Over the past month, CalCatholic has documented the presence of questionable employees in the San Francisco archdiocese high schools. Across the bay, Oakland’s new bishop, Michael Barber, the first bishop appointed by Pope Francis, has joined the battle. on April 7, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on a new initiative of the bishop: adding a morals clause to the contracts of diocesan teachers.
On May 9 the Chronicle followed up with an article headlined “Oakland Diocese requiring educators to conform to Church teachings: Educators must sign morality pledge.” Two days earlier the East Bay Express had covered the same story. The Express headlined their story “Teachers Forced to Sign New Personal ‘Morals’ Code.” The sub-headline: The Oakland Diocese’s school contract now requires employees to ‘model’ he teachings of the Catholic Church in their personal lives, raising concerns for LGBT and progressive educators.”
The Chronicle article began, “Educators at East Bay Catholic schools must sign a news contract Friday with the diocese of Oakland pledging to conform to Church teachings outside the workplace – leaving some, particularly non-Catholics, wrestling with a professional and moral dilemma. In contention is an updated clause specifically outlining what teachers of the diocese’s 54 schools do in their personal lives….
‘In both the employee’s personal and professional life, the employee is expected to model and promote behavior in conformity with the teaching of the Roman Catholic faith in matters of faith and morals, and to do nothing that tends to bring discredit to the school or to the diocese of Oakland,’ the new contract says….The clause is creating anxiety in a diocese where 18 percent of the 1,217 teachers are not Catholic, according to church statistics…. State and federal employment law offers little protection from being fired for violating Church teaching – sparking fear that teachers could lose their jobs for using contraception, having premarital sex, trying to conceive a child by artificial insemination or marrying someone of the same sex.”
The Chronicle said the action was the outcome of discussions among California’s bishops: “In a March letter explaining the changes to diocese employees, Barber wrote that for months California’s bishops have been discussing ‘the importance of Catholic identity and especially how it is expressed in our Catholic schools. … [in an] appropriate way to honor this commitment is to spell it out in the contract or work agreement each person signs each year.’”
The article also quoted David Rosenfeld, from UC Berkeley’s School of Law, who said dismissing teachers for violating the agreement would be protected under the First Amendment: “A private school like this has the right to impose any religious restrictions it wants,” he says. “If they got wind that somebody was buying contraceptives, they could fire them.”
The clause is the latest move by Oakland’s new bishop Michael Barber intended to increase fidelity to the Catholic Church throughout his diocese. On March 6, it was reported that Barber had removed two priests from Berkeley’s notorious Newman Hall/Holy Spirit Parish, one of whom the East Bay Express described as “openly gay.”
The Chronicle noted that Bishop Barber’s move was part of a trend across the country: “Similar controversies have popped up elsewhere in the nation, most notably in the archdiocese of Cincinnati this year, where a new contract banned teachers from ‘public support of or publicly living together outside marriage, public support of or sexual activity out of wedlock, public support of or homosexual lifestyle.’
In California, earlier this year Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa tried to require educators to sign a morality clause that described contraception, abortion and gay marriage as ‘modern errors’ that ‘gravely offend human dignity.’ In March, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that Vasa included the language to avoid legal challenges from teachers who were fired for conduct that contradicts Catholic teaching. He later backed down from the proposal.”
The Chronicle’s description of Bishop Vasa as “backing down” appears to be an overstatement. Vasa has never been known as a shrinking violet when it comes to demanding fidelity to the faith. In 2004, when he was serving as the bishop of the diocese of Baker OR, Vasa “…asked lay ministers in the diocese to step down from positions in the church if they could not agree with the Catholic Church’s positions on certain social issues, like abortion, contraception, homosexual relationships and extramarital sex.” That practice is still in place. And, as the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported on March 21, 2013 he had not “backed down” from the morality clause: “The goals which we had established for this year’s teacher contracts will be postponed and we will plan to implement them, in some form, in the spring of 2015.”
