On April 15, the Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco announced the appointment of a new vicar for administration, Father John Piderit, S.J. Father Pideret will replace the outgoing vicar, Monsignor James Tarantino.
From 1993 to 2001 Father Piderit served as the president of Loyola University in Chicago. More recently he served as the vicar for finance at St. Patrick’s Seminary, and in 2013 he was appointed the school’s vice-president for administration, following the departure of the seminary’s then-rector and president Father James McKearney.
Among other publications, he is most recently the author of is Sexual Morality: A Natural Law Approach to Intimate Relationships. He the co-author, with Melanie Morey, of Catholic Higher Education: a Culture in Crisis; Teaching the Tradition: Catholic Themes in Academic Disciplines; and Renewing Parish Culture: Building for a Catholic Future. He has served as president of the Catholic Education Institute.
In his role as president of the Catholic Education Institute, he, with Morey, led the Substantially Catholic conferences, held in 2010 and 2011 at Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, north of San Francisco. The conference was targeted at Catholic high school teachers and administrators, with the aim of helping them to “infuse Catholicism across the curriculum and in the school culture.”
The 2011 conference was covered by Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the archdiocese of San Francisco. The article was subsequently picked up by a number of Catholic outlets, including Cal Catholic. Father Piderit told Catholic San Francisco, “For teachers preparing to work in Catholic elementary or high schools, most offer little that is specifically Catholic.” He also observed that “when comparing Catholic schools of today with those of 50 years ago, schools are more tepid in presenting the faith even as American society has become more aggressively secular.
“Some of that can be traced back to departments and schools of education at Catholic colleges and universities which are so concerned with keeping pace with secular competitors and meeting ever-changing requirements for accreditation, that they are not teaching, or doing research into, ways to present Catholic faith and culture in subjects other than religion.
“The Catholic cultural component is relatively weak in our schools … It can’t be one comment once a year on something Catholic. Why is this so important? If you compare Catholic culture with what it was 50 years ago, the secular culture is more secular, less supportive of religion.
“At the same time, Catholic culture has become ‘much more gentle’ and ‘tepid.’ The goals of secular schools, private or public, and Catholic schools are very different. Holiness is the main goal for all Catholics, and the mission of Catholic schools is to educate them in the context of the Catholic view of the human person as a social being, an individual in relationship with others, ‘made in the image and likeness of God.”
Don’t know the man but this sounds like a concrete step by the archbishop to improve the archdiocese. Deo gratias!
What a gift to the Archdiocese on this VERY SPECIAL DAY OF OUR LORD’S PASSION!!!
He sure has his work cut out for him…….Notre Dame Belmont, Convent of the Sacred Heart/Stuart Hall in San Francisco and if it be possibly worse Woodside Priory that has an avowed homosexual as the head of the THEOLOGY DEPT!!!!
And I bet you this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Please keep Father in your prayers.
Those high schools are not run by the Archdiocese, so it will take more time to address the issues you raise than it would at a grade school or high school like Serra or Marin Catholic. I hope he goes for it!
Tom, every Diocese Bishop has the authority for everything that calls itself “Catholic” within his own Diocese, even when not owned by the Diocese.
Further he can revoke the right to advertise as “Catholic” if required.
Here is a link to Code of Canon Law regarding Schools:
793 – 814.
Specifically related to Catholic Colleges and Universities:
Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities:
Catholic University within the Church –
” Article V § 2. Each Bishop has a responsibility to promote the welfare of the Catholic Universities in his diocese and has the right and duty to watch over the preservation and strengthening of their Catholic character.
If problems should arise concerning this Catholic character, the local Bishop is to take the initiatives necessary to resolve the matter, working with the competent university authorities in accordance with established procedures and, if necessary, with the help of the Holy See.”
Pete: In the case of Archdiocesan schools, he can actually fire people. In schools run under what used to called a “missio” he either has to withdraw that (which effectively cancels the label “Catholic”) or press his demands through the religious order that runs the schools. I am not aware that he could order the termination of employment of a heretical religion teacher at e.g. Notre Dame as he could of a teacher at Riordan. Perhaps I misread canon law.
