the San Francisco handbook flap. Excuse the heavy quoting, but it’s so awesome I just had to do it.

The Church is not a business, a club, or a special-interest group. The Church is not the result of like-minded people coming together and deciding to form an organization, nor are her moral teachings decided by popular vote or societal trends.

SAY WHAT?! What do you mean her moral teachings are not decided by popular vote or societal trends??? Crazy talk, Cardinal, just crazy talk! Apparently you have not consulted with Sam Singer, Fr. Donal Godfrey, Concerned Parents and Teachers, nor the “100 Prominent Catholics”!

Love this little story Cardinal Wuerl threw in there.

Years ago, in an effort to provide a fuller vision of life to a group of youngsters whose experience was confined to the inner city, we organized a day trip to the country. The day began with a breakfast that included genuine freshly-squeezed orange juice. Cautiously taking a sip, many of the children asked, “What is this stuff?” When told it was orange juice, they simply said, “No it isn’t.”

They had never known the real thing. The only experience they had of anything approximating orange juice was an artificial “orange-flavored drink” sometimes given as part of the free breakfast program. That occasion comes to mind when I reflect on the limited and even contrived version of our faith that some people hold.

Yes! Yes! Yes! We’ve been serving Tang to the kids in the Bay Area’s Catholic schools for at least 30 years! They really don’t know the taste of the True Faith! They have no idea what they are missing and how it can be the most flavorful thing they’ve ever imagined!  They’ve been robbed!

One may choose to be a member of the Catholic Church or not. No one is forced to belong to the Church. We never lose our baptismal dignity of being part of the family of Christ, but we are free to choose to participate or not participate in the life of our family. If one becomes a member of the Church, he or she is expected to believe what the Church believes and attempt to live it out as best he or she can, including participating in the Mass and other sacraments, providing a good example and witness to others, and helping others to know Christ.

So many people like to point this out to our handbook-opposing friends. I’m sure some don’t do it with the best of intentions, because frankly they are just tired and annoyed and they are giving in to it by trying to show our friends the door, but I really think this is important! The Catholic Church is all about free will. You can choose to believe it and the Church will love you, or you can choose to disbelieve it and the Church will still love you. Regardless, the Church will not change for you because it has your best interest at heart.

When we come to the institutions of the Church – its parishes, schools, universities, charitable organizations, health care facilities and more – these too must reflect a genuine Catholic identity with visible communion with the Church, both universal and local, and fidelity to Catholic teaching. As Pope Francis has implored, each of these institutions and those involved in their operation must be oriented toward the mission of the Church (Evangelii gaudium, 27). The purpose of these entities – and the task of those who work for them – is to lead people to Jesus.

Wait! I thought the purpose was to tolerate and accept everyone and whatever they want to do and to make everyone feel comfy and included? That’s what the Concerned Parents and Teachers, et. al., told me. I’m so confused!

Furthermore, a particular responsibility is incumbent upon the bishop with regard to Catholic institutions and their Catholic identity (Veritatis splendor, 116). His is the responsibility to see that our Catholic institutions are places where the faith permeates the culture. Our schools, for example, at all levels, should provide the environment where revealed truth, reason and charity are engaged in an ongoing effort to shed greater light on the human condition. In whatever area of endeavor, the Catholic identity of the effort should be found, for example, in a mission statement. And the message it voices should exhibit a vision of life that is rooted in Christ, articulated in his Gospel and manifested in his Church.

At this point I’d just like to say I TOLD YOU SO! Please see about half of my other blog posts. (Yes, that was a shameless plug!)

Similarly, those who agree to assist the Church in her mission and ministries represent the public face of the Church. Whether Catholic or non-Catholic, they should respect our Catholic identity and avoid behavior that contradicts the very mission of the Catholic institution.

The wider community benefits from the presence of authentically Catholic institutions and faithful Catholic disciples because the richness of Catholic teaching can engage the secular culture in a way that the light of the wisdom of God is brought to bear on the issues of the day. On the other hand, members of the Church, those who serve in Catholic ministries, those people served by them, and the community at large are all impoverished, not enriched, when the ministry’s Catholic identity is diluted or lukewarm.

Oooh! Did you see THAT? The Cardinal totally just backed up the Archbishop’s handbook. Don’t cry, Sam! Just embrace it! The Church is calling you back to your roots!

