The Solemn Oath of Catholic Fidelity
The Oath We Were Required to Take
It was around this time that I was told by the church that I, along with the other teachers in our parish, were required to take a solemn oath regarding our roles as Catholic educators. I felt like this was an important step in my service to the church, and I felt like taking an oath to ensure that we as teachers were teaching what our church wanted us to teach was the absolutely right thing to do.
We were to sign a written oath card and affirm before the parishioners during mass that we would teach only the information the church told us to teach. It was required of us to swear to use only the educational materials provided by the church, and we pledged that we would not use any other teaching aids whatsoever. Among the list of approved teaching materials, I found one very important document conspicuously missing: the Bible.
In fact, as written for us to recite and affirm, the oath expressly prohibited using the Bible itself as guidance in teaching our RCIA students.
Our RCIA leader confirmed for us that the Bible itself was apparently excluded from the materials we should use as part of our RCIA instruction. The Holy Scripture was something that I was expected to swear that I would NOT use as a teacher of religion? That seemed strange to me. I wasn’t a Biblical expert, but one thing I did know for certain is what the Holy Scripture said in this regard:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
– 2 Timothy 3:16
It was that oath of fidelity that really started making me feel uncomfortable.
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