Expect the next couple of weeks to resemble an exorcist pouring holy water on a demon. It’s going to be ugly with the liberals desperately grasping at straws despite a Supreme Court ruling that squashes their daydream that the Catholic Church is going against “settled law.” It’s also going to get annoying watching no–name liberals attempting to create a reputation for themselves trying to slay the Archbishop. Somehow they’ve missed the fact that THEY are the ones going against settled law in their battle against religious freedom. Of course, it’s not likely to stop them from suing the heck out of the archdiocese in attempt to win by bankruptcy, but they’ve missed the fact that we won’t let that happen. What is the latest straw they are grasping for? Assemblyman Phil Ting, one of the crafters of a letter to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone that stated his handbook wording was in “conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we serve,” has decided to hold a “Public Hearing on Ministerial Exceptions” on July 23rd. (Please feel free to give Mr. Ting an earful at 415-557-2312.) Katrina Trinko penned a nice piece on Ting and Company’s insane attempt to interject themselves into the Catholic Church governance and the Archbishop’s response to it (http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/01/lawmakers-attacking-archbishop-requiring-catholic-teachers-not-slam-catholicism/ ). By the way, in case you missed it, here is the Archbishop’s response to Ting and Company (https://www.sfarchdiocese.org/docs/default-source/media-items-2015/abp-cordileone-reply-letter-to-state-legislators—february-19-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=2):
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. Sincerely, Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone Archbishop of San Francisco
In 2012, the Supreme Court issued a ruling (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) which we’d hope the lower courts would follow. Here’s a really good analysis of the unanimous ruling and the opinion that spells out ultimate victory for Archbishop Cordileone and the Archdiocese of San Francisco:(http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/01/4541/). The bottom line?
It specifically affirmed “a religious group’s right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments.” And it grounded its holding in the proposition that “the text of the First Amendment itself . . . gives special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations.
So who is violating “settled law,” Mr. Ting?
The decision was, strikingly, unanimous: no one disagreed with Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion for the Court. The only separate opinions were concurring ones, suggesting further extensions or specific applications of the Court’s reasoning. On a Court that has often been bitterly divided, this expression of unanimity is truly remarkable.
If you’ve read the decision and opinions (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-553.pdf ), you’d know that it was quite remarkable. The liberals would like you to believe that Perich lost only because she was named as a minister, but if you read the Supreme Court opinions, they said that this particular case was a no brainer because she was indeed labeled a minister. Furthermore, they were not going to tell a church who did and who didn’t perform in a ministerial capacity, and they specifically stated that teachers would be considered such. Whoops! Another hope of those attacking Archbishop Cordileone is that somehow a teacher’s union is going to trump Religious Freedom. It’s been said that the fact that Bishop Vasa and Bishop Barber won their handbook battles is because the teachers in those dioceses were not unionized. Well, which is it? Is it against the law, or is it because there’s a union? Well, the Supreme Court says it’s a Religious Freedom issue, and Bishops Vasa and Barber haven’t landed in jail, so we know it’s not against “settled law.” I don’t think you’ll find case-law that says that a union ever trumps Religious Freedom. If that were the case, the Catholic Church would be totally and utterly against unions, right?