The following comes from a Feb. 3 release from the archdiocese of San Francisco.

To see Archbishop Cordileone’s statement on ‘why Catholic schools fail’ in the Feb.1 Cal Catholic, click here.

The archdiocese of San Francisco is proposing three new clauses to the contracts for the teachers in the archdiocesan high schools.  The purpose is to further clarify that Catholic schools –as the first clause states– “exist to affirm and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ as held and taught by his Catholic Church.”

The archdiocese is adding detailed statements of Catholic teaching on sexual morality and religious practice — taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church — into the faculty and staff handbooks of the four archdiocesan high schools, Archbishop Riordan, Marin Catholic and Junipero Serra High Schools, and Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. The handbook additions will take effect in the 2015-16 school year and are not part of the contract. About 315 teachers at the four schools belong to the teacher’s union which is currently negotiating the contract to take effect Aug.1

Nearly 500 people in total are employed at the four high schools.

The handbook and contract changes do not contain anything essentially new.  Rather, they are intended to clarify existing expectations that Catholic teachers in their professional and public lives uphold Catholic teaching, archdiocesan Catholic schools Superintendent Maureen Huntington said.

“Because we live in a very secular society, the truth as revealed by God gets overshadowed by popular ideology,” Huntington said. “In order to remain faithful to God’s revelations and the church’s teachings, additions and clarifying statements have been developed for our teachers and staff members articulating specific fundamental truths, which are not understood or accepted within our secular society.”

The intent is not to drive any teacher out of a job, Huntington and San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone 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, nor does it introduce anything essentially new into the contract or the faculty handbook,” Archbishop Cordileone wrote in a February letter to the teachers.

Archbishop Cordileone was to address the high school teachers of the archdiocese Feb. 6 on the topic of “Catholic education during the time of Pope Francis.” Faculty from the 14 Catholic high schools in the archdiocese, including the 10 owned by religious communities as well as teachers at the four archdiocesan high schools, were expected to attend Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral and a subsequent talk.

The union negotiating team was scheduled to have presented the proposed contract to the full membership by this week, said Lisa Dole, president of the teacher’s union and a teacher at Marin Catholic High School. The existing contract expires July 31.

To read Valerie Schmaltz story on the subject in Catholic San Francisco, click here.