Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Of double-standards, heresy, and the Future ex-Catholic Apostates of America

In recent days, San Francisco’s Archbishop Cordileone has come under fire from the secular news media (as well as from many of San Francisco’s alleged Catholics) for a plan that would ensure that teachers in archdiocesan schools did not engage in morally reprehensible conduct themselves or overtly promote such conduct (contrary to Church teaching) to others in public statements.

One of the issues at hand is the problem of people identifying themselves as Catholic schoolteachers going out on social media to bash the Church for refusing to bless homosexual sex acts or the sinful unions centered around them, or giving vocal support to other grave sins that can (under the usual conditions) help a person choose eternal damnation and the fires of Hell.  Revealing a bit too much about their own lack of actual Catholic education, San Francisco’s Catholic school parents are apparently outraged that the archbishop actually thinks that sodomy, fornication, adultery, masturbation, contraception, abortion, or porn use are morally problematic for Catholics; some San Francisco Catholics seem to think that such activities are not only benign but exactly what everyone needs to have a good weekend, or something.

Part of the outrage seems to be on free speech grounds.  Why, just because someone works for a Catholic school doesn’t mean he or she couldn’t moonlight as a porn star, advocate for gay “marriage,” or belong to NAMBLA, right?  It’s not like we expect teachers to be people kids can look up to or that we’re so judgmental that we don’t think porn stars are admirable models for the youth of American anyway...

One thing that I find interesting, though, is that even in the secular world the idea that your employer should just overlook anything impolitic or against your employer’s values really doesn’t exist:
NEW YORK (AP) — When one of Ileaa Swift's employees posted homophobic comments on Facebook, the reaction was quick.
"It posted around 1 in the morning. The next morning, when I got up, I had all these calls and emails and hate mail," says Swift, owner of Swift Travel Deals in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Whether it's comments about news events, long-held beliefs or a bad joke, an employee's offensive posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can damage a company's image and profits. If the comments are racist, homophobic, sexist or against a religious group, tolerating discriminatory comments puts an employer at risk for lawsuits and losing customers. [...]
The staffer persisted, moving her comments to her own page. The employee's online arguments with people enraged by her posts cost the company business, including bookings from gay and lesbian clients.
Swift fired her.
"It's one of the hardest things I've had to do because she was a superstar agent, but we have to respect (our customers)," Swift says.
In the secular employment world, just writing on social media that, say, as a Catholic you support your Church’s teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman can theoretically get you fired.  Yet somehow the Church is supposed to hire people who are clearly undermining the Church’s mission of Catholic education (as evidenced by the complete and palpable lack of any such thing in any of the students--or their parents--as quoted here)?  And not only to hire them, but to ignore and overlook it if they’re shacking up with same-sex or opposite-sex partners, working as Planned Parenthood deathscorts, or posting all over social media sites their absolute hatred and vicious contempt of the Catholic Church and all her teachings--as they collect their paychecks from her?

I admire Archbishop Cordileone’s attempt to reign in the galloping heresy and sickening acceptance of immorality on parade in the halls of the Catholic schools of his diocese.  I can’t help but wonder, though, if it isn’t too late, and if the only thing that might save the Catholic schools of San Francisco would be to shut the schools condemn the buildings, bulldoze them, burn the rubble and then salt the earth with prayers of exorcism before starting over--preferably with a model of Catholic education that is actually Catholic, rather than pricey “private schools in the Catholic tradition,” which is code for “Gathering Space for the Future ex-Catholic Apostates of America."


L. said...

I was on the parent board at St. Finn Barr in San Francisco a few years ago before we moved away. I loved our inclusive community, and I hate what the Archdiocese is trying to do there. They have a right to do it, but is it the right thing to do? Really, there won't be many teachers left.

So "....shut the schools condemn the
buildings, bulldoze them, burn the rubble and then salt the earth with prayers of exorcism before starting over..."

Good luck with THAT.

Red Cardigan said...

Hi, L. Where’ve you been? :)

Frankly, any Catholic school you love is by definition going to be a Catholic school devoted to teaching heresy and promoting atheism. And you were on a “parent board” at such a school, you, who believes in nothing and gets mad at people who actually believe things! Can you imagine just for a moment that people who still think (naively, I admit) that a Catholic school is going to be Catholic and build up their kids’ Catholic faith and who are paying thousands and thousands of dollars for that might be a tiny bit horrified to find out that somebody who pretty much hates religion is on the board?

Clearly, these problems go back a long, long way in that archdiocese. Thanks for illustrating that for us!

David Sharples said...

Catholic schools were built on the low cost of nuns and brothers serving as teachers. Without that, or without a new plan for the entire community to help pay the costs of educating children in catholic schools, they're doomed. Because of their success in education, catholic schools are now the darlings of contracepting parents eager to get their child (no more than 2) into the best college (by best I mean cost, that's usually how colleges are measured these days.) Widespread contraception has among other things led to widespread acceptance of all things sexually immoral. It's taken same sex marriage to really bring this to a head. Without a remap of how to educate catholic children in a full school setting, it might be too late. Couples who use NFP typically have 3 or more children, not 1 or 2; and because of the number of children, not only does the total cost per family go up, but the family income goes down because the wife is usually not working full time when the children are young. If all the contracepting, same-sex marriage catholics leave the school, who will fill it? It won't be the NFP couples. They won't be able to afford it, at least not they way things are now.

L. said...

See this? An interesting critique of those in SF opposing the policy:

Red Cardigan said...

David, you’re exactly right. My parents made amazing sacrifices to send us kids to Catholic schools (and there are nine of us). But gradually they realized that they were barely making ends meet (and sometimes not making them meet) so we could be taught heresy by contracepting teachers who laughed at our family, and she bravely decided to start homeschooling at a time when practically nobody had heard of such a thing.

