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Thursday, February 06, 2014

The pregnant teacher and the German/Swiss bishops

Catholic school fires pregnant unwed teacher. When I see stories like this I think the Catholic hierarchy must live in am alternate universe. In their universe, no one has premarital sex, while in our universe, about 95% of people do. In their universe, no one uses birth control, while in our universe, most people do. In their universe, no one gets divorced, though some do get annulments. In our universe, a third to a half of people get divorced and only a tiny minority even apply for annulments. In their universe, gays cannot love each other or marry, but in our universe, they can and they do.

It's not just in the US that this disparity exists between what the Church teaches and how people, including Catholics, actually live their lives ...

Synod on family surveys: German, Swiss Catholics reject teachings on marriage, sexuality

Reports from bishops' conferences in Germany and Switzerland show a clear divergence between what the church teaches on marriage, sexuality and family life and what Catholics -- even those active in parish life -- personally believe.

The differences are seen "above all when it comes to pre-marital cohabitation, (the status of the) divorced and remarried, birth control and homosexuality," said the German bishops' report, posted Tuesday on their conference website in German, Italian and English. (Read the German bishops' report here.) .....

German dioceses reported that "'pre-marital unions' are not only a relevant pastoral reality, but one which is almost universal," since between 90 percent and 100 percent of couples who seek a Catholic wedding are already living together, despite church teaching that sex outside of marriage is sinful. "Many, in fact, consider it irresponsible to marry without living together beforehand," the report said ....

The bishops' conference said one-third of all marriages in Germany end in divorce, and while "Catholics' marriages are somewhat more stable than average," the difference is not great .... reforming and streamlining the church's annulment process would not make a big difference in Germany, the bishops' report said, because most remarried people do not regard their original unions as "null and void," but rather as having failed. "They therefore frequently consider an annulment procedure" -- which declares that an apparent marriage was null from the start -- "to be dishonest." .....

Both the German and Swiss bishops' surveys found the vast majority of Catholics reject or simply ignore church teaching that every sexual act between a husband and wife should be open to the transmission of life, therefore ruling out the use of artificial contraceptives ....

The Swiss bishops said that "approximately 60 percent of participants in the consultation support the recognition of and a church blessing for homosexual couples," .... The German bishops said Catholics in their country, which has recognized "civil partnerships" of same-sex couples since 2000, largely "regard the legal recognition of same-sex civil partnerships and their equal treatment vis-a-vis marriage as a commandment of justice."

12 Comments:

Anonymous Henry said...

Hi Crystal,

I am back from my trip and looking through your latest posts slowly.

Starting with this one, here are three links for you to look at.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/02/unwed-catholic-school-teacher-fired-over-pregnancy/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/02/how-do-you-fire-a-pregnant-unwed-teacher-from-a-catholic-school-heres-a-suggestion/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/02/montana-diocese-defends-decision-to-fire-pregnant-teacher/

The last link has this in it: Shaela Evenson “made a willful decision to violate the terms of her contract,” which requires her to follow Catholic teachings in both her personal and professional life, Superintendent Patrick Haggarty said Tuesday. “It’s a sensitive issue, and it’s unfortunate all around.”

I’ve taught in a Catholic School so I can verify that this language is indeed in the contract I signed. Why are those who teach required to sign it? Because a person does not just teach with words, actions also teach.

As for your opposing one universe against the other, you are right, they are completely different worldviews. But aren’t we Christians called to be “in the world but not of the world”? Believe me, Christians, from the start, have been countercultural and will probably be so until the end of time.

That's why, for us, IMO, truth is not determined by majority vote.

I write again later my friend. Hope you and your sister are well. I recently saw some interesting movies I’ll tell you about later.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Yep Jesus was all about the contract.

“It’s not easy being a Christian or a Catholic in today’s world,” Haggarty said in a phone interview. “Our faith asks us to do things that right now are not popular with society. I’m really OK, I’m not comfortable, but I’m OK with what’s transpired. Being a Christian is this way; we’re asked to do things that are not popular with our society.”

Henry, in what conceivable universe is taking away the livelihood of an unmarried pregnant woman a Christian thing to do. Hokey smoke! man, think about what you're saying. I hate this story.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

I guess when I was being instructed they forgotr to tell me that Jesus was a doormat.

I agree that it’s not a good situation but c’mon Richard – get real. Who created the situation – the school or the woman? Don’t contracts mean anything? Sure, she and others may believe that actions don’t have consequences but that’s NOT reality. As far as I am concerned, the woman threw away her own livelihood. She signed a contract with clear terms and is now upset that she can’t get away with breaking the contract.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

As I suspected, this case has many layers and is once again being used to try to force the Church to change her teachings.

With a little bit of research, I found an article from the Daily Journal in IN starts its article as follows:

Teacher fired from Catholic school after in vitro procedure disputes role of church doctrine

INDIANAPOLIS — A former Roman Catholic schoolteacher who sued a northern Indiana diocese after being fired nearly three years ago for having in vitro fertilization says in court documents that church doctrine on the procedure should not be presented to the jury.

Here is the link:
http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/ceacda46da8c4a0ea3977d458a3501a6/IN--Fired-Over-Fertilization/

Another case of same old same old.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Oops - wrong link to the wrong case in my previous comment. Mea culpa...

1:10 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Henry, I'm not sure what truth you are talking about. The idea that people should only have sex if they're married? Not even celibate priests always honor that ... http://www.awrsipe.com/Miscl/10852352.2012.pdf

I think the Church fires people like this because they're embarrassed at the proof that not even Catholics in good standing take these teachings seriously.


2:02 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Henry, an interesting wrinkle nontheless, regards R

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

I was taught (and you probably were too because we were both instructed as adults), that Christianity is a religion based on the revelation by God (through his incarnate Son, Jesus Christ) to humankind of ideas that they would not have arrived at by natural reason alone. That’s why Christianity is a “revealed religion” as opposed to a “natural religion”.

And, as you probably also know, part of that “revelation” includes “the morality of human acts”.

And yes, it is definitely true that Christians (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, etc.) often DO NOT follow the moral teachings of Christ, but is that a valid reason to discard them?

Your last sentence prods me to ask: what’s your definition of a “Catholic in good standing

3:10 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

If someone is teaching at a Catholic high school, I'd guess they'd be considered a Catholic in good standing? BTW, didn't the pope recently baptize an out-of-wedlock baby?

I do take seriously what Jesus said but I guess I don't follow all of it because some of it seems to be very culturally relevant to his times, like the thing about men not ever divorcing their wives. When he says "there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” I don't get it ... I don't believe living an asexual life makes people more holy. Jesus is said to have said a lot of things I don't want to believe - like the stuff about hell. It's a quandary for me.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Catholic in good standing? Not me Brother...but not likely to cast the first stone either

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

I am not sure what the phrase means but whatever it does my "standing" definitely fluctuates from minute to minute.

Yes, he did that.

Did you ever see the film, "Of Gods and Men"? There is a beautiful scene in it which I think beautifully illustrates what it means to be a eunuch for the Kingdom of God. It's the scene where the young woman asks the doctor/monk: Have you ever been in love? And he answers, yes, many times. And then I encountered a Great Love and said yes to that one.

8:37 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

That's the movie of the monks who were killed in Algeria? No, I haven't seen it but have read a little about it.

What I disagree with is the idea that one can have a greater love for God or for other people if one gives up romantic relationships. Love isn't like a finite pile of widgets.

10:17 PM  

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