Not certain about the strength of Bishop Vasa (his employment statement, since self-rejected, was spot-on), but Bishop Barber is certainly going up on the Orthodox Catholic Meter! Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, many, many “Catholic” parents are moaning, crying, screaming, demanding, and more, that the Bishop stop this, arguing that “private activity” is off-limits to the Church regarding its teachers, administrators, and the like. Of course this is the argument of all apostates, that see Catholic anything as not meaning much, except a paycheck, perhaps some perks, maybe a meal or place to stay: wait — this also describes many Catholic bishops!! Whew! But, Bishop Barber is standing tall. Excellency, now comes the hard part: use this as a teaching moment. Call all students and invite parents to teach them what the Catholic Church says about all of this. Of course there will be shouts and demands and all of that. Homosexual sexual and abortion advocates, among others, will stoke up the fires pretty well, so expect fireworks. (Wow, we are smoking hot with cliches, apt though they may be.) Please do not be craven like Bishop Jugis in North Carolina (who threw poor Sister Jean Dominic Laurel under the proverbial bus for giving a High School lecture on Catholic sexual ethics), and others in recent news. Tell the young students how lucky that they are to be members of the Bishop O’Dowd student body; and, that they are free to leave for the “outside” if they do not wish to be Catholic any longer.
Would any of the apostles have been able to sign such a document in good conscience. I doubt it, and certainly not Peter. What was Jesus thinking?
They not only would have signed it, they would have endorsed it, and would have (and did) condemn the banned activities described in the contract.
John, that doesn’t make any difference about “then”. THIS is NOW. Whatever happened in the beginning of the Church, as an institution, it has developed, and evolved into this day and age as an institution that is in need of bishops to shepherd according to the Gospel. Jesus admonished sinners to “go and sin no more”. I see the bishops’ and their efforts as emanating from that statement. We have ALL sinned, but going forward, those who wish to teach in Catholic schools must hold to behavior that complies with Church teaching. It is that simple, and that important. Our future is in the hands of those children in those schools. If their teachers cannot be a model for them, who else can? They spend more time during their day with our children than we can outside of school. Certainly we must hold out truly Christ-centered models for our children.
Be very careful of your language. The Church of all time, the Holy Catholic Church does not “evolve” into anything. She, IS, WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE. Doesn’t say anything about evolving. Shepherding according to just the Gospel denies the other part of the deposit of faith which is tradition. We are not a protestant religion whose sole mission is to interpret the bible as the only source of knowledge where we can find information about God, grace and the attainment of salvation. Church doctrine does not evolve either. A modernist spin has been applied to the term, evolution which was introduced by the vagaries of Vatican II. Also, it is specifically the charge of PARENTS as the primary educators of children and bringing up to respect and adhere to the principles of Catholicism; not the priest!
“Our spiritual life is the principal textbook from which we are to instruct others in the Catholic faith.” Fr. John Hardon
The bishops have my support 110%. All of them. And especially Bishop Vasa.
God bless and strengthen them all.
“raising concerns for LGBT and progressive educators”
Minions of Satan pushing sodomy and other mortal sins should be purged from all Catholic schools.
I too picked up on this allusion to “progressive educators”. Seems as if progressive is the new designation for pervert.
We have to fight back or the Satanic progressive forces will roll over US.
It’s time to purge the “filth” from the Church (Cf. “How much filth there is in the church”; “A tremendous cloud of filth came, darkening and soiling everything” ~ Pope Benedict XVI).
Support Bishops Barber (Oakland) and Vasa (Santa Rosa).
We must protect our children from evil, immoral Catholic School employees by their false teaching and/or bad example.
Code of Canon Law: 793-814.
It would be great if the other CA Bishops would do the same. Contact your Diocese Bishop asap. Parents have a duty to do so.
Verify contact info on the appropriate Diocese web site.
Absolutely support these faithful Bishops. Waiting to hear Archbishop Cordileone chime in and take command of our wayward Catholic schools.
Write to him SandraD, and report any abuses that you are aware of within his Diocese.
I have Dave and so have many others……his mother died this past week, so not pushing at the moment. I believe he will gather all of the information and then act in truth.
We have Dave. The Archbishop’s mother died last week so we will give him some peace before moving forward. He has all of the abuses on file–it’s in his court.
For Arch. Gomez to follow suit, he would have to give up his cozy relationships with the pro-abortion, pro-sodomite, pro-illegal immigration pals in the Demoncrat Party! Now would our Lord expect that of him? Your darn tooting He would!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Jesus would totally support undocumented immigration. He supports the pursuit of a better life.
There is No Commission for Men & Boys in California, and having been Punished by the Government and Courts (a recurring theme in my life) for daring to recommend Equal Treatment by the State in Establishing such Equal Consideration for the wrong gender…
– I can at least recommend all of you tune in (or attend) and find out about who is pulling what strings in CA – with Tax Subsidy.
