There has been a lot of noise recently regarding Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco new contract for teachers working for the Archdiocese.
First a little history.
SAN FRANCISCO — Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has approved language for a new high-school teachers’ contract and handbook that calls on faculty to avoid publicly challenging the Church’s position on issues like same-sex “marriage” and abortion.
The existing teachers’ contract expires on July 31. The new one has not been finalized and is under negotiation with the local Catholic teachers’ union, the San Francisco Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers, Local 2240.
In contrast, the faculty handbook is not subject to negotiation and is developed by the archdiocese.
Now, those handbooks will be updated for the 2015–16 school year with descriptions of key points of Catholic doctrine. The new language that will be incorporated into the handbook was presented in a “Statement of the High Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Regarding the Teachings and Practice of the Catholic Church.”
Archdiocesan officials said the statement represents the religious beliefs formally affirmed by the schools, but individual teachers will not be required to sign documents that attest to their own beliefs in these doctrinal teachings. Source
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Students and parents from schools controlled by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco protested at Saint Mary’s Cathedral on Ash Wednesday, saying the church should stay out of teachers’ bedrooms and drop proposed morality clauses in teacher contracts.
On Ash Wednesday, one of the holiest days on the Catholic calendar, the students and parents are hoping Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone will change his mind on the clauses, as the church heads into 40 days of Lenten reflection.
First off the new contract has no statements regarding a teacher’s private life and much less there sex life. Specifically this applies to publicly contradicting Church’s teachings. I wonder how many of these protesters would protest the Hatch Act? As a veteran I certainly was aware of the Hatch Act and some restrictions placed on me regarding the political realm.
Still what I find ironic about the Lenten protest is that it is a heck of way to start Lent implying you are doing something in the bedroom contrary to Church teaching.
Then some California lawmakers stepped in:
A group of California lawmakers asked Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco to remove “morality clauses” from a proposed contract for teachers in high schools under his jurisdiction, reported the Los Angeles Times.
The new language in the contracts direct teachers in four archdiocesan high schools to avoid public statements or actions that oppose Church teaching on contraception, pre-marital sex or homosexual relationships. My story on the proposed change in contract language is here.
In their letter to the archbishop, the California lawmakers argued that the morality clauses “conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we serve.”
To which the Archbishop replied in part:
“Would you hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those that you stand for and who shows disrespect toward you and the Democratic Party in general?” he wrote in his reply to eight state legislators who had criticized Catholic standards for school employees.
The archbishop suggested a hypothetical situation in which Democratic politicians employ a “brilliant campaign manager,” though a Republican, who is willing to work for them and not speak or act contrary to his employers or his employers’ political party.
“Now, let’s say that this campaign manager you hired, despite promises to the contrary, starts speaking critically of your party and favorably of your running opponent, and so you decide to fire the person,” the archbishop continued in a Feb. 19 letter. He suggested this firing would be done not for hatred of Republicans, but because the employee “violated the trust given to you and acted contrary to your mission.” Source
Not that using logic with lawmakers is a fruitful game. Still it is a good analogy. There have also been complaints about designating the teachers as ministers which is really a result of U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 free exercise case, Hosanna Tabor, which ruled in favor of a Lutheran school in an employment dispute.
One story today said the Archbishop was now backtracking. Joan Desmond continues her excellent reporting on the story with this piece of information.
The Archbishop has not repealed anything. He is adding explanations, clarifications, and material on Catholic social teaching, via a committee of religion teachers he is establishing. The committee is to expand some areas of the material to be included in the faculty handbook, and clarify other areas by adding material. Nothing already planned to go in is being removed or retracted or withdrawn.
With respect to the use of the word “ministers,” the Archbishop only said that “ministers” is no longer being considered. That is all the Archbishop said. The word currently being used is “ministry.” Nonetheless, the Archbishop did say that he would work hard to find language that satisfies two needs. One is the need to protect the rights of the teachers in the Catholic high schools to have complaints fairly treated. The other is the right of the Archdiocese to run Catholic schools that are faithful to their mission. Language must be identified that meets both needs. Even if a substitute for “ministry” is found, the substitute must guarantee that the teachers in the Catholic archdiocesan high schools promote the Catholic mission of the institutions.
Her story also includes information on the lengths the Archbishop is going in working with the teachers in clarifying the language of the contract.
And of course the typical reaction of Democrat politicians “That’s a nice school system you have there, it would be a shame if something happened to it.”
On Monday, Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo) urged an assembly committee to investigate working conditions at the high schools administered by the San Francisco archdiocese,” reported the CBS local news.