Pope Francis writes eloquently of the act of assent that is required of those who want to belong to the Catholic Church or who seek to share in her mission and work. His words were addressed specifically to teachers but are applicable to all the areas of Church ministry. “We need to remember that all religious teaching ultimately has to be reflected in the teacher’s way of life, which awakens the assent of the heart by its nearness, love and witness” (Evangelii gaudium, 45).

You do realize this is the guy that you are hoping will remove the Archbishop for saying what he just said, right?

Our failure to live up to the demands of the Gospel is a reality of life, but we are blessed with God’s mercy and forgiveness. The Lord’s capacity to forgive is infinitely greater than our ability to sin. However, failure to always fulfill our Christian obligations is not the same as the decision to reject specific obligations, teachings, commandments and requirements set by the Lord. It is inevitable – though no less deserving of our repentance – that we will sin. But our moral failings must not cloud our belief in the truth of Christ’s teachings. And believing in that truth, we must not fail to proclaim it.

OK, I’m going to get a little bit serious here. I get upset when I see people parroting “DUI!” As I’ve said before, the Archbishop’s handling of it is the perfect example of what we should do when we blow it. Own it! Confess it! Ask forgiveness and move on resolving not to blow it again! The thing that really breaks my heart is that “the opposition” – who are really our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter how annoying they might be – are continuing to ”reject specific obligations, teachings, commandments and requirements set by the Lord.” Our hope is at least purgatory. How about theirs? They’re continuing on with their resolve to sin some more and jump headlong into the near occasion of sin. Who’s praying for them and trying to help them? I’ll tell you who: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. People on “our side” like to say, “Just get rid of the dissenters.” He is holding out hope for them to embrace the Faith. He’s not naïve. He knows it’s a long row to hoe but he’s doing what a good bishop does. He’s going for the lost sheep (yes, there’s way more than one around these parts). We need to pray and pray like crazy he is successful in winning them back – not just winning the handbook battle (although that’s got to be a big goal to protect the students). He’s not going to win them all. Sad fact, but true. Still, maybe he can win some and protect the students which he will do because, well, he’s just that kind of guy. Back to Cardinal Wuerl:

Catholics grew up with the impression that their heritage was little more than warm, vaguely positive feelings about God.

Those years of experimentation left many Catholics weak, spiritually and intellectually, and unable to withstand the tsunami of secularism that came in recent decades. We lost many people because we failed to teach them about right and wrong, about the common good, about the nature of the human person. This left many no longer able to admit that we are sinners who need Jesus because many no longer know what sin is.

Sound familiar? Archbishop Cordileone and the Cardinal Wuerl have decided enough is enough! Quite frankly, we’ve been failed by the Fr. Jenkins (Notre Dame) and Fr. Godfreys (University of San Francisco) of the world and their “I’m OK, you’re OK” kind of Catholicism, while the Archbishop and the Cardinal (and more) are standing up for us all.

By the way, while he doesn’t specifically mention “Primacy of Conscience” argument that those opposed to the Archbishop have made, Cardinal Wuerl does allude to it and totally trashes their conclusions. Make sure you read this document. Most excellent!

Disagreement simply cannot be denounced as discrimination. Some commentators see this situation as a uniquely American way to live both freedom and diversity. It rests upon the understanding that diversity is real and disagreement is not discrimination. Such freedom cannot be negated by a newly created definition of discrimination.

Right! So Catholics who are faithful to the teachings of the Church aren’t bigots after all! Please take note, Concerned Parents and Teachers and the rest of the club.

The many challenges Catholics face demonstrate the need to be vigilant. We rejoice in the constitutional protection of our freedom, but we cannot take such safeguards for granted. We must speak out and clearly say, when speaking to the world situation: No Christian should be forced to convert to another faith. Closer to home, no Christian should be forced to accept a secular view of life with its own vision of morality. No Catholic institution should be denied its freedom simply because it wishes to follow the Catholic faith.

I would like to add that no Catholic institution should be denied its freedom simply because their teachers were allowed to unionize. Some have the mistaken notion that because there is a union, the Catholic Church must somehow ditch her missions and ministries. Wrong!

Sadly, it is not unusual to encounter Catholics who were raised in Catholic families, educated at institutions that identify themselves as “Catholic,” and who may attend Mass regularly, yet do not necessarily know or understand their faith or believe it.

