I’ve worked for two Catholic schools in Taiwan and I’m thoroughly convinced that their God empowers them to commit any sin they want, for any reason and at any time. Believe me, I’ve committed my sins during my lifetime and am sharp enough to know that I’m not perfect!
The first Catholic school I worked for is notorious for suckering teachers to flock to the island promising work permit and ARC within two months. At least in a dozen teachers’ cases, we all finally left after continuous forced visa runs.
This writer’s first experience has already been very well documented by another member’s post: Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary, Keelung. A lot has been written about this school and its evil Moon, but I’d like to clear up a point which perhaps only a Catholic or a former Catholic would readily understand. Father Yao built the huge school beginning in 1960 and as such, governance remained in his name. I saw him last when I quit on January 1, 2009. He and the two other priests performed Christmas Mass on December 24, 2008, which all students and teachers were required to attend. That is clear proof that Sacred Heart is indeed still a Catholic school.
When the storm exploded regarding the unethical practices performed against foreign teachers, the archdiocese of Taipei was indeed contacted by the offended teachers’ lawyer. They were asked to help the foreign teachers. The archdiocese responded that the school wasn’t their responsibility and did not belong to the archdiocese. Well, that was a fine feat of hair splitting.
No, it’s true; the school does not belong to the archdiocese. It belongs to the Jesuit order, since Father Yao is or was a Jesuit. (I use the past tense because I don’t know if he’s still living.) I know firsthand that while I was there two priests (one I believe was a Monsignor) waltzed into where I was teaching, did an inspection of the building and then left. I was told that when Father Yao shuffles off this mortal coil, the Jesuit order will assume ownership of the huge school. So, yes, the archdiocese was correct in saying the school wasn’t their problem. It however still fell under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, more specifically, the pope. The Jesuit order serves at the immediate discretion of the pope.
The correct office had not been contacted. The correct office would have been the Papal Nuncio, the ambassador of the Vatican in Taipei. I contacted him directly on several occasions, but he chose not to respond or to offer to help settle the storm.
My last experience involved a contract that turned out to have a fluctuating salary! Its name I cannot divulge yet!
As it happened, any time the school cancelled a class, sometimes without prior notice, they would simply deduct the amount from my pay. I met with the principal and three other administrators and explained that the contract allows the school to deduct if I’m late or if I cancel. It does not allow a deduction for a class the school cancels.
The principal said he would honor the contract salary if I help him out with projects in June. I said sure. The next week his vice-principal presented me with a new schedule with reduced my salary by 30%.
Later a Taiwanese teacher told me never to question the principal about anything.
I was told that he gets very angry and likes to indulge himself in revenge. She, in the same breath, described the principal as being VERY RELIGIOUS. That I do believe!
The only descriptor I can use regarding these two schools is they are completely arbitrary. Catholic schools are very powerful in Taiwan and foreigners don’t stand a chance.