BTW – Public Comment is Allowed, although like supporting Proposition 8, done at your own risk:
NOTICE OF TELECONFERENCE MEETING
The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (Commission) has scheduled a teleconference meeting on MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014, from 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM at the State Capitol, Room 127, Sacramento, CA 95814 and at the following locations:
2800 28th Street Suite 150 Santa Monica, CA 90405
320 West 4th Street Suite 450 Los Angeles, CA 90013
It seems as if Oakland might now be the place for faithful Catholic teachers looking for a job to apply for a teaching position!
As a teacher, there is an additional problem with adding a morals clause to an At-Will contract. Principals and other administrators should also sign this – I have heard many say things that are distinctly not part of the Magisterium. If they do sign this and you know better, there should be a way to let the bishop know without going through the education office.
Bob, I completely agree with you. This only works if the Principles and other administrators sign this.
Bishop Michael barber and the other bishops named in this article are now role models for the other bishops around the country. Let’s support him and pray for him. Can we assume that his action is in part due to the leadership of Archbishop Cordeleone?
No, since Archbishop Cordileone takes no similar action in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, as has been well documented on this website.
The Archbishop must overcome an entrenched clergy and lay people who need a correction to their attitude towards church teaching, too much money, too much liberal philosophy, too much grandeur have had a contagious effect on the SF Archdiocese. He has started by removal of some of those responsible and will continue to do his job, he is qualified.
The point is that Bp. Barber has clergy and lay people that are just as entrenched, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem for him. Also, recall that Abp. Cordileone was also once bishop of Oakland. Why didn’t he take similar action while in Oakland? The two types of leadership are a study in stark contrasts.
The high schools in the ArchSF are part of a union. The bishop cannot simply alter the terms of their contracts. Sad but true.
CharlieRM, you bring the most important point! If anyone wants to know what is wrong with California, you need look no further than the unions and the politicians who benefit from keeping them in power.
Sarah – What leadership? He has been in SF for over a year and we do not see any changes. Please give us some examples. Thank you.
Simply Stating that there are important Public Health Issues associated with the Moral Standards of the Church is not enough – we need to be Pro-Active in Protecting all the Faithful & All Students from the ravages of “Objectively Disordered” Behaviors:
HOW HOMOSEXUALITY IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH
JEFF ALLEN on 12 May, 2014
If someone were to warn a drug addict about the dangers of abusing illicit substances, no one would label them as hateful. However, when the same principle is applied to homosexual behavior, the daggers come out and the “anti-gay,” “homophobic” or “hater” epithets are angrily and aggressively hurled about.
The typical LGBTQ response to the above analogy is to claim that illegal drug usage is a choice, but homosexuality is not. As volitional beings, though, we most certainly have the ability to control how, when and with whom we are sexually intimate. Therefore, the most loving thing that a Christian can do is to tell the truth and steer homosexuals away from a harmful lifestyle — more appropriately referred to as a deathstyle.
Read more at https://barbwire.com/2014/05/12/studies-homosexuality-bad-health-many-ways/#WdkswozKcTeLX8xJ.99
Same Sex Attraction may not be a choice, but engaging in the sex acts/lifestyle CERTAINLY is.
Are you related to my buddy, Joe Scheidler of “Pro-Life Action League”? I think I remember one of his sons might be named Tim.
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
All Catholic schools need to be passing out this handy pamphlet:
Absolutely. And also this equally valid scientific treatise:
Oh, FRC the hate-group again. Yeah, let’s share hate with all Catholic schools. Brilliant.
I agree it is way inappropriate for Catholic schools. Catholic schools need to stick with teaching the simple moral truth that the sexual gift is reserved to a man and a woman, sacramentally married.
No Peter it is the Southern Poverty Law Center which is actually the ‘hate group’ after someone acted and commited a hate crime against FRC based on their erroneous information.
Are you suggesting that it is hateful to require someone not to violate the teachings of the Church they are employed at?
One surmises that you would have called Our Lord, His Mother, and His Apostles haters because they taught and enforced the Moral Law!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
peter, when all one can do is lower themselves to name calling it demonstrates he has nothing of substance to debate.
I taught in the California “public” schools in the early 60’s and all of the above moral requirements were just plain expected of all teachers. You mean to tell me that the “Catholic” schools today have lower moral standards than the public schools of the early 60″s?
Why keep the clause to just teachers? I support priests, nuns, bishops and cardinals take the morals clause, too. Our Church needs it.
be careful what you wish for good cause, you might find your beloved ‘contraception’ a litmus test for denying many Holy Communion.