Clearly the Cardinal has been to California.

One new effort to abridge religious freedom is the legislation that would require Catholic schools to retain teachers who by their words or actions publicly contradict the teaching of the Church. Some now wrongly claim it is discrimination for the Church to insist that those who teach in Catholic schools present Catholic teaching in word and in witness.

As Catholics, who we are cannot be separated from how we live. Jesus taught us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and care for the sick and those in need, and the Catholic Church’s history of educating and serving the poor is long and well known. However, there is a false notion that the beliefs of Catholics can be separated from how we live. Ministries such as Catholic Charities, Victory Housing, and our high schools are not independent of the Church. They are as much a part of the Church as our parishes.

In according with religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment, Catholic organizations should be free to operate by the tenets of the Catholic faith, should not be forced to accept the government’s moral views, and should not be required to provide a platform for persons who oppose in both word and action the mission of the Church.

Other factors undermining our Catholic mission and identity come from within, either through explicit dissent, miscatechesis or personal conduct that tends to draw people away from the communion of the Church.

I read stories about other places in the country, and even in Cardinal Wuerl’s locale, but this sounds very, very applicable to the situation in the Bay Area.

More and more, however, measures passed in the guise of “anti-discrimination” are being used divisively to favor one group over another and deny equality to others. Suddenly terms like “discrimination,” “freedom of choice” and “human rights” have been distorted and turned upside-down to restrict religious freedom.

-to disparage as bigoted and mean-spirited anyone who seeks to uphold fundamental truths about the human person that have been recognized throughout history. In a time when for many the supreme civic virtue is “tolerance,” the Catholic faith is considered intolerable. In a time when prejudice has been all but outlawed, anti-Catholicism gets a pass. It is, as more than one scholar has observed, the one remaining acceptable prejudice.

However, there is a difference between one’s identity, which we are called to respect, and one’s actions, which we can very well find offensive even immoral. There are some things that the Church simply will not do, and it is not discriminatory to say, “We do not do that.”

Can I get an AMEN? He goes on to beautifully explain the concept of embracing the sinner but not the sin.

I don’t think I can quote the whole of Chapter 9, but it’s awesome and basically says, “Hey dissenters – We haven’t changed, we won’t change, and you telling us to change doesn’t mean a darn thing! You can try to make us change, but you will fail.”

Chapter 10 is about how awesome the Catholic Church is, and sadly, the conclusion uses the “M” word: martyr. Our martyrdom, thankfully, will likely not be a literal beheading (although you never can tell around here). It will likely be an attempted financial beheading via lawsuits (and that’s already been threatened). In order to prepare for that battle, I ask you to pray for Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Cordileone, and to donate to the fund below (and no, I have nothing to do with Catholic Vote but appreciate their effort).

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE CORDILEONE SUPPORT FUND

New Tactic for Old Hypocrites

In case you missed it, there’s been a change in tactics in the past week by those who oppose Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.  I’ve seen the idea floated here and there, but it has suddenly become a lot more common.  They finally faced the facts that the old tactics weren’t working, so they’re desperately trying to find a new face on which they can slap a “victim” t-shirt. Guess what?  The new tactics aren’t going to work either.   They’ve got the wrong victim of the crime or, at least, they’ve got the wrong reason.  Let me explain the new focus in their own words:

Teacher Nell Jeffrey of Sacred Heart Cathedral took the microphone and told about a student who had been conceived through in vitro fertilization.

“Is she the product of evil?” Jeffrey asked the crowd gathered at archdiocese headquarters near St. Mary’s Cathedral, which roared its disapproval. “The answer is absolutely not!” Jeffrey said to applause. “She is a product of God!” (http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Hundreds-protest-S-F-archbishop-s-push-on-6227635.php)

Apparently, the new tactic is to parade all the kids they can find who were conceived by in vitro fertilization and tell how the Archbishop says they are a “product of evil” as if they are the spawn of the devil.  Of course, it’s not even remotely true!  Let me again explain to those of you who oppose the teachings of the Church what those teachings actually are, since you seem so woefully ignorant of them.

