SF archbishop is re-wording his strict morality code

SAN FRANCISCO — Under pressure from his Catholic schools community, the archbishop of the San Francisco archdiocese is re-wording strict guidelines he proposed for teachers that would require them to reject homosexuality, use of contraception, and other “evil” behavior.

Most significantly, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said he is dropping an effort to designate high school teachers as “ministers,” which, under a 2012 US Supreme Court ruling, would have eliminated them from government-mandated employee protections by placing them solely under Church control.

In an hour-long meeting with The San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board, Cordileone said he is forming a committee of theology teachers from the San Francisco Archdiocese’s four high schools to go over his proposed teacher guidelines. The committee, he said, will “recommend to me an expanded draft” and “adjust the language to make the statements more readily understandable to a wider leadership.”



San Fran church official on teacher contracts: "The Archbishop has not repealed anything"

by Joan Desmond 02/25/2015

Amid the ongoing negotiations between the San Francisco Archdiocese, and union leaders representing teachers in four Catholic high schools under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the San Francisco Chronicle announced that the local church leader was “reassessing [his] strict moral code for teachers.”

“Under pressure from parents, students and staffers at the San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese’s schools, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Tuesday that he is reaxamining strict guidelines he proposed for teachers that would require them to reject homosexuality, use of contraception and other ‘evil’ behavior.” the Chronicle reported in a Feb. 24 news story.

That got readers attentinon.

Thus far, Cordileone had defended his efforts to include proposed contract language that calls on teachers to avoid public statements or actions that oppose Catholic teaching on a range of issues.

When eight state lawmakers intervened to request that he drop the “morality clauses” in the contract language, he fired off a pithy response that asked them if they would retain employees who openly rejected the Democratic Party and its policies. See his response here.

The Chronicle’s story was picked up by the CBS local affiliate, which promptly announced: Archbishop “backtracks.”

Not so, said Jesuit Father John Piderit, the moderator of the curia and the vicar for administration in the archdiocese, who was with the archbishop when he met with the Chronicle staff. In a Feb. 24 statement, Father Piderit offered the following clarification:

**"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."**

The Bishop’s main problem in this situation is not the adults, teachers or parents, it is the young adults who are the students. This generation does not believe in some of the dogma that is stressed by the Bishop of San Francisco - especially in the area of sexual ethics. Gay people are these students brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and friends and I do not believe that they will ever accept the CCC teaching that gays are intrinsically disordered. In addition, when over 90% of Western Catholics use (or have used Artificial Birth Control) what do we expect our teens to think? The students do not want their teachers subjected to the “thought police”. The Bishop’s employment doctrine does not address personal (at home) beliefs, but if a teacher confides in a colleague that they are undergoing IVF to try and have a baby and the colleague reports this to the Bishop, he, at will, can fire said employee. Not exactly what these good kids want to happen to their teachers.
Maybe San Francisco was not the best place for the Holy Father to place Cordileone. A more conservative place, such as Lincoln would seem to be a much better choice.:shrug:

Exactly why it’s the right place for him. The popular opinion, especially in SF, is largely ignorant and un-intellectual when it comes to this issue. I can’t tell you how many people go off about this issue and they haven’t the faintest idea what the Church even teaches.

You even misstated the CCC. It doesn’t say people are disordered, it says acts and inclinations are. We all have disordered inclinations, esp., regarding lust. The vast majority of people railing against the Church here don’t even want to understand what it is they are fighting. That kind of blind ignorance should have no place in academia.

If Catholic students in the San Francisco area really reject Catholic moral teachings with respect to sexual morality, then it is certainly a place in need of evangelization in those moral teachings, and in need of accurate teaching about Catholic morality by teachers, in word and by example.

His name isn’t quite the same, but I hope he makes them “an offer they can’t reject.” :wink:

Thanks for your analysis concerning academics - I’ll be sure and turn in my MA!:smile: LOL!

I taught high school for 35 years so I understand the kids. In addition, I live about sixty miles from the City so understand the community belief systems. IMHO the Bishop can preach against all gay issues until the cows come home, but those who do not (in their well-formed conscience) follow that belief are not going to change what is in their hearts. The good Arch Bishop would make greater headway if he worried more about the large homeless population in the Bay Area and the tremendous gang problem. Following Papa Francis’ example of living out the Gospels and Corporal Works of Mercy towards our fellow humans instead of worrying about what teachers believe in their private lives would be a great place to start. He was not “fired” for a DUI that happened in the afterhours, instead he asked for and received mercy and prayers from many. If a teacher observes a gay student being bullied by other students, would the teacher be fired for standing up for the gay student and lecturing the class on discrimination based on gender, religion, race or sexual orientation? I definitely think that evangelization needs to happen, especially with those who refuse to accept that gay people are not going to lock themselves back in the closet.:shrug:

Are Catholic social teachings in opposition to Catholic sexual morality? Not at all. The school ought not to disregard any Catholic moral teaching. It is a Catholic school. Should Catholic schools permit bullying for any reason whatever? Absolutely not. The school should teach the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It should also teach sexual morality. Both will guide the students to truth and virtue.


90%? Really? Where do you get your mis-information?

Pew, Gallup.
As my students say “Google It”!:smiley:

Not exactly 90% but:

The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception: a media foul


This article discusses survey results of Church going Catholic women and contraception and some of the women that do use contraception are very mistaken apparently:

Hasson and Hill point out that about a third of these women mistakenly believe that the Church itself gives them the right to make up their own minds about which methods of family planning are morally acceptable.


Probably not but does that mean we should toss Church Doctrine aside and embrace their obstinate sinfulness? The Church is, in my humble estimate, at the most serious juncture perhaps in hundreds of years, take the wrong turn and there will be a schism beyond imagination.

Many Catholic women use “natural” family planning/birth control instead of “artificial” family planning/birth control.

I wonder what the percentages would be if we broke both down.


First you misstated Church teaching and now you are misstating the Archbishop via the proposed contract changes. It specifically stated:

in their professional and public lives

He also said:

“At the outset, I wish to state clearly and emphatically that the intention underlying this document is not to target for dismissal from our schools any teachers, singly or collectively…"

Since your presentation of both Church teaching and the Archbishop’s actions are clearly erroneous, I strongly suggest that you take a step back and rethink whatever it is you may think of the Archbishop. You seem like a good person who wants to do the right thing. I think at this moment, the right thing may be stripping away this caricature that the media has made of the Archbishop, and really trying to understand him.

Thank you Archbishop Cordileone for clarifying and explaining Catholic social teaching to students in SF. This issue only serves to illuminate how far astray our society has gone. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to stand up for our beliefs as the body of Christ.

We knew there had to be a balance in this OP. As Fr. Z says,“Crux might be a slicker, smarter Fishwrap on steroids.” :rolleyes:

Yah. Because “everything on the internet is true”. :rolleyes:

You should try research and critical thinking instead.

If they believe contrary to what the good Bishop is teaching, they are in fact wrong and do not have a “well-formed conscience”.

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