I generally find that when one side is yelling, “It’s not Catholic enough!” and the other side is saying, “It’s way too Catholic!”, it’s juuuuuust right. This would seem to be the case in the teachers’ contract flap in San Francisco. It took almost a whole week for the “It’s way too Catholic!” side to get over their depression and make an attempt at a statement, while the “It’s not Catholic enough!” side seems to have theirs written before the contract was released.
I, for one, am celebrating! Is the litany of sins gone? Yep, but I’ve always thought this is way better, anyway. When you start getting into specifics, it gets harder to enforce it. You know – “I don’t use IVF, but I stand out on the sidewalk at Planned Parenthood on my days off and escort my students in. That’s not specifically listed in the contract!” There are endless ways people can deviate from a teaching of the Church. In San Francisco, the list is probably bigger than in many places.
Another issue to consider when some try to say, “Hey! This diocese does x, y and z. Why doesn’t San Francisco???”, is that San Francisco is dealing with a teachers’ union. Why they are unionized is a whole other issue, but they are. It makes contract changes a whole lot more complicated and messy. Thank goodness many of our bishops and archbishops don’t have to contend with a union! They also don’t have to deal with the money thrown at the PR machine, as Archbishop Cordileone has had to do.
Let’s look at the “Whereas” sections from the final contract, shall we? (I haven’t actually found the whole thing yet, and I’m pretty good with Google. If anyone has it, please send it to me!) I suspect that the below is the part that deals with morality, while the rest deals with wages, benefits, etc. (Emphasis mine.)
2015-18 Collective Bargaining Agreement – Preamble Clauses on Catholic Education
WHEREAS, the Union and its members recognize the unique nature of the Archdiocesan high school system in that it is Roman Catholic, committed to provide education within the framework of Catholic principles; that Catholic teachings and precepts shall remain paramount throughout the term of this Agreement; and that nothing in the Agreement shall be construed as interfering in any way with the Superintendent’s functions and duties insofar as they are canonical; and
So instead of spelling out specific Catholic teachings, we’re going with ALL of them. Yes!
WHEREAS, the Union and its members recognize that all lay teachers covered by this Agreement shall perform all their duties as set forth in this Agreement in accordance with the doctrines and precepts of the Roman Catholic Church, and shall conduct themselves at all times during the performance of those duties in a manner in keeping with the standards of the Church; and
I’m reasonably sure I do not need to throw out the doctrines and precepts of the Roman Catholic Church again, but if you need a refresher, read my previous articles (especially if they have “Canon Law” in the title).
WHEREAS, the Parties to this agreement acknowledge that the purpose of Catholic schools is to affirm Catholic values through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to help students learn and develop their critical and moral faculties; and
You signed the contract. You have now officially agreed to affirm Catholic values, not those values according to you.
WHEREAS, teachers are expected to support the purpose of our Catholic schools in such a way that their personal conduct will not adversely impact their ability to teach in our Catholic High Schools; and
This one is a biggie. Again, keep your wacky private life private! Once it becomes public, it affects your ability to teach Catholicism.
WHEREAS, the Parties acknowledge that disputes about teacher conduct on and off the job are subject to the grievance procedure to determine whether such conduct has adversely impacted the teacher’s ability to teach in our Catholic High Schools.
Abi Basch (https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/magic-queer-powers/) saw the writing on the wall in this final summation. She had no intention to keep her private life private. Instead, she had every intention to indoctrinate the kids in anti-Catholic rhetoric. She left. She was smart (well, smarter than the average person who would use the phrase “magic queer powers”) and almost had some integrity, in that she moved to a school that would support her mission to make everyone approve of her lifestyle.
You know how I know this contract is a good thing? The people against Archbishop Cordileone are dejected. After five days of trying to figure out how to spin it, they could only rehash a couple old news points which they have repeatedly said don’t appease them, they threw out the words “draconian morality clause”, then they added this (http://www.donotlink.com/gg09):
There are still concerns, apparent in the substantial no vote, that the new contract language, though an improvement over the original proposal, could still be used to bypass federal and state employment anti-discrimination laws that protect teachers from being discriminated against based on age, race, gender, disability, and/or sexual orientation. Some teachers fear the new language could have a chilling effect in the classroom and adversely impact teachers’ ability to engender trust and to participate in the open exchange of ideas with students as they explore and develop their own sexual identity, attitudes and beliefs in a safe environment. The Archbishop’s actions have already led some teachers and families to leave our communities while other families have reconsidered sending their children to our high schools. [Emphasis mine.]
Remember Abi? That was one teacher, not “some”. Buh-bye! If you had the smallest shred of intellectually honesty and agreed with the so-called “Concerned Parents,” you’d forget the high academic standards and great sports teams at these four schools and put your kids in a like-minded place. If you’re a teacher, you’d go teach somewhere else. The fact is, there isn’t going to be a mass exodus. They were told three weeks ago that nothing was going to change from here on out, and lo and behold, the promised mass exodus didn’t materialize.
The fact is, parents want the good academics and sports programs that these schools supply, and the liberal rally cry to support the alternative “immorality clause” is falling on deaf ears. The parents know their kids will still be accepted no matter their private sins. It’s only going to affect the teachers who want to sell their sins to their students. It’s simply not worth the inconvenience to most parents, or most teachers for that matter.
We must remain vigilant. As we move forward, we will hold the Archbishop to his assurances that there will be no “witch hunt” and insist the contract be construed in the positive manner in which it was presented to the membership for a vote, including protection of teachers’ privacy and employment rights. A strong coalition parents, students, alumnae, administrators, Catholics, legislators, labor and the broader community has stood with our teachers. We have put the Archbishop on notice that we are committed to preserve inclusive, welcoming, loving schools dedicated to the pursuit of truth, the highest standards of excellence in teaching and the safety of our children.
That verbal vomit basically says “Waaa!!! We didn’t get what we want!” You’ve really got to laugh at the mafia sounding “notice” and the “pursuit of truth” comment. They set truth aside a long time ago!
Get it through your thick, little heads. If there was such a strong coalition, the teachers would be on strike right now. Your cause simply isn’t worth the pain to the majority of those involved. As the year progresses and most teachers continue keeping their private lives private, there will be no mass firings of teachers nor students leaving the school, and you will further lose what little coalition you have left.