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-San Francisco: Legislators Trying to Force Catholic Schools to Drop Standards for Teachers

by Dr. D ~ March 9th, 2015


The Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco recently released a new teacher’s handbook for four Catholic highs schools in the San Francisco area with a ‘code of conduct’ that reflected the Catholic faith. Eight California legislators from the San Francisco area are up in arms trying to force the Catholic schools to drop the teacher standards which have typically been part of Catholic parochial schools forever. Here’s the story from the Catholic News Agency:

The Archdiocese of San Francisco on Feb. 3 announced additions and clarifications to the faculty and staff handbooks for the archdiocese’s four high schools, as well as proposed new morals clauses for teacher contracts that would define teachers as having a ministerial role. The archdiocese said the changes to the handbook and contract do not contain anything new but are intended to “clarify existing expectations that Catholic teachers in their professional and public lives uphold Catholic teaching.”

The changes focus on sexual morality and religious practice due to prevalent confusion about the Church’s stance…

Eight California state legislators, in a Feb. 17 letter to Archbishop Cordileone, called on him to withdraw the morality clauses. …they claimed the standard for high school staff and faculty “infringes on the personal freedoms of their employees” and “sends an alarming message of intolerance to youth.”

The legislators claimed the standards “conflict with settled areas of law” and “foment a discriminatory environment” in the community. They suggested that religious freedom exemptions in federal law are being used as “a tool for discrimination.”

Here are two responses to the claims of ‘discrimination. First from Archbishop Cordileone:

“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?” …

Then from Bill May, president of the California-based Catholics for the Common Good:

“What is happening is a direct challenge to the teaching authority of the Church and its right to teach its doctrine by public authorities in direct conflict with the First Amendment.”

<Read the whole article>

<Also read an article from Alliance Defending Freedom on this issue>

Response: The legislators opposing the standards are trying to get the State of California to investigate and force the Catholic schools to drop their religious standards. This is a direct challenge to the establishment clause in the Constitution. Will the prevailing notions of morality in San Francisco be allowed to trump the Catholic Church in defining standards for their own missions and institutions?

These are not public schools that we are talking about but part of the Catholic religion and part of what they consider to be their religious mission. If the government can force the church to drop their doctrinal and moral standards then the First Amendment has been trumped and no longer effectively exists.

This is another situation where the gay and LGBT agenda is playing hardball trying to compromise religious freedom in the name of ‘discrimination.’ The new handbook makes it clear that the church does not support same-sex marriage.              *Top

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