On Feb. 6, 2015, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco addressed the Catholic High School Teachers Convocation on the subject of Catholic education.
In a speech titled, "Knowledge, Virtue and Holiness," the archbishop referenced Pope Francis' "theology of accompaniment" and discussed the importance of humility and chastity, noting that these virtues "are foundational and...virtues which contemporary culture either does not support or outright disparages in a very agressive way." He also briefly addressed the topic that has been much in the news of late, contractual language concerning faculty members' fidelity to the Catholic Church. Archbishop Cordileone said that "no teacher is being asked to sign a statement of faith or belief. No teacher has to change his or her beliefs." He also offered this thought about the mission of Catholic schools:
Catholic high schools enjoy a solid reputation as excellent institutions of education and formation. Experience highlights three factors in particular that contribute to overall success of Catholic high schools. The first factor is high academic expectations for all students, no matter what their cultural, linguistic or ethnic background. The second factor is that Catholic schools teach young people to apprehend truth using both faith and reason We know from our Catholic tradition that both are necessary: each must make its unique contribution that only it can make, and serve as a check on the other lest knowledge be reduced to simple pious platitudes on the one hand or, on the other, superficial or self-serving assertions that cannot see beyond the material world. The third factor is that principals and presidents at Catholic high schools seek to hire teachers who are interested in being involved with students outside the classroom. As coaches, moderators or facilitators of different events at the school, these teachers share their hopes and skills with the students in a more personal way. This has a significant impact on students.
Read the Archbishop's full address here.