Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Friday, 13 July 2012

Catechists Require Fidelity Oaths

Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington Virginia sent a letter to some 5000 catechists in his diocese asking them to sign an oath of fidelity to Church teachings before their pastor if they wish to teach in the diocese. Such oaths are nothing new for priests and nuns but their extension to lay catechists and other volunteers is a more recent phenomena. In the Diocese of Arlington all but 5 of the catechists signed the oath.

According to the bishop,
"As chief catechist in the diocese, the bishop is responsible for the total catechetical mission of the local church" (National Directory for Catechesis, 54). This aspect of my ministry is one I share with all who teach and form our youth. In order that we may work together to transmit the Faith, I hereby establish, as diocesan policy, that every catechist, together with their aides (if any), publicly make an annual Profession of Faith according to the attached formula.

Good work Bishop Loverde...

Is a Catechist Catholic?

Arlington Diocese parishioners question need for fidelity oath


Freyr said...

"It is, moreover, Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as "profane novelties of words," out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: "This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved" (Athanas. Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim "Christian is my name and Catholic my surname," only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself. Benedict XV

Barona said...

This bishop is faithfully following the teaching of the Church. What wonderful news that a bishop insists on being - well, a bishop. In union with the Pope, the bishop is, by Divine right, the authority on teaching the Faith.

Barona said...

Such an oath should be incumbent on those who claim to teach the Catholic faith within our Catholic school system. Again, it is the bishop who is to maintain and ensure that the faith is transmitted pure, without dilution. Such cannot be guaranteed within our Ontario system. Indeed, one may ask: what are the bishops going to actually do about Bill C-13? It commits two "mortal sins"; 1) it violates the right of Catholics to religious liberty (a right of divine origin), and 2) it positively interferes with the transmission of Catholic faith and morals.

Dick said...

You say:
"In the Diocese of Arlington all but 5 of the catechists signed the oath."
If you read the article the time to sign is in Sept; therefore results are not out yet.

So these five folks you talk about are only from one parish.

Perhaps the real numbers will be available later in the Fall.

Amy said...

I am a catechist at a neighboring parish, and this was the first I heard of the new requirement. The letter was not sent to the 5,000 catechists directly, it was sent to the pastors and DREs. St. Ann's chose to give its catechists notice of the new requirement, but most parishes,including my own, were going to wait until the fall in order to avoid too much discussion. According to catechist friends at St. Ann's, the five catechists mentioned in the article are simply those St. Ann catechists who resigned in public emails, but there are many more at St. Ann's who are refusing to sign or who have asked for more time to prayerfully consider the requirement. This requirement will do nothing to ensure correct teaching, as it deals only with private thoughts and concerns. In addition, those of us who originally found out about the requirement through a Washington Post article are upset that this was going to be sprung on us in the fall without any time to consider its implication.