S.F. archbishop stands firm in face of pressure on morality clauses

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from LA Times,

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is holding firm in the face of controversy that has erupted since he unveiled new morality clauses earlier this month for employees at high schools under his control.

The clauses included in a new handbook call on teachers, staff and administrators to comport themselves publicly and privately with Catholic teaching and ask them to “affirm and believe” that masturbation, pornography and homosexual acts are “gravely evil.”

Same-sex marriage and contraception are similarly described.

Cordileone’s pointed language on sexual teaching has triggered a backlash from parents, students and policymakers who have called it divisive and worry the schools’ culture of tolerance toward all students — regardless of sexual orientation — will be compromised.

They also fear that teachers who have made private decisions about intimate relationships or contraception that may not comport to strict church teaching will be fired.

Cordileone has shown some flexibility around his companion proposal to define teachers as “ministers” in a collective bargaining agreement now under negotiation — a wording shift that would likely deny them recourse under federal civil rights law in the case of dismissal.

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