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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

"Catholic Schools, Firing Policies and Teacher Misconduct"

Zenit has a very good article by E. Christian Brugger, which lays out the principles involved in making these hard decisions very well.
I think they apply to other ministries and apostolates within the parish, as well.

I have been in several situations of the sort, (never, Thank God, where the call was mine to make,) and know how wrenching they can be for all concerned.

He also took a lot of heat for some of it, and of course was in no position to divulge details that would have made things much easier for him had they been known.

Brugger urges that the policies be:
• clearly published and consistent with Catholic Church teaching;
• closely keyed to the institutional mission statement; and
• consistently and non-arbitrarily applied
That last may be the hardest part, and neglecting it is the surest way for a group to devolve into warring factions, or rather, for the factions that always seem to already exist, to arm themselves with grievances and "evidence. " (It is a sad fact of our fallen nature that  we don't mind rules being bent and exceptions being made on behalf of people we cherish  and principles to which we adhere.)

I'm glad he also discusses the difference between confidentiality and secrecy, something the Church must be careful with - I have to think that the attacks we are experiencing on the Seal of the Confessional can be laid directly on the doorstep of members of the hierarchy who were more interested  in reputations than justice, and in protecting fellow travelers rather than children, in the sexual abuse cover-up scandal.
It bears noting that considering the harmful consequences attendant to a decision to terminate or not terminate is not consequentialist reasoning, the aim of which is to determine by appeal to consequences whether or not intending evil (as an end or means) is licit ‘under the circumstances.’ Evil alternatives should never be chosen and consequently should not be the subject matter of moral deliberation. As soon as we conclude that some type of behavior would be intrinsically wrongful to choose, we should exclude it from our range of potentially-acceptable choices. But once we have done this, we must have a reasonable concern for consequences.
Brugger enumerates potential consequences of various plans of action, on ALL the parties involved, very astute list.
The whole thing is a joint project of the Cardinal Newman Society and the Culture of Life Foundation -- bravo!

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