First, “product of God” is so wrong.  When does the Church refer to any of us that way, regardless of how we were conceived?  It doesn’t.  I think Christ was the only “product of God” and we are definitely not him.  Why is this important?  This phrase was used by a teacher at Sacred Heart Prep, a teacher who either doesn’t have a clue about the teachings of the Church or is willing to distort them to advance her agenda.  Here’s the kicker.  Wait for it!  She’s a religious studies instructor!!! (http://www.shcp.edu/staff/ms-nell-jeffrey/)

Next, let’s remember, this little club opposed to the Archbishop is also against saying abortion is evil.  They push for access to abortion for victims of rape, because that is somehow the fault of the child conceived.  Can you say “hypocrites?”  Which organization has time and time again said that it doesn’t matter how a child is conceived, they are all precious in God’s eyes?  Oh, yeah, that would be the Catholic Church.

The Church never never never ever (Is that enough emphasis for you?) says that the sinful act of how a child was conceived – whether rape, in vitro, or out-of-wedlock – actually makes the child any less precious or in any way culpable for the actions of his/her parents.  Children are always precious in the eyes of God and nobody else is suggesting otherwise – well, nobody except those wanting to overthrow the Archbishop.  It’s really, really despicable to use children in this manner.

So, how are we to answer this latest charge?  Talking about Natural Law and embryos, though all Truth, isn’t going to do a darn thing.  Why?  Because for many, if you can’t see it, it’s not there. They couldn’t care less about teachings of the Church such as Natural Law.  We must show them the victims they can see and can’t deny.

We cannot ignore those children whose parents and the medical profession have so callously disregarded, either by having them frozen or destroyed, or by employing fetal reduction (killing some babies implanted so that the pregnancy will “have a better chance”) – all situations purposely created where a child had to die in some manner.  These children need someone to stand up for them, since their parents haven’t.  Sadly, the Archbishop, and the Church for that matter, care more for these children than their own parents.  Even more sadly, these parents will someday have to face these children and the consequences of their actions.  The Archbishop also knows this and is trying to keep more parents and children from this fate.  These parents also don’t understand God and Natural Law at all, and the teachers at our Catholic schools don’t help (see above).  Therefore, we need to point to the more visible victims of IVF, because society is too blind to see these little ones.

Remember when society used to feel bad for the orphaned?  Remember all the movies made about orphans or lost children and their struggles to find their families, or at least a home?  Does Shirley Temple ring a bell?  That feeling, of course, went out the window with IVF.  Now we get movies like “Delivery Man”.  And before anyone says anything about demonizing adoption, the Church doesn’t do that, either.  It’s best that children are raised by their biological parents, but adoptive moms and dads are the next best thing, and we applaud them!

We all have an inherent desire to know our biological parents, siblings, and from where our history lies.  Most often, IVF children are deprived of this in part or in total.  For them, there is an internal longing that can’t be satisfied.  This longing was created by some people who never gave an ounce of thought to anything more than their selfish desire for a baby any way they could get one.  Biological moms or dads are instead named donor # such and such.  Children born of IVF often have full or half siblings they don’t even know about.  One incredibly horrific thing to think about is many are in the same geographic area of the fertility clinic, and when they get older, they never really know who they are dating.  Think about it!  Do you realize that DNA tests may be needed before marriage just to make sure these children aren’t marrying a sibling, and that a lot more heartache might come of this?  Maybe that’s why the predicted push for approval of incest is on the rise.  It had to happen, because this is what you get when you ignore Natural Law.

If you deny that children have a longing for their biological parents or that it’s detrimental, you are in denial!  Get your clueless head out of the sand and stop saying, “Life’s great because couple so-and-so got a baby!”  That baby is no less precious in God’s eyes, but you need to acknowledge the death, destruction,  longing to fill voids, and even potential incest that follows in the IVF wake.  We’ve all seen news reports of the children of donor X getting together for picnics to get to know their siblings. We’ve also heard the reports of these kids trying to find their parents.  It’s sad that people did this to them.  Those who support the Archbishop need to get a grasp on this topic.  I highly suggest watching this video and supporting this organization: http://www.anonymousfathersday.com/

Another visible victim?  If you want to talk about a “War on Women”, this is it: egg donors!  Thousands and thousands of young women are being preyed upon for their eggs.  Don’t believe me?  Look on Craigslist (and by the way, drop Craig a note on this one!).  How about trying to get them to rent out their womb for surrogacy?  It’s sickening!  They are also targeting college campuses for these girls. I have a friend whose daughter was seduced (the perfect word!) by the fast cash of egg donation, and was physically and mentally harmed by it.  They are being told “no big deal”, “easy money”, etc.  Well, ladies, it is a big deal and has a huge rate of irreparable harm to women’s bodies and fertility through the egg harvesting process.  There are also the women out there who only realize later that they have children out there who they don’t have any legal right to know.  Please make sure that you and your girls watch this movie by the same organization, The Center for Bioethics and Culture: http://www.eggsploitation.com/

