Who could have foreseen it?

It turns out that a major world religion known as the “Catholic Church” is, in the Archdiocese of Arlington, VA actually asking teachers of that religion to believe and teach the religion they have been asked by the Archdiocese to believe and teach.

The press responds with customary horror at the Church’s insistence that Catholic teachers teach Catholic teaching.

In totally unrelated news, management for the Boeing aircraft company rejected a demand by engineers to “be allowed to design toys and women’s undergarments instead of all this stupid airplane stuff cuz it just feels more authentic to my mood for today.”

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  • Andy, Bad Person

    And yet, one of the first comments is a complaint about the “loyalty oath” because the Eeeeevil Bishops tried to block the TLM. It’s so tone-deaf it’s amazing.

  • Yup. I had a debate recently with a fellow who was appalled and offended that a Catholic priest proclaimed Catholic teaching from the pulpit of a Catholic Church while he was there as a guest. And of course, the reason he was so insulted was because he considers himself to be a “laid back, live and let live” kind of guy. It’s amazing the control these lunatics think they should be able to exercise over others.

  • anthony

    thank goodness that in an enlightened society such as ours we do no place such stringent expectations upon, say our elected or appointed government officials. Can you imagine how it might stifle their creativity if we required of them some sort of loyalty oath to support and defend the constitution?! this bishop is clearly so backward. get with the times, man.

  • john

    “This is not in the spirit of what people go to a Catholic church for, which is community and a loving, welcoming environment.” The person who said this has no business teaching religion as they clearly have no understanding of the purpose of the Catholic Church. Also the fact that they seem to put their own conscience (read personal opinion) above the teaching authority of the Church indicates a poor understanding of the role of conscience.

  • Matthew

    Picking a nit: I think it is the DIOCESE of Arlington.

    • Dave Pawlak

      Correct. I believe Baltimore is the metropolitan see for Arlington.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        It’s not Washington? Interesting.

        • The Diocese of Richmond was founded in 1820, with Baltimore as metropolitan. When Arlington was split off, it preserved its metropolitan.

          Washington’s only suffragan is the Diocese of St. Thomas. (If I had the choice, I’d certainly rather visit St. Croix than McLean.)

          • Andy, Bad Person

            Cool! Thanks for the lesson!

  • Bobby

    Gotta love this part:

    “The Rev. Ronald Nuzzi, who heads the leadership program for Catholic educators at the University of Notre Dame, said many bishops ‘are in a pickle.’ They want Catholic institutions to be staffed by people who not only teach what the church teaches but whose ‘whole life will bear witness.’

    Nuzzi said he keeps a photo on his desk from the 1940s that shows all the German bishops in their garb, doing the Nazi salute.

    ‘I keep it there to remind people who say to do everything the church says, that their wisdom has limitations, too.’

    So I guess we’re all Nazis, too.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      The onus is on Fr. Nuzzi to show when the German bishops taught, using their episcopal authority, the tenets of Nazism.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      Perhaps Nuzzi is unaware that the old Roman salute was made legally mandatory in the late 1930s. That doesn’t mean everyone making the salute bought into socialism.

  • bob cratchit

    It’s really come to this, and I’m glad that Diocese are aware of the issues going on at the parish level where Dissent is becoming more prevelent. My wife and I decided to quit sending our kids to CCD classes after the instructor commented to the high schoolers, “well I don’t know about that” after she read to them the definition of Papal Infallability. She is also the leader of the parish youth group. Too many people who teach CCD classes do not know the faith or appear to think they have no obligation to practice it in their personal life. I’d personally rather have an unbeliever teach my children than a dissenter or laxed catholic.

  • Mark R

    They must be real winners if they will work for much lower pay than in a public institution and yet be uncommited Catholics.

    • melissa

      Just as an aside, not all Catholic schools pay much lower salaries than public schools. The Catholic schools here (Central Florida) pay salaries that are on par with the local public school salaries.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    If the Olympics can maintain rules whereby competitors discovered using performance-enhancing drugs (even legal ones) are disqualified and banned, then why may not the Church require that the teachers it hires play by the Church’s rules?

  • Tommy Jeff

    Its no big deal, I say the Creed every week at Mass, so I can easily make this pledge for teaching Sunday School. I hope what I proclaim at Mass is the same as what I teach at Sunday School. Also Arlington Diocese is fantastic place to be Catholic. Bishop Loverde is a great bishop who will always seeks the truth. Its because of policies like this that we have a vibrant Church with lots of new priests and deacons. People want the truth not a wishy washy approach to Catholicism.

  • MN Gary

    A more apt analogy would be an engineer at Boeing discovering a flaw in the design of an aircraft that might result in a fatal crash. Perhaps the teachers of your religion are objecting to parts of the faith they believe are dangerous and destructive? Now they could leave the faith just like our hypothetical engineer could leave Boeing, or they could try to change the Church from within. I think the latter takes a lot more courage, and I praise them for it.

    • Mark Shea

      Except that you have no idea what the religion teaches, nor what hypothetical teachers want to change about it. But thanks for your input.

      • MN Gary

        I know plenty about what your religion teaches, as I was indoctrinated in the Catholic faith for the first 18 years of my life. I also know, as you do too, that the Catholic Church has a long history of promoting obedience over conscience.

        • Mark Shea

          Rubbish. You don’t know a thing. Here is what the Church actually teaches about conscience and our absolute obligation to obey it:

          ARTICLE 6

          1776 “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”47


          1777 Moral conscience,48 present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil.49 It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.

          1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:

          Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.50
          1779 It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of his conscience. This requirement of interiority is all the more necessary as life often distracts us from any reflection, self-examination or introspection:

          Return to your conscience, question it. . . . Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, see God as your witness.51
          1780 The dignity of the human person implies and requires uprightness of moral conscience. Conscience includes the perception of the principles of morality (synderesis); their application in the given circumstances by practical discernment of reasons and goods; and finally judgment about concrete acts yet to be performed or already performed. The truth about the moral good, stated in the law of reason, is recognized practically and concretely by the prudent judgment of conscience. We call that man prudent who chooses in conformity with this judgment.

          1781 Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed. If man commits evil, the just judgment of conscience can remain within him as the witness to the universal truth of the good, at the same time as the evil of his particular choice. The verdict of the judgment of conscience remains a pledge of hope and mercy. In attesting to the fault committed, it calls to mind the forgiveness that must be asked, the good that must still be practiced, and the virtue that must be constantly cultivated with the grace of God:

          We shall . . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.52
          1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. “He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.”53


          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.

          1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.

          1785 In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path,54 we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.55


          1786 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

          1787 Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral judgments less assured and decision difficult. But he must always seriously seek what is right and good and discern the will of God expressed in divine law.

          1788 To this purpose, man strives to interpret the data of experience and the signs of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence, by the advice of competent people, and by the help of the Holy Spirit and his gifts.

          1789 Some rules apply in every case:

          – One may never do evil so that good may result from it;

          – the Golden Rule: “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”56

          – charity always proceeds by way of respect for one’s neighbor and his conscience: “Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ.”57 Therefore “it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble.”58


          1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

          1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.”59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

          1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

          1793 If – on the contrary – the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

          1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time “from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.”60

          The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.61
          IN BRIEF

          1795 “Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (GS 16).

          1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.

          1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.

          1798 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. Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

          1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

          1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

          1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

          1802 The Word of God is a light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.