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Teaching in a diocesan school is a privilege

March 20, 2015
Peter J. Fatooh
San Francisco

I write to you as a parent of a past and present student in the San Francisco archdiocesan schools, as a Catholic, and as an individual.

I applaud the archbishop not only for his initial actions with regard to the teachings at our archdiocesan schools, but also for his open mindedness as this discussion continues.

In my opinion, there seems to be confusion when some of the archbishop’s critics cannot separate individual rights from the Catholic Church’s teachings. The archdiocese has every right to expect its civilian teachers to conform to the teachings of the church. If a teacher has an alternate view then they must yield to the church’s teachings. My wife and I do not pay tuition to have individuals teach contrary to the church.

Teaching in a diocesan school is a privilege. Those who cannot or will not adhere to the church’s teachings should not be in our schools carrying out their own personal, moral agenda.

When those opposed to Archbishop Cordileone’s position spew the old line of “being sensitive,” “respecting alternate lifestyles,” etc., they once again conveniently confuse loving one another with respecting and adhering to historic church teachings. Nobody is asking for any student to be removed from any school. Why is it so difficult for some to respect the church? Each parent with children in Catholic schools must ask themselves, “Am I sending my child to their particular school because I don’t want my child to embrace the Catholic Church and its teachings?” If the answer to that question is “yes” then those parents should opt out and send their children elsewhere.

We have become a society – especially in San Francisco – that for years has looked the other way when it comes to moral conduct. Rightfully, we as Catholics have been outraged by the reprehensible conduct of some of our priests. Those opposed to the church are at the ready to bring that up at every opportunity. However, where has the moral outrage been from us as Catholics when Catholic after Catholic elected official supports such immoral teachings of “marriage” between any two consenting adults, the legalization of drugs, or children in homes not knowing who their biological parents are and being brought up with two parents of the same gender?

Archbishop Cordileone has been a beacon of light. We have been in the dark far too long. It has been a darkness spurred on by indifference, lack of backbone, no fortitude, and a “what the heck” attitude to continuing moral decay.

We find in Luke, 20:25, when the Jews brought the coin of Caesar to Jesus, He said to them: “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Catholic schools are not Caesar’s. As Catholics, it is our duty to God that comes before all else.

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