So, yeah, the Church and Archbishop Cordileone in all their wisdom know the evil outcome of ignoring Natural Law, even if the opposition doesn’t.  The Archbishop’s priority is to keep this harm as far from his people as he can. I dare you watch the above videos and tell me it’s wrong for Archbishop Cordileone and the Catholic Church to oppose IVF.  If you can, well then, quite frankly, you’re a selfish idiot!

If you’ve engaged in IVF or any part of it, please seek counsel in confession.  It’s likely nobody ever bothered to tell you the reality of it.  The Church can help you and your children deal with it!  Like I’ve said before, we all sin.  The worst idea ever is to say, “Nah, it’s not a sin because I don’t think it is”, and then try to go on with your life.  Whatever you do, please don’t burden your children with your sins if you haven’t already.  Don’t let your obstinate desire to avoid guilt be their cross.  For heaven’s sake, who has to sit down and have a conversation with their children about how they were conceived?  Most of us talk to our children about the facts of life, but the saner parents don’t say “Hey honey!  Let’s talk about your conception.”  The sense of private seems to go out the window with some.

To the faithful blog followers – I’m sorry the sarcasm is low in this one. It’s hard to use the normal dose of humor when children’s lives are involved.  Please study and learn how to answer this topic, because those opposed to the teachings of the Church are trying to make this the condemnation de jour.  We have to stop being reduced to silence when someone points to a child of IVF.  They’re the ones who are wrong for using them to promote their agenda in the first place!

The Archbishop vs. The Red Herrings

This little lovely landed on my laptop today.  Just to give you some background, the latest version of the teachers’ handbook in progress for the Archdiocese of San Francisco dropped this week and – shocker of shockers – some don’t like it.  They organized a little group temper tantrum and here’s the announcement for it.  I’ve removed names.  Why?  It was totally public but I just feel sad for the two souls who put it out.  I’m sure one or two of the group will likely claim it but that’s on them.   So, here are some snippets from the press release from “Concerned Parents and Teachers: Teach Acceptance”.  Not really sure why they changed the name in the release but this is what they normally go by.  Just so you can follow along, I’m going to interject but you can see it in all its whiny glory (minus names, phone numbers and links) here: It Harms Our Teachers, Students, Schools and Community 

SF Catholic High School Parents, Teachers & Students
Reject Archbishop Cordileone’s Revised Handbook:
“It Harms Our Teachers, Students, Schools and Community”

WHEN:  4:00 pm  Wednesday, May 20
WHERE:  SF Archdiocesan Chancery, 1 Peter Yorke  Way, San Francisco
WHAT:  Press Conference to reject Archbishop Cordileone’s revised Faculty Handbook
WHO:   Concerned Parents: Teach Acceptance and teachers, students, and allies

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, concerned parents at San Francisco Archdiocesan schools will be joined by teachers, students and allies to declare their firm opposition to the latest version of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s Faculty Handbook. Parents, Teachers, Students and allies will gather in front of the Archiocesan Chancery Office at 1 Peter Yorke Way.

The Archbishop is attempting to reclassify all employees of four schools within the Archdiocese as part of the “ministry” and “mission” of the church in order to eliminate anti-discrimination and other workplace protections for those staff members.

First, our schools are part and parcel of the ministry and mission of the Church and, thus, so would be the teachers.  There’s really no need to classify them or non-classify them as such.  The schools are covered under the First Amendment’s free-exercise clause and are not limited by anti-discrimination laws intended for a secular employer.  How do we know this?  Because the Supreme Court has said this time and time again, and very recently, too.  If this were not the case, these schools would be REQUIRED to hire teachers who oppose the Church.  They are not.

He has also proposed that teachers and staff at the schools accept handbook language that, among other things, condemns homosexuality, same-sex marriage, contraception, and use of assisted reproductive technology.

