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Transmitting the faith

March 20, 2015
Tom Byrne
Daly City

As a teacher of long experience in this archdiocese I rejoice that we have an archbishop willing to confront the problems of the proper teaching of Catholic doctrine, which cannot exclude the genuine witness of those of us entrusted to teach it. In a public administration class I learned that no one has a right to dissent from the inside, that those who direct an institution have a right to expect that their polices (in this case the teaching of the faith) are carried out. The honorable dissenter resigns and will not take money while undermining the institution for which he works.

Our personal witness is important, too. As a former colleague told me, long after the kids have forgotten the specifics of what you taught them, they will remember you. As C.S. Lewis noted, reviewing a survey on the teaching of catechism in the Church of England, the faith is best passed on when it is taught by those who genuinely practice it. That means both in and beyond the classroom.

I will pray for the success of the archbishop’s initiative and for an end to the confusion among so many of my colleagues.

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