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Once again...the Catholic Church

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If you really want to piss off an American try to take away his privacy. The past few years we've had scandals with the NSA spying on citizens in mass numbers and that didn't turn out well for the government. Now the Catholic Church is in the news for its latest attempt to control what are supposed to be private moments with family and friends.


This all boils down to whether or not a religious organization's desires trump the Constitutional rights of free speech or the right to freely associate with other people. Considering the bad image the Church has these days this is just another stupid move to push them further from the mainstream of society.

The Church is desperate for new clergy as the old ones are retiring and there are fewer new members in seminaries studying for the priesthood. The number of young people turning away from the doctrine of the Church is thinning out the congregations, and thus the financial base of many parishes.

But by forcing Catholic school employees to sign a contract like this the parish school may soon become a thing of the past. Teaching is a thankless vocation at the best of times and who needs this additional pressure? Those who make these decisions are usually far removed from parish life, and some might say...reality.

In truth the Church doesn't rely on parishes for their source of funding, they have investments in the material world. So although the parish church might ask their members for money to repair the roof they do not receive any funding from the hierarchy in Rome. Remove the congregational base and the roof caves in, but the Pope goes on...and on and on.

The Church in America has always seemed the bad boy in the room to those in Rome who often wish that the Catholics here would just toe the line. I find that amusing in light of the voodoo practices allowed in the Caribbean branch of the Church and the pagan rites incorporated in several African Catholic churches.

And in this time when Americans look at their privacy as one of the cornerstones of our society the Church does this stupid thing. The Church has been sliding closer to fundamentalism here and so I don't think it much of a leap for Catholics to leave their parishes and join the fanatics on the right. That might make something like a few gay people in the parish school system look normal.

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On the TV news tonight they reported that the Bishop of the Oakland Diocese has agreed to meet with the Bishop O'Dowd High School teachers who refused to sign there contracts and a representative of the students at Bishop O'Dowd High School. Why the student representative? This is from Wikipedia: "About 48% of students are non-Catholic. The school requires all students to attend school liturgies (Catholic Mass and prayer services), to enroll in religious studies courses each semester, and to complete its 4-year service learning program." The students are very upset about the teacher contract, and in their statement to KTVU a representative (surrounded up by a large number of students) said (among other things) they wated teachers to be free to speak freely in the classroom and they don't want gay or non-Catholic teachers to be discriminated against, just like they don't want gay students to be subjected to discrimination, by the Diocese or the school. You gotta love high school students when they stand up for what's right.

More extracted from Wikipedia: Bishop O'Dowd is a co-ed Catholic school run by the Jesuit order in Oakland, California. There are approximately 1,140 students in grades 9-12. The school excels in both academics and athletics. Ninety-nine percent of O’Dowd students attend college immediately after graduation, with 95 percent attending four-year institutions.

For full disclosure, I never attended Bishop O'Dowd High School. I don't know anyone who attended Bishop O'Dowd High School. I attended Catholic elementary school for grades 1-5, public intermediate school (usually called middle school) for grades 6-8, and public high school for grades 9-12, all in Walnut Creek, California.

Colin :icon_geek:

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