(My Comments on this bombshell at the bottom!)
New school policy targets parents “not living in accord with church teaching”
August 22, 2015 by
It also requires non-Catholics to attend Mass and contribute to the parishes.
Details, from The Springfield State Journal Register:
The Springfield Catholic Diocese’s new school policy could call into question parents’ lifestyles, especially if they go against Catholic teaching, and takes a new approach toward a more Protestant tradition of tithing.
The Family School Agreement would also require that non-Catholic families to attend Mass weekly and contribute to Catholic parishes, even while in most instances paying higher tuition rates at those schools.
The agreement, modeled after a Wichita, Kansas, plan, was issued by Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki on July 20, but some Springfield schools haven’t made parents or legal guardians sign it.
In a letter to pastors and principals, obtained by The State Journal-Register, Paprocki acknowledged that the agreement was initiated in part when a same-sex married couple tried to enroll their adopted children at a Springfield elementary school, later identified as Christ the King.
One of the points of the agreement — which was recommended by the diocese’s Presbyteral Council, a 20-member senate of the bishop that acts in a consultative nature, and approved by Paprocki — is the expectation that parents, adoptive parents or legal guardians of children enrolled in Catholic schools meet with their parish pastor if they are “not living in accord with church teaching.”Read more.
If this sticks, I’ll be curious to see how the enrollment is doing in another year or two.
My Comments: As one who has only been in parishes for 35 years with schools, I have seen in the post-Vatican II period the Catholic identity of our schools erode in order to keep more people using these schools. Of course it isn't the Catholic identity of our schools which is the problem but the high cost of Catholic education today.
But, the fact remains that the primary reason for Catholic schools has been obfuscated in the recent post-Vatican II past. These exist to strengthen the Catholic Church and her mission by forming Catholics in the faith and morals of the Catholic Church to include canon law and its enforcement.
Canon Law is not just for the hierarchy, (bishops, priests, deacons and religious) but for the Church, clergy and laity together. If Catholics are breaking Canon Law, shouldn't the Catholic School be the place to make sure it is enforced, especially as it regards the Sunday Mass obligation not to mention the Church's laws concerning marriage?????
However, if this diocese also requires Protestants and other non-Catholics to attend Catholic Mass each Sunday and support the Catholic parish they are asked to attend with their tithes in addition to a higher tuition, I think we will see a drastic decrease in non-Catholics attending our schools. But maybe this is the plan of the Springfield diocese?
We have to keep in mind that in Springfield, there may not be as many Protestants and other non-Catholics using our schools as in the south where we have always allowed non-Catholics to attend, but giving Catholics preference (meaning if a class can only have 25 kids, Catholics are chosen first and what is left over is open to others.)
But when a Catholic school becomes predominantly non-Catholic (and two of our three Catholic schools in Macon are this way and St. Joseph is approaching the status quo on this also) it gets harder and harder to maintain the philosophy and reason for Catholic Education to hand on and live the faith, morals and canon law of the Church!
In addition to this, people use our schools for all the wrong reasons, becoming consumers of education for their children and also simply to escape public schools. For these people, the less Catholic the Catholic school is, the better! And when you have a "mob mentality" on non-Catholics insisting on this, that and the other, how can a Catholic school maintain its reason for existing, that of evangelizing those who attend with the Catholic faith, not just a generic Christianity, and handing on and living the Catholic faith, morals and canon law?
In our Diocese, though, to implement something like this will lead to a very, very small but purer Catholic schools system but one also that won't be viable any longer. We'll go out of business in other words.