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​​​4.3.13.1 Canonical Authority of the Diocesan Bishop

In accordance with canon law, the archbishop exercises full authority over the religious instruction and formation programs in all Catholic schools of his archdiocese, including both schools of the archdiocese and schools in the archdiocese that are owned and operated by religious orders, institutes, or governing boards. The authority of the bishop extends to but is not limited to the content of the religion curriculum, the hiring of teachers of religion, the visitation of schools, and the use of the title "Catholic school." The archbishop may exercise this authority in person or through designated delegates such as the superintendent and the religion supervisor from the Department of Catholic Schools.

4.3.13.2 Textbooks, Teaching Materials, Resources, and Content of Instruction


Textbooks, other teaching materials, and resources are chosen on the basis of sound doctrine, attention to both cognitive and affective domains, continuity with the program of instruction, and adequacy in meeting the needs and capabilities of the students in the particular school.

All religion textbooks are to have the approval of the Unites States Conference ​of Catholic Bishop's Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism. Other materials and resources used by teachers are to meet the same standards as textbooks with regard to sound doctrine and appropriateness for students.

The content of instruction must conform to the authentic teaching of the Church as summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church​ and must clearly distinguish defined doctrine from personal opinion and theological interpretation. It will stress the relevance of religious truths and principles to the personal lives and daily concerns of the students.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age guides the written course outlines that must be developed and followed for each high school course. Course outlines are to be framework-based and not textbook-based.

Please see the foundational catechetical documents.

4.3.13.3 Western Catholic Educational Association Catholic Identity Standards


All schools, whether archdiocesan, parish, or those owned and operated by religious orders, institutes, or governing boards, are required to meet the following Catholic identity standards from the accrediting agency for archdiocesan elementary schools, the Western Catholic Educational Association (Improving Student Learning, 2012 ed., p. 41; Ensuring Educational E​xcellence​, 20​​14​ ed., p. 10 [click on 1-WCEA E3 2014 Protocol.pdf​]):

  • The school has a mission statement and philosophy statement that indicates the integration of the Catholic faith in all aspects of the school's life.

  • The school provides regular opportunities for the school community to experience prayer and the sacraments.

  • The school has a religion curriculum and instruction that is faithful to Catholic Church teachings and meets the requirements as set forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • The local ordinary approves those who teach the Catholic faith (Canon 805) and there is ongoing formation for catechetical and instructional competence.

  • The school maintains an active partnership with parents/guardians whose fundamental concern is the spiritual and academic education of their children (Canon 796).

  • The school has a service-oriented outreach to the Church and civic community after the example of Jesus Christ, who said, "I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you" (Jn 13:15).

  • The school uses signs, sacramentals, traditions, and rituals of the Catholic Church.

  • All school personnel are actively engaged in bringing the good news of Jesus into the total educational experience.​

4.3.13.4 Elementary School Curriculum

Implementing these standards and evaluating and setting goals is a yearly task of the elementary school in a manner that is consistent with the curriculum standards set by the Department of Catholic Schools.

Curriculum components include:

  • The Profession of Faith

  • The Celebration of the Christian Mystery/The Seven Sacraments of the Church

  • Life in Christ; Man's/Woman's Vocation: Life in the Spirit

  • Christian Prayer; Prayer in the Christian Life

These components are based on the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

4.3.13.5 High School Curriculum


The national core curriculum for teaching religion to high school students, approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 2007, guides the religious instruction within each archdiocesan, parish, and private high school within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles​. All high schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are required to follow the United States​ Conference of Catholic Bishops sequence of courses as stated below:  ​

YEAR

FALL SEMESTER COURSE

SPRING SEMESTER COURSE

Freshman

The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture

Who is Jesus Christ? (Christology)

Sophomore

The Mission of Jesus: The Paschal Mystery (Spiritual Life)

Jesus Christ's Mission Continues in the Church (Ecclesiology)

Junior

Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ (Sacramental Theology)

Life in Jesus Christ (Morality and Social Justice)

Senior

Responding to the Call of Jesus Christ (Vocations)

History of the Catholic Church

OR

Sacred Scripture

OR

Living as a Disciple of Jesus Christ in Society

OR

Ecumenical and Interreligious Issues (World Religions)

Class time, assignments, and accountability for religion classes are comparable to that of all academic areas. Specifically, religion is to be taught each semester of the Catholic school program for an average of 250 minutes per week, in conformity with the norms governing the weekly instructional time for courses earning one full unit of credit.​​