San Fran church official on teacher contracts: "The Archbishop has not repealed anything"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**"The Archbishop has not repealed anything.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 Nothing already planned to go in is being removed or retracted or withdrawn.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."**