The problem with filling your schools with the progeny of casual contraceptors is that eventually there aren’t enough students to keep things going. So you dilute the Catholicism even further by accepting the children of the wealthy and spoiled who think of a school as a place where they can place orders and demand “A” grades in exchange for donations. The more the school sells out, the more it has to, to keep going.

Eventually there will be only one Catholic school in the whole of America with eight token Catholic students accepted via scholarship or lottery. The rest of the kids will be the IVF-concocted mini-mes being raised by pentagons of LGBTQ parenting cohorts. And the real Catholic kids will be taught in the public schools or at home.

L. said...

Did my other comment get eaten by The Spam Filter Monster again....?

David Sharples said...

"so we could be taught heresy by contracepting teachers....." how true, I'm going to use that line in speech soon maybe...

I've noticed something else, CHS push their seniors to go on to very expensive colleges so that the school can post their college acceptances and recruit new freshmen. The children must go into huge debt; I think it's unconscionable to load down a young adult with 10's of thousands of dollars or even 100K+ in debt, for a HS's reputation. I wish I had this wrong, but I don't think so.

Red Cardigan said...

L--didn’t see anything else come through, but I’ll go check with Blogger. :)

Red Cardigan said...

Just checked, L--nothing stuck behind the scenes, either. Sorry--don’t know what happened!

L. said...

Trying again -- I said, I've been reading but took a break from commenting for a while because I was busy. My mother died last month after a long illness.

You are dead wrong that "any Catholic school you love is by definition going to be a Catholic school devoted to teaching heresy and promoting atheism" (particularly the "atheism" part, which is, frankly, a bizarre thing to say about any Catholic school). I can assure you that everything my children were taught at St. Finn Barr was in line with the teachings of the Church.

Lest you think that St. Finn Barr was comprised of upper-middle class Pelosi-loving liberal lefties, the school at the time we were there was mostly non-white and offered masses in Spanish. A significant percentage of students got some sort of financial aid/support from the Archdiocese.

You seem to believe that unless a school is "pure," its teachers all perfectly devout role models, and all its students from families who uphold the Church's teachings in every way, then.....there is absolutely no point to its existence. If even a teacher is a sinner, then cast him/her out -- or "shut the schools condemn the
buildings, bulldoze them, burn the rubble and then salt the earth with prayers of exorcism before starting over..."

This all gets back to whether the Church is a haven for saints, or a hospital for sinners.

The St. Finn Barr school community, when we were members of it, was a wonderful, welcoming place. There were divorced families, never-married single moms, two-daddy families, etc. The Church accepts people as they are, so the school, did, too, and it did so without "loving the sin," as you devout folks so often put it. It showed that it is possible to teach ideals, while at the same time acknowledging that human nature being what it is, life often falls short of such ideals -- and this goes for teachers as well as for students.

Unknown said...

It seems to me that many people who send their children to Catholic schools do so for the prestige and NOT for religious reasons. A lot of them don't know or care about the Catholic faith. There also seems to be a long-standing trend of Catholic schools turning out "anti-Catholic Catholics", the kind who read and write for the "National Catholic Distor - uh - Reporter".

The Sicilian Woman said...

L., yes, we fall short of ideals. Tomorrow, I'll be confessing my having fallen short. Yes, the Church is a hospital for sinners. (See? We agree on two things!)

Here's the thing: People go to a hospital when they realize they're sick. They go when they want to be healed. In the Church, that translates to people wanting - and being willing - to stop sinning, which involves understanding and accepting what sin is. Sure, there will likely be some failures along the way, but you try. Constantly.

Did St. Finn Barr's teach marriage as being only in the form of 1 man + 1 woman? Against contraception? Against divorce? Against sexual relations outside the Sacrament of Marriage? Against IVF (which is the norm for two 'daddies' acquiring a child)? Was there any, "This is doctrine, but...wink, wink?"

Because I find it illogical that anyone willfully and openly living in a situation that contradicts Church teaching is going to want their children to understand and embrace Church teaching (and spend the extra money to attend a school that gives correct instruction on Church teaching), especially that teaching which applies to their situation. A child's first role models are his/her parents. What's the point of Jimmy attending St. Finn Barr if he has two men in his life who call themselves his "daddies" and who will get "married" and, who, more than likely, conceived Jimmy in a manner contradictory to Church teaching? What about children living in a home with an unmarried parent living with his/her boyfriend/girlfriend? And so on.

What am I missing?

L. said...

You're missing a lot, actually.

The two-daddy families all adopted their children in the U.S. (including one couple who adopted a behaviorally troubled boy from foster care).

St. Finn Barr, at least when my children attended, taught that marriage was only between 1 man + 1 woman, that contraception was illicit, that divorce (unless annulled) was immoral, and sexual relations -- including masturbation -- outside the Sacrament of Marriage was sinful. (As far as I know, no one ever explained IVF to the kids, but who knows.) Students were required to attend mass, and write pro-life essays to enter in the Archdiocese's annual contest.

How Catholic was it? One Christmas, my kindergartener said he didn't want any presents -- all he wanted was for "mama to stop taking the poison that kills all the babies in her tummy," so he could be a big brother. That seems really Catholic to me!

You find it "illogical that anyone willfully and openly living in a situation that contradicts Church teaching is going to want their children to understand and embrace Church teaching?" But faith isn't always logical -- nor do emotional decisions line up neatly along "devout" and "heathen" lines. We could have afforded secular private schools, or opted for public schools, but I wanted my kids to go to St. Finn Barr after we were so warmly welcomed there.

Plenty of families like mine send their kids to Catholic schools, for all sorts of reasons -- and the schools are still Catholic. That's what you're missing.