It seems to me, that very little can be done to run Church schools and institutions by the Catholic Faith– unless the Church truly demands this, with worldwide authority and discipline! How amazing, that Church leaders cannot seem to understand this! How can you possibly run a huge thing like the Catholic Church, without proper rules and regulations, such as we have in our often-unused Code of Canon Law? Without proper adult leadership, authority, guidance, and and discipline, we will just have nothing but a crazy zoo! Hopeless!! No more “baby stuff,” of “individual immoral and heretical choices,” of clergy and lay leaders, causing worldwide Church disintegration, with the Vatican’s constant refusal to correct these people! You cannot please God, and the world! Will the Church serve Christ’s holy mission for the sanctification and salvation of souls? Shall Christ be the focus of all Catholic education? Shall the intellectual pursuits of all Catholic educators be submitted to the Will of God, and not the evils and foolishness of the secular, anti-Christian, Godless world? Will all allowed to be involved in Catholic education, daily demonstrate their sincerity as good, faithful practicing Catholics– or actually face termination of employment? Yes, or– no?? Where in the world is the TRUE COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST– of our Church??
Praise the Lord! This surely sounds like someone who can help turn this ship around and head it in the right direction!
Isn’t there at least some trace of irony here in a former Jesuit university president bemoaning “Catholic colleges and universities which are so concerned with keeping pace with secular competitors” ???
Thank you, Archbishop Cordileone, for your appointment of a priest who loves the Church and her teachings, and who has experience engaging the challenges both within and without the Church. Life flourishes where there is Truth. Fr. Piderit, you will be in our prayers. AMDG.
Kind word for the replaced vicar, outgoing.
National chain restaurants owned by individual franchise owners, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc., are under contract obligation to serve food and drink that must meet strict standards of the corporation.
Yet within the Catholic Church, many schools and colleges who label themselves as Catholic, dispense spiritual food and drink that don’t meet any standard.
Headquarters, there’s a problem.
Under Fr. Pideret’s administration, Loyola of Chicago eliminated its classics program and the school’s endowment shrank by a third due to deficit spending. He was eventually forced to resign.
Hope the appointment works out. Let’s pray for that. However, cracking down on Cathilic teachers as the reason American culture is less religious is an approach frought with danger…..far too many of us cradle Cathilics have vivid memorines of how harsh and punitive the priests and nuns were 50 yeras ago, and a return to that appraochy is a good way to empty Cathilic schools. Small wonder why the priests and nuns have insuffickent empathy for abused children at school or at home.
yikes! Catholic is spelled like this…Catholic…..on another note, I never lived under harsh and punitive priests and nuns…..all were loving and beautiful 50 years ago. So you and I speak only of our own experiences…..not about the entire consecrated. I was an obedient child, maybe you weren’t?
Catholic schools have hardly poisoned the culture – rather, the schools have succumbed to the culture. John XXIII himself literally opened the windows to the toxicity of the culture with Vatican II. But when Catholic schools stop being Catholic, it’s time to close them. On the other hand, if the price of fidelity is the exit of a generation of protestantized “Catholics,” that’s a good thing. In terms of the complaint about strict nuns, that’s a petrified canard of an excuse for people who have always wanted to behave however they want to. I was there in the 50s-60s. Grow up.
retrospective, I believe good cause might be referring to the sorts of harsh and punitive priests and nuns that were portrayed in Philomena. Unfortunately, gc’s spelling, which I suppose he is trying to imitate Mr. Fisher and Mr. McDormott, detracts from his message, IMHO.
Retrospective writes, “…On the other hand, if the price of fidelity is the exit of a generation of protestantized “Catholics,” that’s a good thing.”
Well said, Retrospective.
Much like, “…You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.” Matthew 5:13
Let us just HOPE and PRAY that this new Vicar For Administration will be BETTER than Monsignor Tarantino, who has made far too many scandalous headlines of late.
Monsignor’s friendship with the infamous Bill McLaughlin has been all over the San Francisco Examiner for months, with sex, money, bullying, power plays, and enough ugliness to make God shake his head in disgust.