Monday, January 31, 2011

Bishop Vasa To Santa Rosa

I saw this from Rocco over at Whispers. This is another big move for a shepherd that has made some news for defending the Faith over the last few years. Recently, for example, we've seen him openly criticize the USCCB, as well as providing a denunciation of the Obama invite to ND and pro-abortion politicians in general.

One item I didn't know was that he was making all the folks in his diocese who teach catechetics to sign a statement of Faith.

This came about after we adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children. I support the Charter and its efforts to protect children from emotional and physical abuse; there is certainly no greater crime. But it dawned on me that if we don’t do something likewise to protect children from spiritual harm, then we’re not really minding the flock as we should.

Our policy requires us to do criminal background checks on everyone who has any contact with children. So also, I wanted anyone who taught the faith or who is held up as a public witness for the faith—such as lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, cantors, and catechists—to attest to the fact that they affirm and believe the basic teachings of the Church as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This includes declaring such things as: I believe in God, the virgin birth, the existence of purgatory, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. I also accept the Church’s moral teachings, such as the evil and sinfulness of contraception, homosexual activity, and adulterous behavior.

It’s a Creed, yet it adds what I consider to be those important moral issues some Catholics seem to have the impression they can openly and publicly dissent from without any kind of consequence.

I'm surprised folks didn't howl over his labeling the teaching of heresy as child abuse. I mean, that's what it is, but I would have expected a lot of teeth-gnashing over such a comment. Maybe now we can bring back the Anti-Modernist Oath.

Anyways, not only did he do that, he pulled an Olmsted by removing the Catholic sponsorship of a local hospital that had gone off the rails of Truth. In fact, we should probably say that Olmsted pulled a Vasa since this was 15 years ago. Still, it's an interesting fact that I didn't know.

Fifteen years or more ago, the city of Bend issued a civic bond to fund the hospital. This gave the impression that it was a community rather than Catholic hospital. The hospital was turned over to a lay board, and there were not suitable protections of the inherent Catholicity of the organization. The board operated without direct episcopal oversight; despite being bishop of the diocese, I did not have any legal authority to intervene in the actions of the hospital.

The lay board followed the religious and ethical directives of their choosing, not necessarily in accordance with Catholic teaching, and did not understand that this was a condition for maintaining their Catholic identity. I believed it was a condition. We went back and forth for years, until there was no possibility for the meeting of the minds. I also discovered that sterilizations were being performed at the hospital in opposition to Catholic teaching, and they had no intention of discontinuing this practice.

I thought, here is another issue regarding adherence to Catholic teaching which led me to adopt the Affirmation of Personal Faith. How can I continue official sponsorship of a hospital which is acting on a belief system that is contrary to the Catholic faith? I cannot.

Bravo to His Excellency.

This is all very promising stuff. You can read the whole interview here at the Catholic World Report.

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