And there it is again…The Church does not condemn homosexuality.  This is just another disingenuous attempt to win sympathy.  How about those who claim to know so much about what Pope Francis thinks pick up the Catechism once in awhile?  Really, when you claim to have the moral authority on all things Catholic, you might want to claim to be Catholic first, and then actually know the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Ever notice how they just state what the Church teaches and NEVER back it up with any document to prove it?

If you note, they actually are saying that this revision of the handbook (not final by any stretch) actually concurs with Catholic teaching on same-sex marriage (I’m pretty sure everyone knows the Catholic Church doesn’t accept SSM), contraception (remember that pesky Humanae Vitae? – liberals are still fuming about that one) and in vitro fertilization (documents can be found on this one too). I’m including some documents at the bottom if anyone doubts the Church has condemned all of these. See the difference?  I back up what I say about the Church, and Sam and his minions cannot.  All they can do is parrot “Who am I to judge?”, and most don’t even know Pope Francis’s original topic on that one (hint: none of the above).

These proposals, originally made public in February, were met with an overwhelming outcry from teachers, parents, students and allies of the four schools.

Overwhelming outcry?!  I think not. Look at the numbers.  They just don’t jive with that.  The overwhelming majority (even people outside the Catholic Church) actually agree that the Catholic Church should be able to teach Catholicism.  It’s kind of, well, common sense. (I know, it’s missing in some circles.)   Can you believe the egomania of this crowd: “I think this way, therefore all of society must”?!  Can I, once again, remind you about the inconvenient (for them) little SFGate poll?  (Cue the whining about how we magically could muster votes that they couldn’t – despite the fact that it’s a liberal publication that published the dang poll in the first place!)

In recent days, the Archbishop sent a letter and revised draft Faculty Handbook to at least fifteen Catholic educators. Parents, teachers and students say that while softer in tone, this revised handbook represents no meaningful change from his original agenda.

Can we just talk about the hypocritical use of the word “tone” for a moment? Would you prefer Sam Singer’s tone?  It just gives me warm fuzzies.  The Archbishop’s words are the words of the Church. Sam Singer’s are all his.

As far as the Archbishop’s tone pre-revision/post-revision, can anyone show me how it differs from any document of the Catholic Church?!  Please!  Cite away! What’s that?  I can’t hear you!  Speak up!  Come on, you supposedly have a mountain of evidence in your favor, no?  Didn’t think so.

“Sadly, the Archbishop has changed his tone, but not the substance of his proposal,” said Jim Jordan, a teacher at Sacred Heart Cathedral High School. “The Archbishop even states in the letter that he wants to ‘find another approach to reach the same goal.’ He’s not backing down at all.” Jordan added, “As for the revised handbook language, the committee who drafted it was never authorized to act on behalf of the schools. Their administrators all discouraged them from participating in order to protect them from being in the vulnerable position of creating employment policy for their co-workers.”

Well, glad the fact that the substance hasn’t changed has been acknowledged. Someone might want to let Sam Singer and the Singer mouthpieces (SF Chronicle and SF Gate) know about that.  They clearly haven’t gotten the message as evidenced by Singer’s latest Twitter rants.

I read this and I have to laugh: “the committee who drafted it was never authorized to act on behalf of the schools.”  Dears, the Archbishop doesn’t have to ask your permission for anything.  The Archdiocese owns the schools and the Archbishop is in charge of them.  He can bring in whatever advisors and committees he wants.  It is quite laughable that you have a problem with your peers advising the Archbishop.  Clearly, you think you’re the only ones who should be doing the advising (or more like the demanding).  You wanted consultation, you got it, and now you’re complaining about it?  Yeah, that’s about right.

“Archbishop Cordileone’s latest faculty handbook language, while more conciliatory in tone than the previous version, and eliminating words like ‘gravely evil,’ has the same result: teachers are cast as ministers with no legal protections, with personal lives open to scrutiny from their employer,” said Kathy Curran, a parent of two children in Catholic high schools. “The language is still harmful to our children and is an attempt to camouflage his original agenda and fundamentally alter the character and culture of Catholic education in our high schools.”

At this point I think you all might want to read this little document from Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education (yes there is such a thing): http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19770319_catholic-school_en.html

You see, the Archbishop isn’t altering the character and culture of Catholic educations.  He’s trying to uphold it.  Catholic schools have always been considered apostolates of the Church.  We’ve got a whole lot of documents saying as much, so when someone decides to get litigious and try to invoke anti-discrimination laws, they are going to lose.  Why?  Thanks, I’m glad you asked! The Supreme Court, in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was very clear. Justice Roberts, writing the court’s opinion, wrote:

The Court, however, does not adopt a rigid for­mula for deciding when an employee qualifies as a minister.

