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Bp. Vasa’s new contract is good for students and good for teachers

March 4, 2013

I don’t see what all the shouting’s about. I really don’t.

Bp. Robert Vasa (Santa Rosa) expects Catholic teachers in Catholic schools to act like Catholics. Is that what has some folks in such a dither?

Vasa’s “addendum” (not sure that’s the best word, frankly) to future teacher contracts, expressly citing documents from Vatican II and Paul VI and implicitly resting on several canons of the 1983 Code, simply formalizes the Church’s perennial recognition that Catholic education is holistic in nature and, consequently, that Catholic educators must practice what they teach. The addendum makes no exaggerated claims about Church teachings and imposes no undue burdens on faculty or administrators. The contract can, in my opinion, be signed without reservation by any Catholic teacher or administrator.

But, besides the obvious concern this contract shows for the well-being of children entrusted to Catholic schools in Santa Rosa, I suggest that the contract is solicitous for the spiritual welfare of the signatories as well: the motivation for Catholic teachers to hold themselves to higher standard than applies to the confreres in non-Catholic schools is explained, concrete examples of where their witness is especially important today are offered, reminders of basic Catholic duties (such as attendance at Sunday Mass) are given, and opportunities for further personal formation are indicated. All of these are signs of a boss who cares about teachers as persons with immortal souls, as well as about their students.

Seriously, what is there to complain about here?


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