Archbishop Condemns Gay Agenda in Schools
THE SANTA CLARA
February 12, 2014
As the Jesuit Pope Francis receives worldwide support for his progressive and accepting nature, a conservative archbishop in San Francisco is emphatically taking a different path.
Last week, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone presented his 2015 high school teacher’s handbook to the four Catholic schools in the area.
These schools serve as several of the main “feeder” schools for Santa Clara, and will now see the inclusion of two controversial sections in their teacher contracts. The stipulations merit outrage, as they are unquestionably unnecessary, divisive and hurtful to the educators, families and children who are directly affected by these policies.
Countless Bay Area Catholics rejoiced when Pope Francis proclaimed, “If (homosexuals) accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”
Now they have to send their children to institutions forced to follow the backward teachings of an overly right-wing and clueless archbishop.
Two Problematic Premises
While the first provision, the reclassifying of Catholic high school teachers as “ministers,” seems benign at first glance, a greater understanding of the term from a legal perspective reveals this provision to be anything but harmless.
In January of 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that wrongful termination and employment discrimination regulations did not apply to ministers in the landmark case “Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC.” As a result of this ruling, ministers are unable to sue their employer if, for example, they are fired when they refuse to sign a teacher handbook that serves as a direct affront to their moral and ethical convictions.
Such a situation will undoubtedly arise when a man who once proposed that “legislating for the right for people of the same sex to marry is like legalizing male breastfeeding” drafts the teacher handbook.
Thus, the new contract contains over 2,000 words ordering teachers to maintain “a professional obligation not to publicly contradict, undermine or deny the religious message that the school exists to proclaim and which they are hired to advance” on issues ranging from homosexuality, gay marriage, contraception, abortion and other practices that Cordileone views as morally reprehensible.
Forcing educators to abandon their values in the name of job security and health insurance is the true morally reprehensible behavior.
By firing teachers who refuse to sign away their principles, Catholic high schools in San Francisco will lose many phenomenal educators who have influenced decades of students in more ways than can be imagined.
More importantly, what message does this send to the LGBTQ students struggling on a daily basis with their sexual orientation? Who can they turn to for advice and care in a system that punishes those who stand up to protect them?
Many teachers provide the only voice of calm, reason and understanding in times of unquantifiable hardship. Forcing educators to convey the message that a homosexual lifestyle is against the teachings of the Church will leave LGBTQ teenagers isolated and ostracized.
Some will argue that Cordileone is correct to uphold these Catholic values in Catholic schools. They agree, not with the Pope, but with the archbishop, when he says that “People are entitled to their private lives. But teachers also have to respect the mission of the school in the way they live their public lives.”
Apparently these people have forgotten that the Church did not officially state its position on slavery until 1965 — two years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Thats not a typo. Over a hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the Church finally called slavery “a supreme dishonor to the Creator” in the Vatican II document “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.”
So to those cowering behind the Catholic Church’s pathetic upholding of oppressive Dark Age dogma, I say: “Get with the times.” The 21st century has no room for homophobia and prejudice. Stop supporting a feeble-minded archbishop as he imposes his will on fine Bay Area institutions, at the expense of their most vulnerable students, and spits in the face of the noble Church teachings of love, acceptance and equality.
To those as outraged as I am about these new provisions, do not sit idly by wondering what can be done. Join the thousands of people who have signed the online petition “Discrimination and Fear Don’t Belong in Our Schools.” Write Salvatore Cordileone a letter. Or better yet, write to Carlo Maria Viganò, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and see what he has to say about his archbishops preaching hate and injustice while ignoring the progressive nature of the Pope.
A man who promotes inequality and oppression isn’t a religious leader; he is a hatemonger.
Thomas Curran-Levett is a junior political science major and the editor of the Opinion section.