Justices Alito, with Justice Kagan concurring, wrote:

Religious autonomy means that religious authorities must be free to determine who is qualified to serve in positions of substantial religious importance. Different religions will have different views on exactly what quali­fies as an important religious position, but it is nonethe­less possible to identify a general category of “employees” whose functions are essential to the independence of prac­tically all religious groups. These include those who serve in positions of leadership, those who perform important functions in worship services and in the performance of religious ceremonies and rituals, and those who are en­trusted with teaching and conveying the tenets of the faith to the next generation.

When it comes to the expression and inculcation of religious doctrine, there can be no doubt that the messen­ger matters. Religious teachings cover the gamut from moral conduct to metaphysical truth, and both the content and credibility of a religion’s message depend vitally on the character and conduct of its teachers. A religion can­not depend on someone to be an effective advocate for its religious vision if that person’s conduct fails to live up to the religious precepts that he or she espouses. For this reason, a religious body’s right to self-governance must include the ability to select, and to be selective about those who will serve as the very “embodiment of its mes­sage” and “its voice to the faithful. Petruska v. Gannon Univ., 462 F. 3d 294, 306 (CA3 2006).”

BAM!

Similarly, Justice Thomas wrote:

A religious organi­zation’s right to choose its ministers would be hollow, however, if secular courts could second-guess the organiza­tion’s sincere determination that a given employee is a “minister” under the organization’s theological tenets. Our country’s religious landscape includes organizations with different leadership structures and doctrines that influence their conceptions of ministerial status. The question whether an employee is a minister is itself reli­gious in nature, and the answer will vary widely Judicial attempts to fashion a civil definition of “minister” through a bright-line test or multi-factor analysis risk disad­vantaging those religious groups whose beliefs, practices, and membership are outside of the “mainstream” or unpalatable to some.

(The Justices write a whole lot more awesome stuff that’s going to make some heads spin.  Please read the opinion in its entirety here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-553.pdf)

If someone sued on the basis of a teacher not being a minister, the Church can whip out document after document like THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL talking about the mission of schools and lay apostolates. (LINK FOUND ABOVE). The proof is in the Church documents already.  The Archbishop simply restating them doesn’t put one’s job in jeopardy.  It’s simply letting the teachers know what is expected of them. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral Senior Gino Gresh voiced concern that the Archbishop is attempting to redefine Catholic education, placing at risk the century-old reputation of one of the finest educational institutions in San Francisco. “I love my school. I know I have received a world class, values-based education,” said Gresh. “And fellow students who are LGBT or questioning their sexuality, whose parents are divorced or LGBT, or who were conceived through IVF – all of us, no matter where we come from or who we are, have felt safe to question and safe to learn. Under the Archbishop’s proposals, that would no longer be the case. For me, a great education teaches me to think and to ask questions.  It’s not being told what to think or how to be. ”

Holy cow!  One more time!  The Archbishop isn’t redefining Catholic education. That’s what “Concerned Parents and Teachers” are doing.  That sad thing is that these young students are buying it hook, line, and sinker, due to years of Catholic teaching being ignored.  Safe?  The buzz words are so nonsensical.  Who, exactly, is going to the students and telling them that they are anything less than precious in God’s eyes?  Who is telling them they’re in danger?  These kids are being used as pawns by adults who don’t want to be held accountable by anyone for their actions.  Sadly, this isn’t how it works.  They will be held accountable, and the Archbishop knows it and is trying his darnedest to make sure they understand what God expects of them.  I am so glad we finally have an Archbishop who puts the souls of these students first!

A great education does get students to think and to ask questions, but it’s done in the light of Truth.  Nobody is telling them what to think.  They are teaching them how to think, how to properly form their consciences (I know, a wacky idea!), what God wants of them, and how the Catholic Church is there to help – or at least that’s what should be taught.

