The archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone (gotta love that name), is kicking up a lot of dust in Roman Catholic and California circles for the policies he has initiated within his parochial schools. Here‘s an example of what Cordileone has in mind:
We, the Archdiocesan High Schools, Acknowledge that some of our administrators, faculty or staff may not be Catholics and some may be Catholics who are struggling to achieve fidelity to some of the teachings of the Church, but we are all nevertheless called and required to stand as effective and visible professional participants and proponents of truly Catholic Education. As effective professionals in a Catholic School setting, we all – administrators, faculty and staff – are required and expected to avoid fostering confusion among the faithful and any dilution of the schools’ primary Catholic mission. Therefore, administrators, faculty and staff of any faith or of no faith, are expected to arrange and conduct their lives so as not to visibly contradict, undermine or deny these truths. To that end, further, we all must refrain from public support of any cause or issue that is explicitly or implicitly contrary to that which the Catholic Church holds to be true, both those truths known from revelation and those from the natural law. Those of us who consider themselves to be Catholics but who are not in a state of full assent to the teachings of the Church, moreover, must refrain from participation in organizations that call themselves “Catholic” but support or advocate issues or causes contrary to the teachings of the Church.
Some Roman Catholics wonder if Cordileone is in line with Pope France:
Cordileone suggests that he is in line with Pope Francis. In one way, he may be correct: It doesn’t appear that Francis is going to be changing any doctrine in the near future. But the whole world knows we have a pope who is focusing on Jesus’ message of love and inclusiveness and who has told Cordileone and his fellow culture warrior bishops to quit being obsessed with the sexuality issues. Our archbishop doesn’t even appear to be listening to his boss.
And if Pope Francis wants the church to come along side people who struggle with Roman Catholic teaching on marriage and sex, how is Cordileone helping the cause:
Cordileone stated that Catholics who endorse contrary views “create toxic confusion about our fundamental values.” But if Catholic couples, in the spirit of the pope’s recent comments, limit the number of children they have, is that toxic? If you are a little girl who is only here because science helped her mom and dad conceive her, is that toxic? If you are a 10 year old abused child and the only adoptive parents who want you are a loving, qualified gay couple, is that toxic? If you think that the civil rights of gays and lesbians should be protected, is that toxic?
Meanwhile, eight California legislators, mainly Democrat, are challenging the archbishop’s policies even as they raise questions about separation of church and state. In response, Cordileone wonders if the politicians would hire as campaign managers people who side with their political adversary in an election.
What may be the most provocative aspect of this controversy is what the archbishop’s reforms mean for the capacity of the Roman Catholic Church to achieve discipline. Isn’t this a case of an archbishop actually laying out policy in line with church teaching? If he can do it, why can’t others? And if others don’t follow Cordileone’s lead, why don’t Jason and the Callers reflect more on what this says about their communion where truth with a capital-T prevails (at least in theory)?