Many of us in the religious clergy and communities have been alarmed at the announcement by San Francisco Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone that teachers and staff at the high schools under his jurisdiction accept “morality clauses” that require them to uphold such church doctrines as homosexuality as an evil, that women should not be ordained as priests and the use of contraception as a grave evil. He says that the staff must conduct their public lives so as not to contradict these morality clauses. As a rabbi serving in interfaith organizations, I am aware of how Christians, including Catholics with whom I work, are deeply opposed to the archbishop’s actions which appear to be out of step with the approach of Pope Francis. The archbishop wishes to declare all these school’s staff and teachers — including those who are not involved in religious instruction and those who are not Catholic — “ministers” apparently in order to circumvent anti-discrimination laws that cannot prevent firing of church ministers who do not conform to the archbishop’s standards.
As a rabbi or Jew, I would be reluctant to be involved, however, I signed the petition of protest (link below) largely at the request and urging of Catholic colleagues and also because many of the students at these schools are non-Catholic, including at least one associated with Kehilla. Moreover, we are not protesting another religion’s doctrine here, but rather the discriminatory practice of the archbishop which affects many people beyond his church. Feel free to sign the petition and add your name.