Revised San Francisco Morality Clause Fails to Appease Teachers

The latest version of a controversial new teacher handbook released by Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone has been met with further protests by teachers, CBS San Francisco reported.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory students Julie Cravotto, center, and Nick LoGrasso, right, join a student vigil at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco after the release of a new faculty handbook with restrictive morality requirements for archdiocesan schools.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory students Julie Cravotto, center, and Nick LoGrasso, right, join a student vigil at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco after the release of a new faculty handbook with restrictive morality requirements for archdiocesan schools. © AP/JEFF CHIU

Petitions and demonstrations greeted the February draft of a restrictive morality clause for teacher contracts at archdiocesan schools. The clause stated that all “administrators, faculty and staff … are expected to arrange and conduct their lives so as not to visibly contradict, undermine or deny” Catholic church teaching and specified “all extra-marital sexual relations are gravely evil,” including “homosexual relations,” according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Superintendent of Schools Maureen Huntington told the Reporter that the new draft is still under negotiation and will not be included in the faculty handbooks for 2015–16. Fr. John Coleman, a Bay Area sociologist, characterized the recent version as an improvement because “even the sexual stuff is more nuanced and less terrifying,”

However, teachers rallied in front of the chancery office to express their continued concerns. A press statement from Concerned Parents and Students: Teach Acceptance quoted Kathleen Purcell, a constitutional attorney and former Catholic high school teacher, who said, “Under the revised handbook language, teachers would not be able to dissent or discuss ideas that conflict with the Archbishop’s understanding of Catholicism without risking their jobs.”

“The good news here is that there have been some changes to this document, so it seems as if the archbishop is willing to listen, to a certain degree,” teacher Sal Curcio told KPIX-TV. “We wish he would listen more….”

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