Bishop Vasa had a plan. Bishop Vasa caved on the plan. Plan needed now more than ever.
Bishop Vasa OF Santa Rosa asked all teachers in the diocese to sing a pledge supporting the Church’s teaching on certain hotbutton issues affirming that “contraception, gay marriage, euthanasia are “modern errors” and “matters that gravely offend human dignity.”
The teachers freaked out and Bishop Vasa postponed the policy implementation until 2015 to allow for time for education and reach agreement on the policy in “some form.”
At first glance, it seems like Bishop Vasa has relented on the notion of Catholic identity, but I can see why he may have thought that success would require some regrouping. But the reaction to Bishop Vasa’s postponement only re-emphasizes the need for the policy. Here are some quotes from teachers (note this newspaper did not find one teacher in support of the policy.)
“We are extremely ecstatic and grateful to Bishop Vasa,” said Lori Edgar, the parent of a Cardinal Newman High School senior and freshman. A Catholic, Edgar had said Vasa’s edict did not reflect her understanding of her faith.
Asked whether she would have signed the clause, she said, “I wanted to ask if there was another way, to reach the goals that we agree on.”
“The ultimate goal is still to filter out those who aren’t followers,” said a non-Catholic teacher who has taught at Cardinal Newman for more than five years.
“I’m not going to feel any different about euthanasia or contraception or gay marriage 10 years from now,” said the teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity because “because of this continued fear of this power.”
“Our hopes are that it’s not the same addendum, it’s a reformed version, something that’s a litte less discriminatory and hateful,” said Natalie Ramirez, a Cardinal Newman senior.
“I think that Bishop Vasa removing that now and giving us a time period to move to work toward something that’s not as extreme, something that we can agree to, I think that’s wonderful,” Ramirez said.
Bishop Vasa, please don’t change a single word of it. If they cannot sign it, they have no business teaching in a Catholic school. You are doing the right thing, don’t go wobbly now.