Family Research Council is like CCD a heavily targeted and much maligned source for accurate and valuable information – which makes it such a hated target. SEE
ANSWERING THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER’S ATTACKS UPON FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL
By Rob Schwarzwalder Senior Vice-President
In November 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing fundraising powerhouse, announced that it considers Family Research Council (FRC) to be an “anti-gay hate group”–lumping us together with neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
Ever since, the charge that FRC is a “certified hate group” has been used by the SPLC and other groups–such as the Human Rights Campaign and Campus Pride–in an attempt to discredit FRC’s work and cut us out of public policy debates and media coverage over homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.”
Ironically, the unfounded “hate group” label has deepened hatred toward FRC, which has now resulted in violence–a shooting in the lobby of our headquarters building on August 15, 2012, in which one of our employees was wounded while courageously defending his colleagues.
Instead of being chastened by these events, the SPLC has merely repeated its defamatory accusations against FRC. Here are brief answers to some of the distortions of our positions by the SPLC and those who have embraced the “hate group” charge:
Michael it’s like I always say, “free speech is what liberals decide it is.” You cant win. The biased media in this country has been so effective at shaping every argument that way. In two generations we’ve gone from homosexuality being a shameful act to it now being “heroic”. I’m so thrilled to hear this news from the diocese of Oakland. I hope Bishop Barber can resist all of the pressure he he will receive before this is implemented. God bless you Bish. Barber and I pray this starts a trend.
About time!! We need to stop compromising our Catholic beliefs so we seem more like all other religions. Our duty is to live as Catholics,and die as Catholics.
Good 4 the bishop.
Look at the ignorant, immediate dissent, by both Catholic students and educators! This is the result of vast ignorance and immorality, in our Church, over the years, since Vatican II! Most of these dissenters do not know their faith, and do not know Christian morality, at all! They do not practice their Catholic Faith, and have no idea as to what it is! Very tragic! For our Church to succeed, the Vatican must issue a worldwide mandate for religious instruction for all so-called “Catholics,” as well as a definite “re-conversion” strategy! For those who deny their Church’s Faith and Morals– they must be warned of serious sin, and possible excommunication! All seminaries and schools of higher education should get deeply serious and very holy in their teaching and practice daily, of the Catholic Faith! Catholic homes and families should be given a definite daily devotional path to follow, with definite suggestions for family worship, prayer, Rosary, daily Mass, etc. , with parish groups to support a solid daily practice of the Catholic Faith. All Catholic lay teachers should be required a specific kind of Catholic teaching course of study, with a specific diploma given at the end. A religious society should be formed for these lay teachers to belong to, which would help enrich their faith, and give professional help and support, too. Our Church stands for Christ, Who is the King of Heaven– not of this fallen, secular world! Our Church must be rid of the “disease” of worldliness!
Fun article, it provides a nice foil to this silly website.
The AB of San Francisco has a very LARGE SHIP to turn around, many decades of liberalism. We may not see everything he is doing, but I would bet my bottom dollar that he is working behind the scenes on important issues such as getting teachers who are in ‘full communion’ with the Church’s teachings!
This shouldn’t really even be an issue, Catholic schools need to be teaching Catholic teachings of the Church, period.
“peter”: do you ever have a point, except as a front for the blatantly non-Catholic position-takers on homosexual sex, abortion, and the like? You and “Siollan” and “Your Fellow Catholic” (and others) try to exclude any discussion of the indefensible: the expressly immoral, always wrong, never licit, behavior of homosexuals, abortionists, and others that seek to redefine Catholic teachings (which are weak enough, given the truly awful state of the clergy now). Many, many Catholics are rising up, disgusted with the pandering by priests, bishops, cardinals, and lay teachers and administrators, to non-Catholic demands made by these groups. Bishop Barber shows promise and must be encouraged. Homosexuals will squeal in that the bishop is looking at the craziness of the Church’s accommodation to them; the answer must be “No More.” Parents, students, and all teachers and others associated with schools must learn that this is a Catholic Church, with moral teachings and directions for those that profess this Faith. Others not so professing the Faith can leave (as can students and their parents that demand something else). Good Catholics can start again, smaller. leaner, but faithful and Faith-filled. All others, try the Episcopalians. No, Jesus would not be offended. He came for all, but gave His life for “the many” (not all). Remember that Jesus always said — in forgiving sin — go and sin no more. But then, not many liberals believe in Hell, do they?
God bless Bishop Barber for his leadership.