Catholic World News

Some catechists object to profession of faith

July 12, 2012

Some Sunday-school teachers in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, have quit their posts in protest after the diocese asked all instructors to take an oath of fidelity to the Catholic faith.

Giving front-page attention to the teachers’ protests, the Washington Post reported that the Arlington diocese is one of several in the US that has begun asking catechists to make an explicit profession of faith. The trend is a response to the call by Pope Benedict XVI for more explicit commitment to Catholic doctrine during the Year of Faith.

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Jul. 13, 2012 8:01 PM ET USA

    This is a good thing. No problem with a frank discussion of expectations. Salvation of souls is the supreme law. The Bible speaks of millstones with regard to those who lead the young and innocent astray. Love demands responsible catechesis. This is true docility. Love the Church, love the children and take the Oath. Direct your wills and intellects to Christ and to His Church. (But don't look to get rich doing it). Your reward will be great in heaven nonetheless.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 13, 2012 2:07 PM ET USA

    In reading the article, I expected to find something like, "As I see it" or We believe" or The Church doesn't say" etc. Of course there it was, "... in my view..." and then proceeds to "conscience." The result of 50 years of poor (or non-existant) catechesis and the Spirit of Vatican II is plainly shown.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 13, 2012 1:39 PM ET USA

    How can we get a copy of the oath of fidelity to suggest to our own bishops?

  • Posted by: chasann113163 - Jul. 13, 2012 7:22 AM ET USA

    Amen, Amen, Amen! I'm glad they left, if they won't take the oath , they don't belong teaching our children. I for one hope all our diocese's do it. It's time we show some courage and defend what we believe.

  • Posted by: bnewman - Jul. 12, 2012 10:44 PM ET USA

    It seems to me that this shows only that an oath of fidelity to the Catholic faith was clearly needed in this case.It is a novel requirement:usually people who volunteer to teach Sunday School or CCD are the most likely to be trustworthy I would have assumed. On the other hand in recent decades very little of the faith seems to have been imparted.I am very glad the Bishops are getting serious now.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Jul. 12, 2012 7:37 PM ET USA

    This is a little like, say, drug counselors huffing off the job if they were asked to submit blood samples. I would guess that not many of the huffees in this case subscribe to the Magisterium.

  • Posted by: MatthewG - Jul. 12, 2012 5:47 PM ET USA

    Great! The oath is serving its purpose. The faith is transmitted as much by example and personal conviction as by words. If you cannot swear to teach it faithfully to the best of your ability, you should not be teaching it at all. I think every diocese should adopt the oath policy.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 12, 2012 5:23 PM ET USA

    I think it is fair to say that those who teach at the university level should also be compelled to sign a mandatum, not just theology professors because religion should permeate all that is taught. Otherwise, it becomes something like, "Okay, you're not in high school anymore, you don't need to believe in X, Y, and Z because no one in a Catholic college does anyway."

  • Posted by: Saved by Grace - Jul. 12, 2012 5:04 PM ET USA

    Sooo... Let me get this straight. I want to teach something that I do not agree with enough to say I believe it? Why would I want to do that anyway unless I had a hidden agenda to undermine the thing in the first place! Maybe all dioceses will require this and we can weed out those who have hidden agendas!

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 12, 2012 4:53 PM ET USA

    How very insensitive to insist that Catholic catechists teach Catholic doctrine accurately and faithfully. So what else will they swear allegiance to in that position?