The ‘morality clause’ controversy calls for fortitude.

While I read several news stories out of San Francisco last week, I felt sick. The general public, they said, led by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, had picked a fight with the Catholic Church.

A clause had caused a controversy. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, had announced the plan to add it to the faculty handbooks at archdiocesan high schools. In multiple paragraphs, the clause says that adults who work for the schools — which, to be clear, are Catholic schools — are supposed to uphold Catholic teaching.

In an op-ed he wrote last week, Dennis Herrera, San Francisco’s city attorney, called the clause “a chilling directive.” It requires teachers, he said, “to ‘conform their hearts, minds and consciences, as well as their public and private behavior’ to tenets of church teaching that include ‘chastity’ and ‘abstinence from all sexual intimacy outside of marriage.'”

To which Herrera, and the Board of Supervisors, and hundreds of Catholic school teachers in San Francisco essentially said, “How dare you?” Continue reading “The ‘morality clause’ controversy calls for fortitude.”