The Catholic Church has been on the forefront education for centuries. From the universities it founded across Europe in the Middle Ages to the spread of free access to education across the globe during the Renaissance, the Church is almost synonymous with “a good education”. And as one of the foremost authorities on education, especially at an elementary school level, the Catholic Church believes that those individuals providing that education – whether they are priests, nuns, or lay-people – should hold
to the same moral standards which have served as guideposts for the Catholic Church for the last 2000 years.
Now, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Archbishop is being challenged on his plan to implement expectations that members of the Catholic teaching community in his Archdiocese demonstrate the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is being attacked from all sides, including through a high-priced public relations campaign, to back down on his belief that teachers and administrators in Catholic schools – those very people who are teaching young Catholics – should demonstrate a Catholic lifestyle in public.
The desire for Catholic educators to espouse the ideas of Catholicism is not new. However, the world has shifted to a more liberal point of view, and that point of view does not align with Catholic teaching in many respects. Archbishop Cordileone is not asking teachers to change who they are, just as the Church does not ask anyone to change who they are. He is simply asking that, in public, these people,
who are working to build the Catholic foundation of countless children, stand by the teachings of the Church. The children in the schools of San Francisco should not be subject to the dual message of Catholic teaching in school, and a second, alternative, message when they see their educator outside the classroom acting against Catholic teaching.
Archbishop Cordileone does not want people to change who they are. He does, however, want them to respect the teachings of the Catholic Church when in public, so as to not send mixed messages to the impressionable Catholic youth of San Francisco.