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Bishop Victor Balke, Moorhead, Published June 16 2012

Paul said teach the truth

In regard to the article, “St. Joe’s teacher asked to resign because of gay marriage views” (Forum, June 9): The article mentioned a situation in which someone didn’t just “question” a doctrine of the Catholic Church but disagreed with it and dissented from it.

As Providence would have it, the day the article appeared, we had the following reading in our liturgy from St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy, the leader of the Church in Ephesus. Paul writes: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus ... proclaim the word, be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage, through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth. ... But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship, perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.”

St. Paul wrote not only to Timothy but to all pastors, including Monsignor Michael Foltz, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church and superintendent of St. Joseph’s School in Moorhead. And putting up with hardship, he has faithfully carried out his sacred charge to proclaim the word and teach the truth.

Sad to say, it is becoming more and more “inconvenient” these days to teach the truth that marriage is between one man and one woman, even though this is a divine teaching, a teaching found in the New Testament, a teaching the Catholic Church, faithful to Scriptures, has proclaimed through the centuries. The word of God is the ultimate teaching authority within the church, and not even the pope can teach anything contrary to it. If he (or anyone else) does, he has strayed from the truth.

The church’s teaching about marriage, from the word of God, is the teaching that Foltz rightly and courageously insists be held and taught at St. Joseph’s.

Faith-filled Catholics and other faith-filled Christians may be confident that St. Joseph’s School will pass on to children the divinely inspired teachings of Scripture, “whether convenient or inconvenient.”


Balke is bishop emeritus, Diocese of Crookston.