Archbishop Cordileone answers a question during news conference in Baltimore

A San Francisco Archdiocese is under fire for a morals clause it is enforcing on teachers prohibiting homosexuality, pornography, and adultery among others.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone submitted a proposal to new contract guidelines within 4 Catholic schools in his archdiocese. The guidelines state that their staff members would “reject adultery, masturbation, homosexuality and other behavior the diocese calls ‘gravely evil’. In the morals clause, Archbishop Salvatore forbids pornography, same sex marriage and contraception as well. In an interview with the Chronicle, he says he was “surprised at the degree of consternation over this.”

Archbishop keeps morals clause despite protests

Cries of outrage were echoed throughout San Francisco, with hundreds protesting the archbishop’s decision, including Tom Brady’s father. The morals clause sparked fears that teachers could lose their jobs over intimate, personal decisions. Others say that the clause is “divisive” and they fear that the schools’ intolerance towards all students will be affected. The San Francisco Supervisor, Mark Farrell, had this to say:

I am a proud Catholic. I am proud to have been born and raised here in San Francisco within our Catholic school system, extremely proud to have been educated and influenced so greatly by the Jesuits and proud to be part of a practicing Catholic family. However, these past few weeks have been some of the most challenging weeks of my life in the Catholic Church, and I know I am not alone… I expect as a legislator, and pray as a practicing Catholic, that the recent controversial events are resolved in a manner that honors the incredible contribution of the teachers in our Catholic schools, recognizes the rights of the Catholic Church, and both respects and embodies the values which define us as San Franciscans.

Cordileone refuses to back down, speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle about the backlash. He said that he would be gathering a team of religion teachers to look over the guidelines to correct the language. He stated that he does not intend to pry into the teacher’s lives, but that the guidelines are similar to pre-existing Catholic morals clauses. Upon release of the article, he published this response:

The Archbishop has not repealed anything. The committee is to expand some areas of the material to be included in the faculty handbook, and clarify other areas by adding material. Nothing already planned to go in is being removed or retracted or withdrawn.

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