February 19, 2015 VIA EMAIL & FAX

The Honorable Phil Ting, Assemblymember, 19th District
The Honorable Kevin Mullin, Assemblymember, 22nd District
The Honorable Richard Gordon, Assemblymember, 24th District
The Honorable Mark Leno, Senator, 11th District
The Honorable David Chiu, Assemblymember, 17th District
The Honorable Jerry Hill Senator, 13th District
The Honorable Marc Levine, Assemblymember, 10th District
The Honorable Mike McGuire Senator, 2nd District

Dear Legislators,

I am in receipt of your letter of February 17, 2015, expressing your concerns about the negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the teachers’ union of our four Archdiocesan High Schools.

Allow me to respond by reflecting with you on the real issues that are at stake here.

First of all, I always believe that it is important, before making a judgment on a situation or anyone’s action, that one first obtain as complete and accurate information as possible. To this end, a number of documents and videos giving accurate and more complete information about this contentious issue are available on the website of our Archdiocese. I would encourage you to avail yourselves of these resources, as they will help to clear up a lot of misinformation being circulated about it (such as, for example, the falsehood that the morality clauses apply to the teachers’ private life).

The next thing I would like to mention is actually a question: would you hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those that you stand for, and who shows disrespect toward you and the Democratic Party in general? On the other hand, if you knew a brilliant campaign manager who, although a Republican, was willing to work for you and not speak or act in public contrary to you or your party – would you hire such a person? If your answer to the first question is “no,” and to the second question is “yes,” then we are actually in agreement on the principal point in debate here.

Now let’s say that this campaign manager you hired, despite promises to the contrary, starts speaking critically of your party and favorably of your running opponent, and so you decide to fire the person. Would you have done this because you hate all Republicans outright, or because this individual, who happens to be a Republican, violated the trust given to you and acted contrary to your mission? If the latter, then we are again in agreement on this principle.

My point is: I respect your right to employ or not employ whomever you wish to advance your mission. I simply ask the same respect from you.


Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco

This letter was released by the office of the archbishop of San Francisco on Feb. 19.

The archbishop’s response followed a demand from California legislators that the archbishop withdraw “morality clauses” in a handbook for Catholic high school teachers.