A reader alerts me to Cincinnati’s WLWT (TV) News 5’s recent story on the protest against Archbishop Schnurr’s Catholic clause in the new teacher contract. As has been noted, the contract simply requires teachers to assent to a number of settled Catholic teachings often opposed or denied by those of a more secular bent.

The story revolves around an online petition being circulated by lawyer Tim Garry, Jr., a member of Nativity parish who made news a dozen years ago representing the school’s principal, Bob Herring, when he was dismissed from his post by the then-pastor. (Herring was reinstated following mediation.) Garry is also a past member and president of the parish council, and in his online bio he rails against the “feudal system of governance of the Roman Catholic Church.” Readers may recall from an earlier post that a teacher from Nativity showed up at the contract protest last week on Fountain Square downtown. And of course Nativity is home to the notorious priestophobic teacher Gerard Ahrens, whose diatribes against the Church and any man wearing a Roman collar once plagued the forum pages of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Under Archbishop Pilarczyk, there developed a handful of what you might call “affinity parishes” of dynamic orthodoxy that were permitted to exist primarily as safety valves. Against these were aligned a far greater number of “mainstream parishes” of static heterodoxy where doctrine was seldom taught or promoted. Care to guess which camp Nativity fell — and falls — under? The good news is that we’re getting more of the former (witness the stunning success of Oakley’s St. Cecilia under Fr. Jamie Weber, a priest who defines dynamic orthodoxy) and fewer of the latter.

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