Interview by Jim Graves, Catholic World Report
You ask those in your diocese who teach the faith or distribute Holy Communion to make an Affirmation of Personal Faith. What is this, and why did you adopt this policy?
Bisop Vasa: This came about after we adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children. I support the Charter and its efforts to protect children from emotional and physical abuse; there is certainly no greater crime. But it dawned on me that if we don’t do something likewise to protect children from spiritual harm, then we’re not really minding the flock as we should.
Our policy requires us to do criminal background checks on everyone who has any contact with children. So also, I wanted anyone who taught the faith or who is held up as a public witness for the faith—such as lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, cantors, and catechists—to attest to the fact that they affirm and believe the basic teachings of the Church as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This includes declaring such things as: I believe in God, the virgin birth, the existence of purgatory, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. I also accept the Church’s moral teachings, such as the evil and sinfulness of contraception, homosexual activity, and adulterous behavior.
It’s a Creed, yet it adds what I consider to be those important moral issues some Catholics seem to have the impression they can openly and publicly dissent from without any kind of consequence.
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