Friday, April 19, 2013

Teaching Contracts

For many Catholic schools we are at the tail end of contract season.  The season generally begins in early March with teachers being asked to declare whether they intend to return, and in April, they are either presented with a contract for the next year, or not.  The timing of these contract offers is significant when looking at stories like this one.

I would expect many stories like this during our current season, but I'm probably going to be disappointed. Why the expectation?  Why the disappointment?

First I should say, I wasn't expecting every person with same-sex attraction to be outed and denied a contract at Catholic schools.  Some live celibate lives, teach from a solid Catholic faith, and are wonderful teachers.  This isn't a gay witch-hunt.  It really shouldn't be.  It needs to be something deeper.

My expectation, or maybe hope is more accurate, is a feeble thing.  I pray that Catholic schools will become bastions of passing on the Magisterium of the Catholic Faith.  I pray the the teachers in our schools will by thought, word and deed, transmit the faith to young people in a way that weaves it into the very fabric of their young souls.  I hoped that the real discrimination Catholics are experiencing under our government at this time would awaken the strength of the hidden saint in all of us, especially teachers.  But that isn't what is happening.

The HHS mandate as it is written requires all employees of Catholic schools to be profoundly Catholic, or the entire school, and in most cases the parish, must contribute with school and parish dollars, to the culture of death.  If they refuse to comply, they must either close the school or submit.  My expectation was that schools would be holding onto their contracts, or including a caveat that if the mandate is not undone, there would be no jobs for heretics.

Wouldn't that be a powerful testament to our faith?  What if a bishop somewhere announced that the Catholic schools in an entire diocese would close if they didn't stand against the HHS mandate in hiring practices?   Wouldn't that be the ultimate throw-down?

Instead, too many of our Catholic school children will continue to hear from their teachers about how they voted for Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Biden, or any of the other advocates of death.  These nice men and women will explain that they did it because they want to help the poor.  These nice teachers will be attractive young mothers and fathers, or maybe grandparents with pictures of the 1.8 grandchildren on their desks.  They may never have discussed their votes with the pastor, but they sure do mention it in class.  They will be the Eucharistic Ministers that give Communion to students at school Masses.

My expectation, my feeble hope was that the media would be buzzing with stories of hundreds of teachers who did not have their contracts renewed.  The Catholic blogs would be going  nuts with stories of beloved teachers who are being denied Communion in front of their students.  These teachers would take to Facebook and Twitter talking about the big-bad-pastor who told them they couldn't be Eucharistic Ministers at school Masses.

My disappointment is that, by not seeing these stories, Catholic schools are no longer any different from public schools. 

And I think Pope Francis agrees with me in this article.
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