Parents and teachers noted that the Archbishop has many platforms from which to educate faculty, students, parents and other members of the school community regarding his interpretations of Church theology, other than an employee handbook. Serra High School parent Lynn Schuette said, “While the Archbishop’s ‘short compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church’ may be appropriate for a religious treatise, it is not acceptable for a faculty handbook. His selective list of Catholic catechism fails to reflect a fuller understanding of the Catholic tradition, let alone the centrality of the primacy of conscience and the ‘sense of the faithful.’”

The Truths of the Catholic Church aren’t up for interpretation.  This is the heart of the problem.  These uneducated (and many times non-Catholic) teachers and parents don’t quite grasp that the Church isn’t a club where we all get together and decide on truths.  There’s only one Truth and you apparently don’t understand it. The handbook is a transmission of these Truths as cited from actual Church teachings.  If you don’t like the “selective list of Catholic catechism”, READ THE WHOLE BOOK YOURSELF!  There’s a logical thought!  Really, first you complain there’s too much in the handbook, and now there’s too little?  This is getting rather comical.

And can I just ask, who the heck is Lynn Schuette and how does she have a fuller understanding of the Catholic Faith than the guy with the doctorate in Canon Law and who worked for the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura?!?!?!?!?  I know that’s an organization with a really fancy name, but look it up!  I’m pretty sure it’s you, Lynn, who doesn’t quite understand the teaching on the Primacy of Conscience.  Wait, I know!  Is she also an alumna of Serra?  I guess that would make sense.  Lynn, you might want to actually look at the duties involved with that before you hang your hat on your ticket to Heaven, because you have Primacy of Conscience. Here’s a hint:

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings. (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a6.htm)

Ouch, that must have hurt!  Oh, yeah, that’s kind of mentioned in the handbook, too.  It’s also kind of what the Catholic school is all about!

Just because I really care, I’m going to throw this little bit of education in here just for Lynn: https://www.ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/CONSC.TXT

“Under the revised handbook language, teachers would not be able to dissent or discuss ideas that conflict with the Archbishop’s understanding of Catholicism without risking their jobs,” said Kathleen Purcell, a constitutional attorney and former Catholic high school teacher. “This fundamentally alters the character of our schools. Teachers whose jobs are under threat if they step outside the line cannot provide a safe environment for students to learn.”

Wrong, Kath.  Teaching the Faith doesn’t fundamentally alter the character of “your” (please note the totally necessary use of quotations) schools.  Doing so makes them what they are formed to be!  Also, they can discuss ideas, but cannot dissent from Church teachings.  My family and I discuss abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and a myriad of topics.  (Yes, I realize you are all wondering about now why this is so hard for some to understand.  The only explanation I can offer is that it’s the San Francisco Bay Area. Please pray for us!)  Kath, spin it as you will, but it has nothing to do with the Archbishop’s “interpretation” and everything to do with authentic Catholicism.  It’s so simple. LOOK IT UP! It’s been taught for 2,000 years by the bishops in communion with the Pope.  Feel free to prove me wrong and cite a document or two.

The teachers are represented by the Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers Local 2240. In late April, California State Labor Leaders, Central Labor Councils and 19 local unions stood in solidarity with AFT Local 2240 to call upon the Archbishop to stop threatening teachers’ legal protections. The Archbishop and the Teachers’ Union remain at the bargaining table. Sal Curcio, a Sacred Heart Cathedral High School teacher and member of the union’s Executive Board, stated, “We will not accept language that diminishes our legal protections.”

See their wrongness above in the Supreme Court section.

Just so you know who the players are in the little press release drama, one is part of the “100 Prominent Catholics” who organized against the Vatican’s opposition to a UN resolution on homosexuality.  Another claims the status of “former Catholic” and is a proud IVF user.  Yet another claims to be a former Catholic and a lesbian. One organized the employee petition, and was pretty happy when it was posted on the Cathedral door.  (Who does that remind you of?)  Seriously, I found it on his Twitter account!  Last, but not least, one was a high school teacher in the Oakland diocese and was one of 4 who refused to sign the handbook over there and her contract was not renewed.  Do you think any of them might have some personal motivations?  The problem is, they are in the minority.  They like to think the Church revolves around their whims and proclivities, but it doesn’t.

I’m going to steal a line from a friend and say there are enough red herrings in this press release to start a fish processing plant!  They should just be honest and say they don’t agree with the Church teachings and want them to go away so they’re not uncomfortable – but I suppose that doesn’t make the best press release.

P.S. Promised docs just so the media doesn’t think I’m lying: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html